ericaej 2,074 Views
Joined Jan 8, '12.
Posts: 53 (23% Liked)
Hello nurses and nursing students!
I just wanted to take a minute and thank all of the nurses that help future nurses everyday while they are in the clinical setting. Nursing students can really tell who is passionate about teaching and precepting and it makes a whirl-wind of difference to our clinical experience. I can't wait until I'm a nurse so I can do that for a special student one day.
I'm a CNA and an LPN student. I had a different career previously in a totally different (non-health related) field. I wanted a change and started working as a CNA to see if healthcare was for me. And yes, I have seen lazy, useless CNAs. And I've seen very good ones. Usually good ones. However, even the good ones have a very high turn over rate because of how poorly they are treated. Much higher it seems than nurses. In general, I have been shocked at how grossly over-worked they are and how little they are paid. Yes it is "unskilled" labor in the sense that if it only takes about 2.5 weeks to get certified. However, to be a good CNA, it takes innate caring, good intuition and *very* hard work (both physically and emotionally). My response to this whole thing that comes up often (CNAs complaining about nurses or vice versa) is that I think there would be less complaining about CNAs if they were treated better and paid better. No, not as much as nurses. But goodness, they are the ones who spend most of the time with patients who are in any type of LTC or rehab type setting. It seems that since they are entrusted with so much responsibility (and they are) they should be better compensated. I think in that case the job would become more desirable, the competition more stiff, and ergo the quality of worker much better. Otherwise, yeah, you might end up with a lazy, bitter, obese tech who ignores granny and spends too much time complaining. In essence, a facility gets what it pays for.
It's a choice. Not to toot my own horn, just trying to make an example, but when I was a CNA, I took it as an opportunity to grow as a human being by showing compassion and humility assisting people with their most intimate care. It's like a sacred honor to be the one trusted to look at someone else's hoo-hah on a daily basis. For that duty to be treated with disdain because "the RN is lazy" is just messed up. Look at yourself and what you were hired to do, and what your duty to the patient is, not what other people are or aren't doing.
One time, when I worked in an LTC, I was doing my rounds and I heard a blood curdling shriek. I ran down to the room to see what was going on. It was a new resident. It was her first night at our facility. She didn't know where she was, and she wanted to go home. *I* was the one who was there for her, who held her hand and had to tell her she *was* home. I turned on the light and looked at the pictures on her wall and asked her about the people in the pictures. Eventually, she calmed down and was able to lie down and go to sleep. Because of ME. The CNA.
Of course, I had no "training" in what to do in this situation. I had to rely on what my instincts told me as a human being.
I had another lady that would call me several times a night to help her to the bathroom. She always talked to me about her house, and how she wished she could go back there. *I* was the one who held her hand and listened.
Another time, I had a resident fall and sustain a head lac while I was getting her up. EMS came and took her to the hospital. When all the fuss had died down, her room mate looked at me and said "Can you get me out of here, too?".
When I was being oriented, the CNA told me "He hits.". I found out that he only tried to hit when you went into his room and tossed him around like a wet blanket instead of treating him like a human being with dignity.
Being a CNA is its own sacred duty. Being a CNA gave me the foundation for my practice as an RN, and I cannot stand aides who would rather focus on what the nurse is doing than focus on their own practice and the human being that is in front of them.
I don't understand how you can look at yourself in the mirror knowing that you gave more of a crap about what the RN was doing than what the human being in front of you needed.
We ALL work hard, NONE of us (CNA, LPN, RN) has an easy job by any means. We are meant to be a TEAM. Each member of the TEAM needs to be realistic here. You are paid for the education and hard work you have put in. RN's have more education, thus we are paid more. BUT, we have more responsibility and liability. Just because someone see's me sitting at a desk does NOT mean what I'm doing isn't hard. We have the job of critically thinking through patient care, meaning our job isn't limited to a collection of physical tasks but making decisions and looking at a bigger picture to make sure each patient is getting what they need when they need it. There are so many subtle nuances in patient care that if missed can mean the difference between life and death...the more education = higher pay = higher risk, liability and responsibility.
As others have said, if you don't like your "station" then do something about it. Many of the nurses who some CNA's may hate...well they may be willing to cheer those CNA's along and mentor you should you express the interest to move further with your education in healthcare.
I as RN am thankful for any help I get, be it from a CNA, LPN or a fellow RN. It's not about pay (RN's aren't paid well enough for all the hard work to get the RN and the hard work we do as the RN honestly). IT'S ABOUT THE PATIENT, time spent hating each other is time and energy taken away from helping someone who really needs it - this for me is the bottom line.
I've come across nurses who really do think CNAs are beneath them and who will ring the damn call bell for the CNA when the CNA was clearly running ragged. I've also come across nurses who feel CNAs are worth their weight in gold and appreciate us. It takes all kinds. I will say being a CNA is usually much more physically demanding and in that sense, harder, than being a nurse but that's not to say being a nurse isn't harder in most other ways than being a CNA. I no longer worry about where I am on the totem pole or who's job is harder or who can do what. If there is something I can help the nurse with I'm game and they repay the favor. I absolutley find the hospital setting much much better to work in as a CNA. In LTC I wasn't alowed to so much as change an o2 tank or apply barrier cream......insane.
At my job, some of them are good and proactive; some of them are awful and do the bare minimum. I know which ones are which. Whatever...taking care of patients is my job and I do what needs to be done, and complaining about them won't do a darn thing to improve the situation because they've been there for decades. When the awful ones are on, the nurses are answering a majority of the call lights, toileting, cleaning up, etc. I delegate when I'm busy with something else, and I follow up on it because I know I have to to get it done.
I nearly went off one day when this exchange occurred: I answered a call light, and the patient needed to be boosted to eat. Don't ask why the boost wasn't done when the tray was delivered. I haven't a clue. Anyway, I stepped out of the room and asked the first CNA I saw to help me with the boost. She looked at me and said, "That's not my patient." I answered, "It's not my patient either. I need to boost her. Come in now." I ignored the eye roll, and the patient got boosted with the CNAs help.
In an average day with the awful CNAs, I do at least one 1:1 feed while charting with one hand. I clean up poop at least once on an incontinent patient. I toilet most of my patients and chart while I'm waiting for them to be done in the bathroom or on the BSC. I do at least one missed chem stick. I remove most of the food trays and chart intake. I empty most of the urinals and commodes and chart output. I make the beds on patients who are usually independent, but are out for a procedure or are sitting in the chair. I get my deconditioned patients up to the chair by myself. (I've even had a CNA tell me she needed help getting a patient up to the chair after I asked her to do it, and I ended up doing it myself while she stood behind me.) I do oral care on bedbound patients and I turn them q 2 because it's usually not done by the CNAs because they "don't have the time." The only thing I absolutely will not do is a bedbath; that I always delegate that. It's a responsibility of their job, but it still needs to be purposefully delegated because they try to skip them.
Somehow, they are always "too busy," but I manage to do their job and mine and still get out on time. The only time where everything goes to hell is when I have unstable patients that need a lot of interventions or I call a rapid response. For the most part, though, I wish we would just get rid of them, change to primary nursing, and lower our ratios.
I've been a CNA, an LPN, and now an RN. We all work hard.
When I was a CNA, I worked my tail off.
I cannot believe some of the patients I was given when I was an LPN. That was wrong.
As an RN, I work harder than I ever did as a CNA. I would never have believed this if you had told me when I was a CNA. Back then, I thought I did all the hard stuff. I was so wrong, and I owe a huge apology to any RN I ever disparaged or thought was being "lazy".
I have a lot of friends who didn't pass so I can't talk to many of my classmates about this (dont want to make anyone feel bad) but I had to tell someone... I made straight A's this semester! Made an A in Mental Health, Med-Surg I, & Nursing Research! I did it! I'm officially a senior! Two more semesters left and I will have a BSN!!
My number one tip is NCLEX questions. It seems like knowledge is important, but just as important is knowing what the questions are testing you to see if you know. More often than not, it's less complex than we think it is
A lot of practice questions and studying hard... There is no way around it... But trust me when u make it to the end ... That feeling is "unexplanable"... Coming form a new grad... Good luck!
I'd care for him as I'd care for anyone else. I don't know my patients histories unless they tell me. For all I know I have cared for murderers, rapists, etc.
I just got accepted into an internship in Trauma/Surgical ICU!!! It is at a level one trauma center in Texas. I am excited but nervous to start because this is a regional trauma center, 200+ new graduates applied for this position and I was one of the lucky 20 who where hired. I know there are a million and a half things I need to learn but from an experienced ICU nurse, what are 3 or 4 things I should know going into this position? What are your opinions of new grads working trauma??
Oh and as a side note, to all the students out there... Don't let anyone tell you that your cannot do something! Everyone told me there is no way you will get to work T/SICU as a new grad! Dream big and fallow your heart!!!
Think about how glad she was to have a caring student with her all morning. It would have been horrible for her to spend her last time on earth alone because her nurse was busy with her other patients. You did good.
It's not necessarily that nursing school is harder in and of itself. It's that nursing school requires a totally different way of thinking and using knowledge than most people have ever done; this is almost always true of the hard-science prerequisites. People who got As in chemistry and anatomy and physiology now have to use that education to solve problems in a different realm, with a lot of confounding variables thrown in for good measure. This requires a different kind of putting things together; shifting gears is hard for some people.
Conversely, some folks who did less well in the hard sciences sometimes (sometimes) find that once they have the framework for putting it all together, what they had to learn in their science classes makes so much more sense. Then they can re-learn their sciences and patch any old gaps with a new sense of purpose and understanding.
Keep seeking those different ways of thinking. Always ask "Why?" and "How does that work?" The big picture is hard sometimes but it's really where it's all going to be when you're out, so try to find ways to grasp it now.
I think there are some good points put forth OP. I must, however, state that in general, it's based on oversimplification of a problem many times. Many people that are bullied are quite often not victim-like personalities, and in fact, can and do stand up for themselves and others.
All it takes to be bullied is to be somehow different, or in particular, to be considered some sort of threat. This has been so since the beginning of time.
Being considered "confrontational" will often put you in a position of further abuse or misrepresentation of truth that leads to more abuse.
Sure, you can choose to not see yourself as a victim. Great! I wholeheartedly agree.
You can't, however, control others, you can only control yourself. If another person feels threatened or is in some way plagued by insecurity or a need to control or dominate, you can't can't change them anymore than people who get raped while jogging can change being a target. Should people that jog, stop jogging--well, maybe they should change where they jog once they are aware that the environment is unsafe.
It's just too easy to say there is some magic fix wherein you show you that you refuse to be a victim. Don't get me wrong. I hear what you are saying loud and clear and much of it has merit. It is not, however, a panacea for the problems that lie within people.
Many people view bullying as a problem that is limited to bullies and victims. It has been noted that there is strong research that indicates that bullying involves more than the bully-victim dyad (Salmivalli, C., 2001). Bullying events occur in public, such that these incidents have witnesses. There have been studies from playground observations that found that most of the time, more than a few peopler were "witnesses, bystanders, assistants to bullies, reinforcers, or defenders of victims" ( O'Connell,Peppler, and Craig, 1999). What was demonstrated was that more than half the time, peers some how supported the bullies even as "passive bystanders," and only in about a quarter of the incidents didn't witnesses help the victims by directly intervening to support the victim, discouraging the bully, or somehow getting the bully to curtain the bullying behavior.(O'Connell, Peppler, & Craig, 1999).
Different approaches may be needed depending upon the context and situation. Victims do not need to blame themselves for being harassed. This is counterproductive. Bullies may have issues beyond low self-esteem, regardless of their bravado--they may have anger issues or have learned to displace their anxieties. But often they can only get help with that after they are faced with their behavior and have to accept a set of consequences that go along with it. It's only have looking at their behavior and accepting consequences that they can hopefully be in a position to move forward in developing better coping strategies or deal with their own core issues.
What people in all environments MUST understand is that bullying affects everyone. Coworkers, peers, as well as see bullying as a problem, and that everyone is responsible. There idea of there being an "innocent bystander" must be scrapped. There is no such thing as an innocent bystander.
Salmivalli, C. (2001). Group view on victimization: Empirical findings and their implications. In J. Juvonen & S. Graham (Eds.), Peer Harassment in School: The Plight of the Vulnerable and Victimized. 398-419. New York: Guilford Press.
O'Connell, P., Pepler, D. and Craig, W. (1999). Peer involvement in bullying: insights and challenges for intervention. Journal of Adolescence, 22, 437 - 452.
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