why are cna's treated like they are stupid and replaceable? - page 9

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   dinkymouse
    I have worked with CNA's in the hospital, home health and LTC's. Without them I would have to stay at least 5 extra hours a day to do all the vitals, getting them to meals, changing them and their beds. I have always valued my CNA's and LPN's. As most have said you have bad and good in both, just like in humans . I give hand written thank you notes to those who have stayed over, come in early, or done an extraordinary job. It let's them know I notice what they do. It takes 2 sec. to write it and they have saved me more time than that. At my LTC the CNA's make the most in our metropolitan area and we have a low turn over rate. God bless the one's who do the day to day cares we don't have time to do.
  2. by   lovingtheunloved
    Quote from debroh1
    I was a nurse aide for 12 years before going to school and have been an LPN for 2 years now. I always thought the LPN had it so easy till I actually became one. I remember 1 nurse in particular who I thought was the same way (lazy, didn't want to help out, and seemed to have a bad attitude towards the NA). Then when I became an LPN and of course stayed at the same facility guess who trained me. It was then that I realized how mentally draining her job was, how even though NA's have a physically demanding job (and yes stressful too) the nurse has the responsibilty of the entire floor. Which entails dealing with the dr., families, residents, staff disputes, lab, pharmacy, RN manager, incident reports, med pass, treatments, tube feedings, endless mountains of required paperwork, charting, etc.. that comes with that little bit of more money. I may not leave at the end of the night physically tired, but I am mentally exhausted. Then I spend the ride home trying to rememnber if I did this or that, and if I didn't how much trouble is that going to be. So then I get home and call back to work to find out if I did remember to do everything. That same nurse who I dispised became my best friend. She was the one nurse who knew all the ins and outs and knew how to dot the i and cross the t's. Many a night I called her at home and she always knew the answer to the problem, and who to call what to do. And while training me I realized that she NEVER took a break (lunch or otherwise) came in just a little bit early and left only after everything was taken care of. You never know till you walk in someone else's shoes. Yes there will always be the bad with the good. But NA's can never realize the burden of our job, and the responsibilty, until you actually do it. I always thought I would be the nurse to help the NA's out. (feed, toilet and help out) but at the end of the shift they've had all their breaks and are leaving on time. I've not had one break and am staying over to finish up my job so that I don't get in trouble. You get good nurses with the bad just as you get good NA' in the mix also. Just try to realize that even though that LPN acts like she doesn't want to help out, maybe there is more of a reason.
    I totally agree with you. But then there's the nurse who when you beg "Could you please stay with my HUGE fall risk that I just put on the toilet for just a minute so I can go break up the fistfight down the hall?" And said nurse looks me in the eye and says, "No. I'm not an aide, that's why I went to nursing school." And trots down the hall.

    So screw the residents.
  3. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    "No. I'm not an aide, that's why I went to nursing school."
    Boy i heard a LOT of that!
  4. by   night owl
    why are cna's treated like they are stupid and replaceable?

    Well, I'm going to be honest here. It's simple. Because some, not all, are stupid and replaceable. There have been quite a few changes going on at my facility and it's about time. It seems the ones who decide they aren't coming to work, you know, those who are a no call/no show more than once or twice? They're being replaced. The ones who seem to disappear for more than an hour or so and never let anyone know where they're going incase we need them? They're being replaced. The ones who never come in on the weekends they're supposed to? They're being replaced. The ones who refuse to do their assignments like take vitals or do showers, they're going. They forget they came to us looking for a job, we didn't go looking for them. Then they get there and refuse to do it... more than a few times and then argue about what assignments they're given. They come with this attitude like I've never seen before. It's just amazing how they want to run the place according to their liking. We've even had NA's come to work, but because they had to float to another unit, decided they didn't like that. So they went home. The good ones, God bless them, do an awesome job and I wouldn't trade them for the world! They are polite, respectful, responsible and down right nice to be around. You don't have to remind them to do anything, and when you ask them to do something they don't become angry and find 101 excuses why they don't have to do it. I guess management got tired of the games people play and are finally putting their feet down and growing a spine. I was a NA for a few years before going to school. I came to work, did my job, never thought to give anyone lip service about my assignments and just did them because that's what I was hired to do. So why the problems today? Because they have gotten away with it for way too long. It should have been nipped in the butt long ago when it first started to occur. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, but this is the way it is at my facility.
  5. by   redwinggirlie
    Not all nurses treat CNA's this way. Shame on her. The CNA's I work with are wonderful and we let them know it all the time. I work in a hospital. Together, we make our patient's comfort and care the best it can be. Shame on the nurse you wrote about.
  6. by   redwinggirlie
    Quote from night owl
    why are cna's treated like they are stupid and replaceable?

    Well, I'm going to be honest here. It's simple. Because some, not all, are stupid and replaceable. There have been quite a few changes going on at my facility and it's about time. It seems the ones who decide they aren't coming to work, you know, those who are a no call/no show more than once or twice? They're being replaced. The ones who seem to disappear for more than an hour or so and never let anyone know where they're going incase we need them? They're being replaced. The ones who never come in on the weekends they're supposed to? They're being replaced. The ones who refuse to do their assignments like take vitals or do showers, they're going. They forget they came to us looking for a job, we didn't go looking for them. Then they get there and refuse to do it... more than a few times and then argue about what assignments they're given. They come with this attitude like I've never seen before. It's just amazing how they want to run the place according to their liking. We've even had NA's come to work, but because they had to float to another unit, decided they didn't like that. So they went home. The good ones, God bless them, do an awesome job and I wouldn't trade them for the world! They are polite, respectful, responsible and down right nice to be around. You don't have to remind them to do anything, and when you ask them to do something they don't become angry and find 101 excuses why they don't have to do it. I guess management got tired of the games people play and are finally putting their feet down and growing a spine. I was a NA for a few years before going to school. I came to work, did my job, never thought to give anyone lip service about my assignments and just did them because that's what I was hired to do. So why the problems today? Because they have gotten away with it for way too long. It should have been nipped in the butt long ago when it first started to occur. I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, but this is the way it is at my facility.

    Nurses do this too. People in ALL professions do this. Sad, but true.
  7. by   Chicklet2
    Quote from txspadequeen921
    CNA'a are no where near paid enough. I love my CNA's and when they need help, Im on the floor. They are my eyes and ears for my patients and they are irreplaceable. Several years ago when my CNA's were getting a 2 % raise every year; I fought with admin and eventually got them a 6% raise. They never knew I was the one that was their advocate. Point is , there are nurses out there that value and respect the work that CNA's do. I work hand in hand with my CNA's and it is a team effort on my floor.
    In Alberta, Canada CNA's are paid starting at 11 and are up to 15 for nights and weekends. I found CNA's to be soooo helpful during my first practicum in LTC for my LPN course
  8. by   all around nurse
    im a LVN and Have been taught by many CNA things starting out. there is alot of great CNA/NA out there,but there are some lazy ones as well jsut like nurse. They come in all types. i Dont ask The CNA to do any thing I havent done or will do my self. I believe in team work and working together. We all need each other. If more teams would work toghether more would get done and a better job while doing it. I hate it When people say oh your just an LVN. Same thing its not Just a CNA its a team member. thanks all around nurse.
    Quote from Purple Princess
    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 come to her with a patient related concern and she'll look at me like I'm busy you take care of it. No I cannot hang another feeding, do a dressing change, or insert a catheter though I've been taught how. ( previous nurses training). She walks like a waddling duck. A lady accidently slipped and I was taking her to the toilet. It was an accident and I wish I fell, I felt that bad. My partner was busy at the moment and this nurse was RIGHT there! I asked her if she would mind helping me stand this lady up, she goes oh I thought so, so was going to help you!!! This is the type of nurse that would actually make a mess in the process of giving a pt their meds and say gosh that's the aides job to clean it up. I never ever expect the nurse to do my job for me but if they are in the same room and can't even help their own patients, there is something wrong with that. She doesn't like lifting either, I wonder how she passed her physical for nursing school. No other aide in sight, asked her one day to help transfer someone( would have either injured myself badly or dropped him) nurse sitting on her butt and " oh I guess so" with a sigh! The nurses are suppose to help!!! maybe as a cna I am biased and only see one side of it. Other nurses assist at times but she thinks she is too good to do anything else, but now I'm in nursing school and once I get out I hope I don't ever treat my help this way. Maybe I'm expecting to be treated with respect because I work very hard to care for my patients in skilled care, but we are always short staffed, and the fact that I have a college degree in nursing/ general studies, while I'm not a nurse in the eyes of the law I am a caregiver that continually nurtures each and every one of my patients, in a way when a patient hollers for the nurse they don't decipher between me and the LPN or RN. we are all nurses to them providing patient care.
  9. by   Derbygurl
    I was a pca at a local hospital for about 6 months. the pay was 9 something an hour, but they could have paid me a 100 and I still would have quit!!! I asked to not work on Wed. and Thurs. nights b/c I had clinicals the next day and guess what? I was constantly scheduled for those nights and had to either find someone to switch or work it anyway. I was floated to other floors constantly and usually had 15 to 17 patients. When I was on my floor (oncology) it was fine, b/c I knew the nurses, what was expected of me, where everything was, etc... on other floors my codes didnt work so I had to continually ask the nurses to let me in to the pyxis, which I know drove them crazy and me as well. They expected me to do things on other floors that I didnt do on oncology and then get pissed off b/c I didnt know to do it. It was awful!!! Its the first job I ever quit without notice b/c I was just so frustrated and just done!!!
  10. by   Sheri257
    Quote from 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.
    I see your point here but, the bodies aren't always there. And they don't do a good job of holding on to the ones who already work there.

    The facility where I work is so short on aides they end up paying registry $15 an hour and, recently, they had to offer bonuses as an incentive for aides to work more because they were so short ... which ended up costing them $15 an hour.

    The other problem with less bodies is they start loading more patients onto the aides who are there making only $10 an hour, which only makes them quit in greater numbers, forcing them to pay the $15 anyway.

    They think a low paid worker is expendable and replaceable but, the fact of the matter is, they're not. They should just go ahead and make the standard salary $15 an hour for aides because, they end up paying that one way or another anyway with the constant cycle of hiring, training and losing all of their supposedly disposable CNA's.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jul 29, '05
  11. by   Plagueis
    Quote from lizz
    I see your point here but, the bodies aren't always there. And they don't do a good job of holding on to the ones who already work there.

    The facility where I work is so short on aides they end up paying registry $15 an hour and, recently, they had to offer bonuses an incentive for aides to work more because they were so short ... which ended up costing them $15 an hour.

    The other problem with less bodies is they start loading more patients onto the aides who are there making only $10 an hour, which only makes them quit in greater numbers, forcing them to pay the $15 anyway.

    They think a low paid worker is expendable and replaceable but, the fact of the matter is, they're not. They should just go ahead and make the standard salary $15 an hour for aides because, they end up paying that one way or another anyway with the constant cycle of hiring, training and losing all of their supposedly disposable CNA's.


    You make great points. It seems that so many nursing homes pay $8 or $9 per hour, but end up bringing in agency CNAs at $15 to $20 per hour anyway, because of the high turnover of CNAs. So why don't they just pay the regular CNAs more? That might help to decrease the turnover. Plus, viewing CNAs a expendable hurts the residents, as they deserve to have assistants who know thier habits and needs, not agency aides who come in for one day and are thrown in to a situation they are not familiar with. Plus, the idea that nursing homes can just hire a new crop of graduates doesn't always work, as what CNAs do in a classroom enviroment isn't even close to what actually happens on the job, and I've had many CNA trainess tell me that they were not prepared for the actual work, thereby they end up quitting.
  12. by   Sue7573
    I worked for a LTC in TN for awhile and it was the first time I had ever dealt with agency cna's and nurses. At first I felt bad for them, because they are thrown out onto the floor and have to keep up with out knowing who is who and what have you. I expressed this concern to one agency cna, she said that she didn't mind, the pay was great and she didn't have to deal with the politics at any of the LTC's. That got me to thinking and asking around "how great was the pay" At this particular agency they paid the cna's 11.50 an hour. which isn't breaking records but it was more than I was making. THEN I found out that our facility was paying the agency around 19/ hour for the cna's. I was furious. :angryfire :angryfire Why the H E double hocky sticks can they pay agency like that but not their very own cna's and nurses that show up everyday and work hard every day and put up with all the bs and politics. After I moved back home and started back at my old facility I saw an ad in our local paper for agency cna's and nurses. It was just an ad in the paper but it set me on fire again. :angryfire If our facility EVER brings in agency they will get my two week notice. The reason for that is everytime I have went to management about our pay (and I have more than a dozen times) I get the same ole story we are a non profit organization we have a budget and we just don't have any more budgeted for more payroll, blah blah blah... They must not know that I know how to add and that all the bills are posted and for being a "non profit" organization whoa there must be a boat load of loot somewhere. ANY WAY enough with my rant. I am not against agency and I will work at any facility that brings in agency except the one I am at now, simply because 1. we have never had agency before and 2. all that is mentioned above.

    Sue
  13. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Tommybabe
    So why don't they just pay the regular CNAs more?
    I think Lanceman has it right. If they "officially" pay more, instead of on an "as need basis" with registry, etc. (which, of course, turns out to be all the time and what they really pay anyway) ....

    They'd have to pay everybody else (LVNs and RNs) more. As the old saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. And, of course, they don't want to do that.

    That's the problem.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Jul 29, '05

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