Is it me or am I missing something?

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    If the organization's climate or culture does not support its nurses, eventually, patient care suffers and good nurses will move on!

    Is it me or am I missing something?

    I've been working here for almost 7 months, trying to stick out my one year for experience and my resume'. However, I am conscientious and aim to do a good job for my patients and company when I'm working.

    However, the culture & climate here are very negative, to say the least. Staffing is extremely short, and on night shift, no matter the census, there are only 2 or 3 nurses for 48 or more patients.

    Management treats nurses like poop, and the nursing assistants are basically allowed to do what they want and/or what they've always done, no matter what the nurse delegates to them. For example, I asked a nursing assistant to, "I need you to empty a foley in room #ABC, and could you please get room #123 a fresh cup of water. Thank you." This nursing assistant responded, (in her accented voice), "You do not understand, I not able to do all that. You stress me out. I need peace and I can not rest."

    I walked away from her while she was still going on and on. I informed the Charge nurse and I was told, "You shouldn't say, 'I need you," and you don't have to ask like that." Note: Both the nursing assistant and the Charge nurse are from the same continent, with very similar cultures, as are many of the nurses and nursing assistants in this facility.

    The nursing assistant continues with her antics and raving, while loudly talking to the Charge nurse, says, "This girl (pointing to me) is stressing me out. She is asking me to do this and do that and I can not rest. I am tired. I have no peace. This girl is stressing me. I will leave. I call my husband and he come to get me, because of this girl," (again, all while pointing to me, as I keep tending to my patients, ignoring them both, and not responding.

    I was astounded that an employee would actually fuss and complain to a charge nurse about NOT being able to 'rest' and needing 'peace' while at work. I was equally astounded that the charge nurse entertained this foolishness, but, what do I know?

    Management, by and large, are no better. Management seems to play the 'divide and conquer' technique and they pick their cliques-nurses and staff that they manipulate to report back to them what nurses are talking about, hearsay, etc. I was even accused and flat out told my manager, "I find your accusation professionally demeaning, and since you are accusing me of this foolishness, I want to see/know what was said, by whom, when, etc." To date, I have received nothing. Keep in mind my direct supervisor & DON are RNs, too.

    Needless to say, professional growth & development are not encouraged. Continuing education are not supported; and don't dare present yourself as an independent thinker, looking to grow and learn and develop professionally, personally, skillfully, and as a nurse, in general.

    I had a few questions that I've been mulling over: How and why do organizations get like this? Why would some organizations NOT support its nursing staff? Why do nurses in these types of organizations not get involved and present a united front to management about the working conditions?

    For nursing assistants/CNA/GNAs/PCTs: Have you ever refused an assignment from a nurse? Why? What happened? What do you view as the nurse's role & responsibility on your team? What do you need from your nurse to have a successful shift for patients and the team? How can we as nurses, help you grow and develop in your job & skills? What are your weaknesses/strengths/areas of improvement?

    I'm curious. What are some of your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, comments, criticisms, etc? I'm open to hearing from you.
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    About Eschell2971, RN

    Eschell2971 has '2' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Acute Care'. From 'Maryland'; Joined Mar '14; Posts: 58; Likes: 227.

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    6 Comments

  4. by   bebbercorn
    Your post is a little off-putting with the emphasis on accents/being from the same continent/etc. I am going to side with the charge nurse on the "I need you to..." comment. I try to remember just how hard CNA's work and are as human as I, and I try to ask "Hey, Janet. I'm a little slammed with xyz. Would you mind bringing some water to pt B? Thanks." The wording "I need you to..." can come off the wrong way.... Just my two cents.
  5. by   alcraig
    To answer your question directed at CNAs, no I have never refused a request from a nurse. It is my understanding that the RN has the authority to delegate to the CNA and following their instruction is the professional and courteous thing to do. Of course, CNAs and nurses alike get very busy. If I am asked by a nurse to do something while I still have a million other tasks to complete, I simply let her/him know that I'll get to it as soon as I finish up my current task. I have been put off by the manner in which a nurse has asked something of me. As long as you ask in a respectful way (ex. When you get a chance, Room 123 is asking for coffee...As soon as you can, will you please...) there should be no problem. I've found that when people are quite busy, tensions are high, and this can affect how someone perceives/gives a message. Perhaps this is what happened with your CNA. Cultural differences do play a part in how people communicate. This may have also contributed to her reaction. If you have to work with her again it wouldn't hurt to have a discussion with her about what your intentions were to clear any animosity up. Good luck!
  6. by   CTtoRN
    I would have said something dumb like "Please call your husband and I'll call Trump" or whatever. Rest at home! Geez, you are at work.
  7. by   ImLovingIt
    The us (nurses/U.S. Natives/whatever group you pick) vs them (CNAs/non-native English speakers/whatever is not part of "us") thinking is probably not helping your cause. Some of the best RNs/CNAs/whatever I have worked with have immigrated from other countries. And some immigrants have been awful. Same with US born. Some are absolutely fantastic, and others, not so much. You need to work with everyone as part of a team. Barking out orders is going to get you no where. Please, thank you, I really appreciate it, do you have time to, could you please are all phrases that you should consider. And the occasional "hey, I emptied so and so's foley because I was in there anyway" or "I refilled so and so's ice pack, can you refill it again between x and y o'clock?" (But don't announce you did the "aide's work" just to pat yourself on the back -- the cna likely doesn't need to know you took someone to the bathroom, for instance)
  8. by   TriciaJ
    The CNA couldn't get any rest or peace while at work and the charge nurse advocated for that? Maybe you do need to work on your presentation a bit, but that's beside the point. You should be able to delegate without walking on eggs. If the CNA was already overloaded, she should have just communicated that.

    OP, your workplace sounds dysfunctional. I would move on. You can try to stick it out for a full year, but no harm in starting to look around.

    To answer your questions as to why people are like that: the CNA gets to be paid for minimal work. The charge nurse doesn't want to deal with anything too strenuous, so she greases the squeakiest wheel. Organizations that don't support their staff are usually saving themselves time and/or money. The world is full of people who don't do the right thing.

    Use your remaining time in this job to brush up on all your skills, including interpersonal. Maybe a slight change in presentation makes all the difference. Or not. In which case, head for the nearest exit.
  9. by   Beccal8
    Keep a note pad. Dates, times, names. Everyone has a boss. Start interviewing and when your notepad is full take it to corporate. There is always the state board, too.

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