why are cna's treated like they are stupid and replaceable? - page 2

it seems to me that CNA's, esp. in long term care, get treated as if they don't know how to do anything, are overworked, unappreciated, and underpaid. This one nurse about drives me up the wall. You... Read More

  1. by   Fiona59
    Its a two way street. I've had NA's who are great and NA's who hate everybody that went to school for an RN or an LPN.

    Can you honestly tell me that when an LPN crushes meds, mixes them with whatever and see the residents swallow, its the LPN's fault if the resident spits them up after she has left the room? We have to see the resident swallow the meds in order to verify the med was given.

    I've known of NA's who when a new LPN was trying to medicate 30 people he'd never set eyes on before, tell him "get your *** into the end room, your resident needs toiletting". He finished his shift and never came back. Why? The care manage said "my NA's would never talk to an LPN like that". Get real.

    There are good and bad staff at all levels, all races. It's too bad that so many of the bad apples manage to hang in there forever.
  2. by   Fiona59
    What a college degree in nursing/general studies?
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The CNA's in my facility always get breaks and always leave on time, and they always get help from the "nurses".

    WOW.
  4. by   dazzle256
    Quote from Sgt_Chunk_Spelunker
    And the CNAs who work with me in both settings are worth their weight in gold! Without them, I couldn't do my job! I always help them if/when they need it. We are all part of the same job and we all have one goal in mind...effective and supportive resident care!
    Isn't that the truth! That nurse needs to try and do her job without a good CNA.
  5. by   grammyr
    One of the best pieces of advice I got from a nursing instructor was: "Find yourself a good LPN and a good CNA and work with them. They will teach you more than nursing school can. That one piece of advice made my life soooo much easier after I got out into the real world of nursing.
  6. by   witnurse
    I was a Nurse's Aide( in the civil war that was what we called "CNA's") ( only kidding about the civil war, ) for 13 years before I went to school to be an RN. at the time the only reason I went was because my husband left me with 2 girls to raise and I could not manage it on my aide's salary. I loved being an aide and since 1982 I have loved being an RN. I have worked with RNs, LPNs, Aides, Doctors and housekeepers etc, that were great and those that were...well expletive deleted. I do not think bitterness and pettiness and lousy self esteem knows any boundaries when it comes to human beings however neither does love, kindness and strong work ethics. Just part of life. Be proud of who you are, treat others well and your sleep will be sweet. Let them stew in their bitterness. :smiley_ab :deadhorse :heartbeat :flowersfo
  7. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from luv2quilt:)
    OP: first of all, I am an LPN in a LTC facility. Trust me, I do not sit on my 'butt". I rarely get 15 minutes to eat supper and I have to stay late. The CNA's in my facility always get breaks and always leave on time, and they always get help from the "nurses". If your patient is a fall risk, are you getting help from another CNA before you toilet her or use a lift? Just because you aproach us when we are passing the endless meds, taking physician orders, dealing with relatives, doing a procedure, etc, etc, and tell us Mrs. So-and-So" needs a band-aid on her toe does not mean we are going to lock up our med cart and jump right to it. And if resident falls, who license is on the line? Not yours!
    You're aides are lucky then. I think I've taken two fifteen minute breaks in the last two years. The only time I ever ask a nurse for help is if the situation needs attention ASAP and there is not another aide available. The nurses do their jobs, I do mine.

    Not all of us are so stupid as to think that a band aid is an emergency. I worked with this one nurse who every time I reported something like a skin tear, jumped my butt because she thought I was asking her to stop what she was doing and take care of it. No, she was too stupid to understand the difference between demanding action and simply reporting something. I learned the value of the Post-It note with that one.
  8. by   Purple Princess
    maybe I fail to see that the nurses are busy even when it looks like they're not. I was taught to take care of all I can for the patient without bugging the nurse, unless of course it is urgent or I'm not permitted to perform that nursing skill. On good days we have 15-16 a piece, bless those empty beds and residents in the hospital by the way, and if not you can have the whole hall to yourself. This has happened to me more than once and I said to the DON fine but you had better make sure the nurses help us with dinner and help me lift or provide more freakin' staff. and as for medicine I'm not talking about them spitting up after the nurse leaves but just being clumsy when giving it to them and not offering to clean up the mess. and true each lpn has 32 residents and I imagine that can get just as hectic. midnights are the only ones that have it good, they have four aides, 16 a piece and they work as a team 2 to a hall. there is no reason to bug the nurse if you can handle it yourself or have a partner but what to do when you don't? some of these nurses though seem to think that they are way up there and we are way down there. but i'm told it is like this alot of places and doesn't necessarily get better just because you move up the ladder. i want to be a nurse but this is aweful. one lpn at our place regularly works at least 5-6 days a week and 4 or 5 sometimes are double shifts! we don't have enough of anything. one laundry girl for the whole place holds about 100 residents, i often don't get a break, am called at home frequently,and i wonder why so many nursing professionals get burnt out. !! i'm in lpn school now, looking for another job, or maybe just volunteer in a hospital.
  9. by   pumpkin92356
    I have been a cna for over 20 years and I do not believe in this CNA and Nurses thing , we are all caregivers and nurses. CNA's do everything for the patient hands on and we, more than any other person working the floor , know the patients abilities and personalities. We are the eyes and ears of the licensed nurse. Yet, there are those who consider us just a part of the "Maintance crew" and not a vital part of the nursing team! I have had people ask me what a CNA was and when I describe some of my duties to them I have had replies such as "Oh, you are a butt wiper" I am tired of the lack of respect we CNA'S are given most of the time. It takes a very loving and caring person to be a CNA. Those of us who choose to do this kind of work, certainly dont do it for the money (that's a joke) we do it because we are very caring and want to help others. Most of us think of our residents as an extended part of our family as we do become attached to them over time.
  10. by   Antikigirl
    There are times when I can help my CNA's and I do...it is all for th good of teamwork and the patients. But sometimes I have to go off and answer a call or an acute situation and I feel so badly that I must go instead of helping...but my CNA's understand and know that I would help if I could! We have a great working relationship...and I care about them as much as I do my patients (and they feel that too ).

    There are other nurses that don't help however, and I find it sad. But they simply don't know how to do time managment well I guess...they always are too busy (there is no such thing as a nurse sitting in my facility...heck no! 160 patients, one nurse overseeing and doing tx...tons to do!). But heck, if I am in a room with a CNA and they need help for a transfer...even though I really do suck at transfers..LOL, they help me to help them and we get the job done . Just takes a moment, and means a lot!

    Oh yeah, and my CNA's get 2 15 minute breaks and one half hour one mandated by state and really backed up by the facility. In fact, the half hour isn't paid so if you work during it...no pay so they certainly don't (nor do I if possible!). But they do always get off on time, where as I usually have to report off and finish up for most times another hour. My breaks are always being interupted by something so I rarely get any of them. But if the CNA's see that I am frazzled and not able to take breaks they really try to help me by pushing me into the breakroom and telling the other CNA's to give me a break! LOL...gotta love them!!!! They take better care of me than my family some days..LOL!!!!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Apr 7, '05
  11. by   Town & Country
    No I cannot hang another feeding, do a dressing change, or insert a catheter though I've been taught how. ( previous nurses training).
    I would REALLY like to know what LTC facility would even allow a NA to do these things......?



    It doesn't matter if you have "previous nurses training"....if you are not a LPN or RN, you CANNOT do what you are describing.

    What state are you in?

    Personally, I read these posts about how nurses supposedly treat nurse aides like s**t, but in "the real world" that I inhabit, more often than not it is the nurse who gets abused.....it's a challenge to even get most nurse aides to do their jobs.

    I have worked at several LTC facilities.

    The last one, we had a man who would lie in his own excrement for hours, and the aides wouldn't clean him....

    And no, I don't think I'm "too good" to "wipe butts", but when I'm doing a 2100 med pass, it's not easy to stop and do a COMPLETE bed change, including doing a bed bath, because they've laid in s**t for hours! Need I mention that the CNAs are doing rounds at the time? :angryfire

    I always help them. I take people to the toilet when they need to go. To and from the dining room....helping the residents change clothes, do this or do that..if I am in their room and they need assitance, they get it from me...so don't even go there with the "nurses need to help", I've heard it too often.

    We can do their job, but if we do their job and they never left a finger, who will pass meds? Who will do the assessments? As nurses, we have tasks that we MUST do.....and that we are responsible for.

    That's why people are hired as "nurse aides"....because we need help. Unfortunately, all too often, we don't get it from the people who are being paid for that very thing.

    And yes I do agree that CNAs are woefully underpaid. Their job is VITAL. What they are doing is truly important. Thank God for the good CNAs who understand that it isn't all about money. No that doesn't negate their legitimate complaint that they are underpaid; but that is no reason to not do their jobs. The true satisfaction comes from making a difference in the resident's lives, anyway, and yes that applies to us nurses, too..........
  12. by   LPN1974
    Quote from SunStreak
    I would REALLY like to know what LTC facility would even allow a NA to do these things......?



    It doesn't matter if you have "previous nurses training"....if you are not a LPN or RN, you CANNOT do what you are describing.

    What state are you in?

    Personally, I read these posts about how nurses supposedly treat nurse aides like s**t, but in "the real world" that I inhabit, more often than not it is the nurse who gets abused.....it's a challenge to even get most nurse aides to do their jobs.

    I have worked at several LTC facilities.

    The last one, we had a man who would lie in his own excrement for hours, and the aides wouldn't clean him....

    And no, I don't think I'm "too good" to "wipe butts", but when I'm doing a 2100 med pass, it's not easy to stop and do a COMPLETE bed change, including doing a bed bath, because they've laid in s**t for hours! Need I mention that the CNAs are doing rounds at the time? :angryfire

    I always help them. I take people to the toilet when they need to go. To and from the dining room....helping the residents change clothes, do this or do that..if I am in their room and they need assitance, they get it from me...so don't even go there with the "nurses need to help", I've heard it too often.

    We can do their job, but if we do their job and they never left a finger, who will pass meds? Who will do the assessments? As nurses, we have tasks that we MUST do.....and that we are responsible for.

    That's why people are hired as "nurse aides"....because we need help. Unfortunately, all too often, we don't get it from the people who are being paid for that very thing.

    And yes I do agree that CNAs are woefully underpaid. Their job is VITAL. What they are doing is truly important. Thank God for the good CNAs who understand that it isn't all about money. No that doesn't negate their legitimate complaint that they are underpaid; but that is no reason to not do their jobs. The true satisfaction comes from making a difference in the resident's lives, anyway, and yes that applies to us nurses, too..........

    Well said.

    However, SunStreak, they are starting to let CNAs do things that LPNs were once only allowed to do. There are several threads on here about that.
    They are CMAs, Certified Med Techs, and other titles. They pass meds, put in foleys, give trach care, and no telling what else.

    That's one reason why alot of facilites are trying to phase out LPNs and use only RNs and CNAs.
    Alot of these duties are being delegated to the CNA level. For less money I might add.
    There are several thread on here about it.

    I worked in a LTC for awhile and had one NA that was going to do everything he could to force the nurses to work on the floor to help HIM with HIS work. It didn't happen.
    It is NOT below me to wipe someone's butt, or feed someone, bathe someone, so don't ANYone go off on me.
    I've been there, done that. I started out as NA.
    I had the opportunity to go on to LPN school. I wanted to advance myself, and I'm glad I did.
    I wish I had gone on to RN school later, but I didn't get that far.
    But I will help anyone who asks me, if you need help transferring, lifting, assisting someone in anyway that I can.....
    BUT I CANNOT DO YOUR JOB FOR YOU. I ALSO have a job, for which I am paid to do.

    And I also agree the CNAs are tearfully, sadly underpaid. There isn't anything I can personally do about it, I would encourage anyone who could go on to school to do so, seek out any grants, assistance that you can find and go to school to raise your standard of living.
    I would think that with the nursing shortage that we would start to see some grants for educational assistance coming out of the government somewhere.
    I know that anyone with any kind of disability can get assistance. I have a co-worker with a severe hearng loss, and she had all of her LPN schooling, everything paid for. Including they bought her a hi-tech hearing disabled stethescope, costing 450.00. They bought her uniforms, books, shoes, even her pantyhose. And gave her money to live on and support her children while she went to school! She lived in govrnemnt housing and said money was tight, but they made it thru that year and now she's doing great.
    So some help is out there if people are willing to search for it.
    Sorry for rambling on and getting off the subject.

    There I've said my piece for now.
    Venting over.
  13. by   Lanceman
    CNA certainly don't get paid enough but there is no room on the payscale to pay them anymore than they get. If a CNA makes $10 an hour, a LPN makes $15, and a RN $20 an hour there is no room to give CNA more money without giving everyone a raise in the process. You can't have a CNA making what an LPN does, just as you can't have a LPN making the same as an RN. It just won't fly. In my experience any low paid worker is expendable, there is a larger younger labor pool of them and the technical center is spitting out a new class every month so technically the bodies are replaceable. It's just finding good ones and holding on to them that is important.

close