Why be a CNA?

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    I don't understand. While being a CNA is hard, it is not rocket science. You basically have to WORK, and you have to CARE. So many CNAs don't do either one. I don't know how they go home and sleep well knowing that they left their residents soaked and cold and dirty. Why don't they just go work at a gas station. Lord knows they'd get paid better. Very few things make me as angry as when my people are not getting the care they deserve. It makes me want to cry. Bad day.
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  4. 0
    I totally agree with you. I started out as a cna and then went to nursing school.

    So many hard-working cnas don't get the appreciation they deserve. I feel cnas

    are the backbone of the nursing staff. Thanks for all of the hard work you do.
  5. 0
    Its upsetting when other CNA's do not do their work right. I worked with a girl who made up and documented her own vital signs, didn't give out drinks to those on I&Os, and left people soaked for hours.

    When I became a CNA, I read on a site an essay that made me strive to be better than the CNA's who slacked. Here it is if you want to read it.

    In the years that I have been a CNA, I have caught myself on several occassions using the phrase, "I'm only a CNA". I remember once, I answered the phone at work and spoke to a doctor who was insisting I check a patient's chart for him, to which I responded, "I'm only a CNA." My supervisor heard me say those words and later took me aside. She told me I should never think of my job as lowly or petty, and she made me start to think about the worth of being a nursing assistant. While I didn't utter those words to that doctor to demean myself, I later realized that the words themselves served to nullify the importance of the job we do and I've never repeated them.

    I've lost count of how many times someone has asked me what I do for a living, only to turn up their nose at my reply. I'm sure I'm not alone--several of the members of our CNA Forum have mentioned the same feelings...being ashamed of being ashamed of our jobs. Granted, the work isn't always pretty, and it's not the most glamorous occupation in the eyes of the world. But, to the people we care for every day, our job is an admirable and much appreciated one.

    The next time you find yourselves in the position of being tempted to utter those words, "I'm only a CNA", stop and realize you are so much more to so many people. You have the opportunity every day to impact people's lives in a positive and much needed way. When you stop and think of it, we, as CNA's, get paid for more than simply washing people and making beds and all of the other tasks that go along with the job. We have chosen a profession that demands caring from us. We daily attend the school of patience and compassion. People may think that because becoming a CNA does not require years of school that it is a job that just anyone could do. This is not true! It takes a certain type of person to do the work of a nursing assistant. I am proud to be a CNA! Yes, I may be "only a CNA" in the eyes of some people, but to others I am much more.

    I am the one, in many people's lives, who provides them with their basic human needs. What others may take for granted, washing, dressing, bathing, eating-- some people are unable to perform these tasks for themselves anymore, and they depend on me. I am the one who goes to great lengths to maintain their privacy and dignity while helping them do things that only a few years ago they were doing on their own. I am the one they rage at, venting their frustration, anger, confusion and fear. I am the one who performs care, even though doing so will certainly put me in a position of being physically and verbally abused at the hands of those I care for.

    I am the one who rides out the storms of my Alzheimer's patients right alongside of them. I am the one who searches high and low throughout the building for a misplaced item that one of my patients is desperately looking for. I am the one who hears "I want to go home" from the lips of my patients sometimes several times a night, and comforts them the best way I know how.

    I am the one offering hugs and smiles in a dark and lonely world, where many times, the staff becomes the only family a patient has. I become their source of love, acceptance and friendship. I am the one who tries to quell loneliness and depression in the people I care for, sometimes resorting to singing, sometimes just acting silly to coax a smile. I am the one who makes them know that someone still cares about them.

    I am the one who listens when no one else listens. I listen as my patients repeat stories from their past over and over again, and offer my words of amazement or encouragement over their accomplishments and memories. I am the one who validates them as a person, who ensures they know they still have great worth as a human being, even though they may be physically or mentally ill and their lives have changed, I always try to offer hope where it is needed.

    I am the one who comforts and holds the hand of my patient as they slowly slip away. I am the one who has been there by their side, when noone else was, so they were not alone when they left this world. I am the one who offered a prayer and words of peace, while gently stroking their head and reassuring them it was "ok to let go".

    All of these things and more, that is what we are, not just myself but nursing assistants everywhere.

    Hold your head high and realize, there is no greater calling than to provide compassion and love to those in need.

    ------------------

    Written by Rachel Giarrizzo, CNA
    http://www.nursingassistantcentral.com
  6. 0
    I've read that. It's very sweet. It breaks my heart how people are treated sometimes. I think that my user name is my calling. To love the unloved.
  7. 0
    I agree. There are some CNA's out there who shouldnt be CNA's. I know I work with a few of them. They leave the residents soaking wet, talk to them like they dont exist and just dont give a SH#t. It bugs me. The LTC place I work at starts you at $12.25 and hour and that is fairly good pay. They are doing this job just to pay bills. I need to pay my bills also but I do care. Some of the LPNS's where I work tell me I care too much and do my job way too well at times and it ****** the other aids off. I cant help it that I care and that when I get older, I would want to be treated decently and feel loved.
    I am going to nursing school but I did become an aid to pay some bills but I wanted some experience in the nursing profession. I wanted to see what its like and get a feel for things. Its just not about the job. Its more than that.
    Anyway. I could vent until I turn blue about why some people become CNA's. But then I would just get myself all worked up. I do question why some become CNA's if they dont care about anything else but the money.
  8. 0
    I commend anyone who can be a CNA. I did it for six months in a hospital and will never do it again. I got tired of the low quality of people I had to work with (cussing,smoking,gut grabbing women literally) and the constant berating of nurses (no offense,only to the ones I worked with at that time) of them not thinking that I wasn't working fast enough to bathe their patients while they sat up front and eat and read magazines. CNA's are worth their weight in gold times ten. MSN had a article rating the top 7 worst and dangerous jobs to work in the USA and Nursing Assistant was listed number 6 with factors such as low pay and health hazards along with oil rig workers and lumberjacks and soldiers.
  9. 0
    God, that essay left me crying.!! Wow. Very True
  10. 0
    Just though I would share again the letter I gave to my caregivers for Christmas! Being a CNA is a wonderful self sacrificing position, and worthy of respect and much praise!

    And for those that have read this...and those reading it now...YES I got flack from the Admin for this! Just this week I got called in for having "issues", and turns out that they think I am trying to be a PR for CNA's and not a RN which they hired me for! They also told me I was getting bascially too big for my britches...WHAT? For saying Thank you in a Christmas Letter!?!?!?! Oh goodness golly..if I am going to get a tongue lashing for saying a heart felt thank you to my CNA staff...all I can say is Bring it on! If thanking someone is wrong, then someone in admin needs to go! (they are mad, just like I thought, that they didn't do this first...I know that is what this is all about!)

    Anyway..enjoy, and for you CNA's out there, I consider this as how I feel about all hard working CNA's out there..so it is for you too!!!!



    To my wonderful CNA's!
    When I think of the gift of giving, I only need to look down a hallway, or in the breakroom and know that I work with the kindest of givers this planet has! From wiping a tear off a cheek, to holding one up so they may take a step, to cleaning a person that may not be able to, and providing the greatest gift of all...a chance for dignity, love and health for the rest of someone's life!
    I see the kindness of the Holiday Season daily...in your eyes, in your smiles...and yes, even in a frustrated face when the day has been long and hard! I know that in your heart you do this because it is part of your own special natural glowing personality that can never be dulled...but keeps on shining come what may! And I can't tell you how impressed, appreciative, and down right proud I am to work with such a wonderful group of people!
    When I think of the Holidays wishes I can't help but think of you all, of your families, and of all the hard work and sacrifice you and yours give during the year. The countless birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays we all have missed so that we can take care of our residents who need us. I consider not only your sacrifices, but those of your families too, and I wish with every part of me that you and yours have a very special and Happy Holiday Season!
    You certainly deserve this and more!!! For the first time in my work career, I feel like I have a very large extended family...and I am truly blessed to have the honor of knowing such fine, wonderful, caring and supportive people like yourselves! I am not use to getting to know those who I work with, something I just never felt comfortable doing...but I can't help but feel a warm glow when I talk to others about the great set of people I work with! Even when I get that Nurse voice of "WHAT?!?!"over the walkie, or that look of "okay one more thing on my plate and I will...." I go home in my car thinking how lucky I am to have folks that understand that despite the craziness we all go through, and yes..the subsequent crabbiness (yeah that's an understatement..LOL!)...we are still there for each other! We certainly are a team, and through times of happiness and sorrow, frustration and joy...we get the job done for folks that can not do it for themselves. And that, my friends, is a talent to say the least, and a thing you can only give if you truly know how to care!
    Thank you for all you do day in and day out, and I can honestly say without a doubt, I wouldn't know what I would do without you!


    SO why be a CNA...re-read the first paragraph in the letter
  11. 0

    And for those that have read this...and those reading it now...YES I got flack from the Admin for this! Just this week I got called in for having "issues", and turns out that they think I am trying to be a PR for CNA's and not a RN which they hired me for! They also told me I was getting bascially too big for my britches...WHAT? For saying Thank you in a Christmas Letter!?!?!?! Oh goodness golly..if I am going to get a tongue lashing for saying a heart felt thank you to my CNA staff...all I can say is Bring it on! If thanking someone is wrong, then someone in admin needs to go! (they are mad, just like I thought, that they didn't do this first...I know that is what this is all about!)


    Oh my goodness what a bunch of grumpies.

    At least YOU showed appreciation for them. A "PR for CNA's"? Do THEY ever show appreciation for their CNAs in any tangible way? Or do they think a paycheck is thanks enough?
  12. 0
    TriageRN-I've said it before, and I'll say it again; You rock!

    You should come to AZ and work with me!

    And as far as appreciation is concerned, my ADON goes out of her way to show appreciation for the CNAs. She's the kind of nurse I hope to be someday.
    Last edit by lovingtheunloved on Jan 13, '05


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