Co-complainers. Is anything good enough?

  1. 4
    I'm sure there are a million threads on this topic, but I just need to vent a little in the process of getting opinions/advice.

    So, I "started at the bottom" by becoming a CNA prior to nursing school and working my way up so to speak. That being said, I know what a hard job it is. I was a CNA and then an intern on a very busy floor. There were constantly several call lights going off, someone always needing to be cleaned up after being incontinent, several people on Q2 turns, everyone (between 10-20 patients per one CNA depending if it was day or night shift) on Q4 vitals, people who needed help eating, ambulating, etc, etc. I literally couldn't take a 30 minute break unless I made a conscious effort and left the floor. I was told we were supposed to get two 15 minute breaks as well, but I think that's a myth.

    Fast forward....I'm a nurse in a very different environment. My job now is not nearly as stressful even during the day shift, but I'm currently on nights where it's even less hectic. Frankly, compared to my floor days, it's a piece of cake. Still, there are CNA's and especially one in particular who seemed frustrated by my mere presence as a new nurse and has made comments about "RNs who think they can't do" certain tasks. Keep in mind....there are no incontinent patients, no call lights, nobody who needs help eating or ambulating, etc. I've actually acted as a CNA even though I'm a nurse on a couple of days/nights due to short staff. I never felt overwhelmed or like I needed help from the other RNs. Not only did I do the basic job duties, but I took the trash out more than once (one time is expected, and enough really), wiped down every possible surface you can think of, and stocked every possible item that could possibly be stocked. I literally had to look for things to do to keep busy. So, you can imagine that I'm a little surprised when this CNA huffs and puffs because she has to stop playing her electronic game or put down the book she is reading to get a patient a drink or check a (as in one) blood pressure. I thought it was just this one person with a horrible attitude who just didn't want to work, period. THEN....

    A different tech (who generally has a good attitude) was doing personal things on the computer which was no problem. So, we got a patient who needed to have an eye on them WHILE THEY SLEPT and when I told them, they make a comment about how the nurses aren't doing anything.

    WHAT?! I actually said, "Well, I'm doing A, B, and C so if you want to go do this then I can watch them for awhile." I know it can be hard sitting in one spot for a long time. I'VE DONE THAT! They declined. Just a side note...the co-worker could still work on the computer as they were doing as long as the patient was asleep and within view.

    I started to think....it must just be everyone instead of just the one CNA I mentioned before. Is there just a general concensus by all CNA's that they do everything and the nurses do nothing? I try to do things to "help out" even when there's really no need for help. For example, I'll bag up all the trash if I'm not busy, wipe down everything, or help out with vitals. It never gets acknowledged. I don't need a pat on the back, but if you're going to act like "the nurses" never do anything regardless of what we do, then what's the point in making an effort? That's how I'm starting to feel.

    I don't know if it's because I'm "the new nurse" and they don't respect me, or if this is what I can expect forever. I do feel like I don't get as much respect just because when someone needs to leave the floor or take a break, etc. they will go around to the other nurses to make sure it's "okay" but they don't ask me. I would never say no (well, unless it was totally inappropriate timing)...so it's not that.

    Am I crazy or does any of this ring a bell? I'm starting to think I need to learn to accept this as the way it is and let it roll off my back, but it really bothers me. I don't even know how to stop caring that someone views me (or us in general) as "lazy" or "better" than them. I won't even ask a CNA to do ANYTHING because of this attitude. Even if they're sitting down reading a book and I'm overwhelmed, I'll just do things (that they are capable of doing and are often expected to do by other nurses) on my own because I don't want to get the attitude. What to do?!
    Hygiene Queen, BCgradnurse, Esme12, and 1 other like this.
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  3. 16 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I feel ya, the techs in our unit have a cake job. And I say that as a former tech in that unit, so I know it's cake! They roll eyes, complain about the most inane things, like how they have to answer phones. Well, of course? Do you want to get paid only to Facebook all day? They don't do vitals, or toileting. God forbid if you can get them to do the QC checks on the glucometer in the morning when they are supposed to. I light on fire when I see the stat checks have been done already and it will refuse to let me check mine.

    I tried to stay out of it and still do. I do for myself mostly, since I am the newbie. I only can vent on here. Its the work culture and everyone accepts it. I really don't have ANY advice for you than hang in there? Pick your battles and only put your foot down when there is patient endangerment.
  5. 2
    My unit is quite busy, and I work days and even still.... for one, I would NEVER speak to a nurse that way (or anyone else, nor would I expect them to speak to me that way) and for two, I am still willing to do whatever I can whenever I can. I loathe being bored. I would much rather run my tail off than watch the clock or read a book. (I'd get way too absorbed in a book anyways, I would be afraid to and it's totally not allowed) I am sorry my fellow CNA's are being like this to you. Please know we aren't all like that. Also, please stand up for yourself. You don't need to explain to them what you are doing, you only need to delegate to them and they need to respect that. ESPECIALLY when they are doing jack! If it continues, I would write them up or report them or whatever the chain of command is. Hope it gets better soon, :-)
    rita359 and PRICHARILLAisMISSED like this.
  6. 1
    I'm working as an aide while in nursing school and I really try to bust my hump. But I have always given everything I have to whatever I'm doing. This ain't my first rodeo,I have 15 years military service under my belt and I have worked in all kinds of environments. The last reply said it best: pick your battles. I would add to do your best and with tact, encourage what the standard should be.
    jadelpn likes this.
  7. 4
    If I were in your shoes, I would read post #2 slowly, absorb it and then read it again.

    I understand that since you're the "New Nurse" you just want to go with the flow and not make waves. I get that. I also wouldn't fault you for doing their jobs for them if they were swamped and you were caught up. But, If they're really on FB or reading a book or magazine, then it is a bad idea IMHO to do their job for them. For one, they'll expect it after a while, and 2, you're paid to be a Nurse, not a CNA. Why should you do for free (as I'm sure you're not getting paid extra to do their duties so they can FB) what your employer is paying them to to?

    Just my 2 cents.
    redhead_NURSE98!, Stcroix, KayRN1, and 1 other like this.
  8. 2
    "RN's who think they can't do...."(OH, I am capable, just can't right now....wanna do the paperwork for this admission for me...if you can tear yourself from facebook? Oh, you CAN'T???? OH, my bad.......)
    "CNA's who won't do...." (and this is your JOB and what you get PAID for)
    Sarcasm button off now.
    Pick battles, but have a battle plan in place at start of shift. "I am going to give you a quick run down on what I need you to do for the patients tonight....WE can go and turn and repo and peri care if needed--so that will be at 0100. Be sure if rm 333 calls to go to the bathroom we are right on that, or he will be incontinent, and we don't want that. It embarrasses him. If he rings and you get him up, see what you think about how he moves. We don't want him going home until we are sure he is somewhat steady, so let me know. I will get vitals now, but I may need your help at 0300 depending on how the night goes. Then you can take your meal break? So maybe you want to stock now, and I will find you at 0100 so we can go down the line and get people turned and clean. Thanks, you rock, now I am off to assess my patients for the night."
    If this doesn't work, and the CNA still disappears or flat out says "no" then you need to bring it to the attention of charge.
    Hygiene Queen and KayRN1 like this.
  9. 0
    I hear you. Where I work I can count maybe 3 of the CNA's that I work with on days that hold their own and are available to the nurses on the floor who need help with clients lifting, etc.. Then there are those on days mind you, that do just as little as possible and then sit in the far corner either talking on the phone or reading a magazine. The sad thing is the manager sees her doing this. Call lights go off and the clerk instead of asking the aide to do the task within her scope of practice will stop a RN with her arm full for another client to get the call light. Crazy but true. I have gotten use to not really having CNA's on the floor as most hospitals are doing away with them as cost reduction. Makes since if they are not truly working anyway.

    I really do appreciate the ones who are the true team players out there with us. They are truly our eyes and ears for our clients.
  10. 2
    Quote from Sunny68
    I hear you. Where I work I can count maybe 3 of the CNA's that I work with on days that hold their own and are available to the nurses on the floor who need help with clients lifting, etc.. Then there are those on days mind you, that do just as little as possible and then sit in the far corner either talking on the phone or reading a magazine. The sad thing is the manager sees her doing this. Call lights go off and the clerk instead of asking the aide to do the task within her scope of practice will stop a RN with her arm full for another client to get the call light. Crazy but true. I have gotten use to not really having CNA's on the floor as most hospitals are doing away with them as cost reduction. Makes since if they are not truly working anyway.

    I really do appreciate the ones who are the true team players out there with us. They are truly our eyes and ears for our clients.
    I've actually made the comment (not to them) that I'd rather them not be there at all. The one who I work with the most often does so very little to "help" that I would rather her not even be there. It irritates me that she sits there reading and playing games when I'm swamped. I never had time to even use the phone and call home (other than on break) to check on my kids, much less sit around reading. Ugh.
    redhead_NURSE98! and anotherone like this.
  11. 2
    As long as the slackards are allowed to get by with being slackards that is exactly what they will do. I don't know how long you have been a nurse but it doesn't make sense for you to be doing their work and yours. Pick your battles but you DO have battles you have to fight. There is NO reason the institution should pay them if they refuse to do the job they were hired to do. You will have to have documentation, so begin keeping a log to back up what your problems with them are. They ARE NOT hired to be on facebook or to read books or sleep. These are things managers should deal with if you make them aware of it. Maybe you need to warn these people before you actually go to administration but if they don't shape up when they have been warned then do what you have to do. It may be good to talk to other nurses there and do it together.

    Getting into what our culture does not teach young people about work would fill volumes. Some of us were taught at home from an early age what was expected of us as young people and carried it into our adult work life. I have heard that some young people only see themselves as growing up to be on the "dole". Maybe that is what these people want. Somebody should show them the door.
  12. 0
    I am a CNA on a busy unit in a hospital and also in nursing school. I have seen it both ways. We have some aides that will do the bare minimum and some that work their tails off. We also have some nurses that will peruse E-bay while call lights are going off on both sides of the pod. If I was in your position, I would speak with the CNA in question off to the side and explain your feelings. If you still get flack, then I would report the person. You deserve to be treated as any other nurse, even if you are new"er". Good luck and I hope you get to work with CNA's that do care about the patients and work with you instead of against you.


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