Wrote up a CNA, but I was the one who got the boot! - page 3

About two weeks ago, I had an unfamiliar CNA on my night shift. She was 'helping out' with a shortage apparently. I am new on the job as well. I had previously been instructed to ''hold accountable'... Read More

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    OP didn't do anything wrong. It's everyone's job to answer the call-lights, but the aide was sitting there ignoring hers. How can OP be at fault? Had the aide been doing her job, to begin with, the nurses wouldn't have even had to go back there.

    Don't feel bad OP. I'm a baby nurse, like you and I don't help the aides when I'm busy with my work.
    It's one thing when I'm not doing anything. But...if I am and unless something's wrong with our residents or the aides are severely understaffed (like 2-3 aides on the floor)? You'd better believe that the Med Pass takes precedence... my paperwork takes precedence... my feedings take precedence... my woundcare treatments take precedence.
    That's how it is. That's how I work. I shouldn't even have to explain 'why'.

    When I was an aide, I never bothered the nurses and med-aides to help me out with 'this, that and the other'. Never expected it either.

    I see that it's different with some aides. Now that I'm on the 'other side, I mean. On the evening shift, no matter how it roates, there's always one who just waltzes up and bugs the hell out of me. It's always 'me', too. I'd imagine that it's because I'm 'newly minted'?
    They'll just waltz up and start demanding things. I was in the midst of drawing morphine for one of my little hospice pt's.
    "Can you help me move --- ?"
    Dude, I'm pulling meds! There's a freakin' aide, like, 2 doors down! Like I'm going to just put the narcs up, my hospice pt on hold and service her?

    Did I help?
    Nope. LOL I tried and I've found that it throws me off. It throws me behind. I'll be wasting narc's, throwing 'the count' off and everything else...and you know that we can't be doing that.

    Now, I do help and it's usually on my time. I help when I'm not nagged and pushed to do so. When I finish, I'll go to the aides on my hall? "You need help?" If I see an aide struggling and it's close to their time to leave. "You need some help?"
    If I mess up and get some formula on their sheets? I'll put on some gloves and help them fix it. It's difficult, yeah... b/c you're crunched for time. The aides have no concept of how crunched for time you truly are. I usually don't have time to be changing sheets and crap. Yet, I volunteer to help because I don't like to 'create' work for people. I can't go in there, messing up... then, "Oh, I'm sorry. Can you fix that for me?"
    That's just making their job harder. I feel like I could at least offer to help out. The aides are great. They're thankful. My aides are wonderful.

    Last weekend, on my break - my break - I changed and put to bed two pts for another hall. Did I get any 'thanks' from the relieving aide coming on shift? Nope...but he's the sort who'd be the first to whine about lazy nurses.

    That's the thing, though. I changed the residents for their personal comfort. I put them to bed because they were tired. They are MY pts and I'm responsible for their care + comfort. 'Helping the aide' doesn't register where he's concerned. Had it been for his sake?
    He wouldn't been stuck doing it by himself. That's just me being honest. I cannot stand working with whiny, lazy people who operate on this 'pass the buck' mentality.

    ...and to bring a little clarity into the situation? This is the same guy who, later on in that same shift, refused to put the pt (that I'd changed) on the toilet. He told the Charge that they 'were understaffed' and 'these people are heavy' and blah, blah, blah.
    For one, there were 6 aides on the floor. Secondly, he was working the easiest hall: The male hall. Thirdly, the residents aren't heavy. As a matter of fact, he only has to move 4 ppl. Half the people on his hall are walkie-talkie. Fourthly, I used to be an aide. In light of the facts aforementioned? Don't come crying to me about 'what you don't want to do' and 'how hard' your job is.

    Basically, he didn't want to do it. Basically, our little resident has to remain incontinent because his lazy aide 'doesn't want to' toilet him properly.
    The charge just took it. I'm serious. Of course, I didn't say anything. I was paying attention as always when senior nurses 'do their thing'. I look for these 'teaching moment'.
    It was a teaching #fail...but I still learned. LOL She's very knowledgeable, but when it comes to management?
    She's Ms 'Get-Along'. LOL
    However, I just listened and learned. Despite my exp in other areas? I'm the baby nurse. I stay in my lane. LOL

    ...but...I would've written his a..s up so fast....!
    I'm prior-service military and quite the little 'authoritarian'. Laying down the law is no thing for me to do. LOL
    Management is prior service and I know that I would've been backed up. It's not about anyone being on 'my side'.
    It's not about 'the aide disobeying an order'.
    It's about 'the aide not doing their job'. I'd happily pick up the slack if we could get a better aide in his slot.

    OP, I hope that you find another position. If they're running you down in front of everyone (and they are if the aide knew enough to throw it in your face), you're better off elsewhere. I'd try to go elsewhere. There's just too much unprofessionalism for me to handle. It probably won't get any better, either. Whatever you decide. Good luck.
    tnmarie, MotherRN, and anotherone like this.

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    Quote from MotherRN
    I was on another hallway finishing with a resident. I came out of that room to answer the light, quite a distance from where I was. When I came around the corner, there she was, fruit cup in one hand standing at the wall chart, with her hip popped out, taking a leisurely bite, then went back to charting. She was facing the light the whole time and wearing a beeper. And only a few steps from the room. When she saw me coming, she just ignored me and kept eating/charting. She had been ignoring the light all night. So, I asked if she was going to get that and was asked the same question in return. I asked as her manager and was given an insubordinate response in return which then exploded in her hour long "You don't tell me nothin" rant in the hall outside resident rooms.

    Name another job where an employee would see their manager coming and just flat out ignore them, then be insubordinate and expect this to be okay. Only in a LTC facility where upper management doesn't hold the CNA's accountable.

    Please understand that if the light goes unanswered, then I get in trouble for poorly managing my shift and get written up. I don't have time to answer all the lights. I have more than enough nursing to do on my shift, which I also get written up for if it does not get done because I was answering too many lights. Please understand that this CNA had only been there for two hours of a four hour shift. She was filling in for a peak shortage, but really just riding the clock and not doing much work. I didn't know she was a protected employee from the day shift who had been with the facility for years. But what I learned from her rant that night was that I was being sabotaged and blamed for things that were being openly discussed on the day shift. Why was anything being discussed with CNA's about me? So, when she came on my shift, she didn't feel she had to respect me in anyway shape or form. She told me I was not her manager and had no right to instruct her in anything. Of course, in a perfect world, things would have been by the book. But, not on my job. So I actually learned more from the ordeal about my status on the job and found that useful. Whether I had quit two weeks ago or got fired yesterday, doesn't really matter. I was only there for about 24 shifts-two months PRN. I wouldn't be able to use the place as a reference anyway. At least I will get another two paychecks out of them.

    What I had to resort to in the end was going in the room to see that the resident was okay and turning off the light (as instructed by the DON) and telling the resident someone would be right with them if it was a non urgent request. Then go back to the 10 things that had been interrupted by answering the light. Things like wound care and med passes. Some of these residents call you because they want their tray removed. Or the refuse to wait to be put to bed and are in danger of falling on the floor if you don't get them dressed and put them in the bed. Just don't have the time. With all the money this place makes, they should bring in two extra CNA's for four hours at meal/bedtime to put these people to bed in a timely manner. But, CNA's who intend to work. They are about a third the cost of the nurses so it would save in nursing overtime when we run late because we were doing CNA work due to the patient ration being too high for the CNA's and nurses.

    I'm all about teamwork. But, I'm not about doing your work while you ride the clock and play.
    I understand you completely. It is complete garbage and bs. This was a big issue on my unit.. It was a huge problem. resolved only when the manger really started cracking down on it, and some quit and were fired. If the manager is bff with them or doesn't care then it won't get better. I never asked an aide for help because I wanted to sit down on to go on facebook. I have my own job to do and am accountable for that and they have thier job to do ( aides where i work have specific tasks they are to do). thank god the problem employees mostly left or where fired.
    MotherRN likes this.
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    There must be some other details that you're not aware of. Many times we don't know how we're perceived by others, or what our colleagues really think of us. It sounds like you have some enemies--not that this is your fault because workplace politics can be uglier than the social dynamics of a middle-school cafeteria. But, whether you did something to provoke the 'mean girls' or not, they seemed to have it out for you--and have the ear of the supervisors.

    There is probably not much you can do, or even want to do in this situation; getting your job back is probably the last thing on your wish list. But, you can to is turn this into a learning opportunity. If you have any good, trustworthy friends from your employment ask them to go to lunch or have coffee with you (one at a time), then ask them to be candid and tell you what they believe happened. Ask tough questions and be prepared to hear some things you might not like or agree with... Ask what other employees thought about you or said about you (and specifically say you don't want to hear names, just their opinions). Just listen, don't interrupt or argue. Try not to react if what they say is negative--you can say, "this is really hard to hear, but I'd like to learn more." Listen carefully and sit on the information. In the next days and weeks try to consider aspects of what they told you, and try to be open-minded enough to see if there is a shred of truth in their words. If they said you were considered to be 'aloof' or 'lazy' or 'condescending'... or whatever, try to imagine if you may have inadvertently come across that way. If you can see yourself as others may have seen you, this may be a way to make some changes and avoid the same thing happening at your next job. It can be a very, very painful process, but it can lead to less pain in the future. If you can sincerely consider their critiques but not agree, then you were probably the victim of the 'mean girls'.

    Best of luck. We've all been there at some point, to some extent. It's never easy being the ostracized member of a group. Sometimes it's your fault, often it's not, and sometimes its a combination of the two. I hope you never have to deal with this problem again.
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    Quote from MotherRN
    Hey BlueDevil! I remember you from our difference of opinions on the DNP thread. Geez, you make me sound paranoid! Not the case, I assure you. But, I am taking your advice and moving on to brighter pastures just the same.

    A good thing about moving on is that as a new nurse I need more opportunity to practice procedures and not just dress the same wounds or give the same meds over and over. Hopefully, I will find someone willing to train a new grad. The local hospitals just aren't biting around here! For now, it's back to volunteering. I had to stop until my schedule evened out. Now it looks like I'm wide open in that department!!
    I don't remember you or the thread you are referring to, from Adam, so it wasn't personal. Just my observations. Good luck.
    MotherRN likes this.
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    Pattie, I knew the whole time I had a problem with one nurse on the day shift. I knew she was telling tales because she would openly accuse me of poor performance etc (had her call me at home TWICE to complain she couldn't find something that was plainly in front of her eyes and she did find while I had her on the phone and the second time she was irrate because orders had not been sent from a doctors office on my shift the evening before hers that Saturday. So, that office drops the ball on a late Friday afternoon and it's somehow my fault when I'm out giving meds and the secretary, unit manager and DON don't follow up on it either.) Keep in mind, I'm a NEW nurse these 24 shifts were my first every. And on my first weekend, all h&$# broke loose-the DON was out of the country, the unit manager took a 3 day weekend and they blindsided me with PICC care and blood draws from a PICC line that turned out to be blocked that was dumped on the brand new RN at shift change who had never been allowed to touch a PICC line in school and they all ran out the door! When I couldn't get it done, this nurse was irrate that she had to do it on her shift the next day. She was really nasty about it. Even accused me of not giving the Vanc (had to do it in the other line). Point is I turned that other cheek with her as far as I could for as long as I could. But, until the CNA issue, I didn't know that this nurses problem with me had been turned into a public one discussed on the day shift.

    I wasn't there long enough to get close enough to anyone to have lunch to listen to feedback. I got feedback from the evening LPN's who had been nurses for 20 years while still on the job. We discussed many issues, including the kid who was my sabatour. My need of training was obvious. So was my lack of proper orientation and support with the tools to do my job. I accept I need to find more training somewhere and continue to review my notes from school and improve my nursing practice. I don't fault myself for being new and having no one willing to hire and train me. Dumping me in there and saying do it because it's within your scope, then me having to pull up a youtube video to figure out how to do a procedure is not proper job training! Neither is it safe for the residents!

    What I will do differently however is I need to learn to keep my opinions to myself and not be too trusting with personal opinions with fellow nurses. You don't know who you really are dealing with for quite sometime. Having said that, the place was rumor mill central and EVERYONE made comments about whomever they were upset with for however petty an issue. I didn't do that. But, I did discuss my frustration with the nurse who kept ordering me around. I knew she had the ear of management and I knew it was going to be a problem when I had finally had enough and stopped letting her dump stuff on me and dictate orders to me. HER personal orders of what I needed to accomplish on my shift-things that I would find out later SHE had been instructed to do in the am but put off and passed off to me as though they were my ASSIGNMENT, instead of saying, "Hey I couldn't get to this. I really appreciate you helping me by getting it done on your shift." I would play on that team-not the 'mean girl' team that decides MY assignment is to give 3 enemas on my night shift when I know the real reason is to punish me because I didn't pick up her slack and call in her labs that she failed to handle on her shift and dumped on me. The doctor never called, I got busy, then it was too late. She had time in the am to call them in before giving any med that needed to be adjusted. And maybe she just needs to make sure she gets it handled on her shift. This wasn't the first time. Every lab she sends I get called in the evening to fix because they want to reject it because of improper paperwork -FIVE TIMES I had to fix her labs in the evening. That's 20-30 minutes I don't have! Was that shear incompetence on her part or calculated to waste my time?

    Anyhow, I did get competent on my job and I was getting better at it all the time. I was actively trying to learn the paperwork and paper charting (something we didn't do in school it was all computer check boxes at the hospital). I have already been evaluating my short comings and made plans for fixing my problems. For example, I want to improve my wound care skills-product knowledge and skill- I want to review the meds-I want to review charting. Those were my big growth areas. I started this post because I'm not so sure how one goes about fixing the external problems of sabatoug and insubordination. It almost seems like the best approach is to keep your head down and your mouth shut and don't create extra work and heart ache for yourself by trying to fix a broke system. Problem with that is that has not been how I roll! I do speak up and I do pay the price for it. Guess I will have to accept that or stop doing it.

    Thanks to eveyone for listening to my LONG posts. I chose to openly post my defense and frustration here because I am NOT pursuing it at the place of employment. I don't care if they read this either, it's all true.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
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    Anotherone, even the residents and their families would comment on how much we nurses ran around at night. I didn't get my dinner break that I was docked for anyway. If and when I ate, it was five-ten minutes of shoveling food in with my left hand while charting with the right. There was no sitting around the nurses station or hanging out socializing. It was the" skip dinner and forget to pee for eight hours" kinda shift. Thank you for your understanding of my situation. It's nice to hear that some managers know what it takes to build a team that works and how to cut the waste loose.
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    Quote from MotherRN
    Meanwhile, she actively sabotages me to the DON and unit manager by tattle telling any imagined flaw from my shift (she's 7-3, I'm 3-11 lets also throw in there that an 11-7 shift exists) Basically, I got tired of her dumping her left over work on me so I chose not to do it.
    You chose not to give the needed enemas? Or chose not to do work she left undone?
    I am just asking for clarification because you said you were let go for poor performance.
    Elladora likes this.
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    MedChica, thank you for your post. I appreciate you telling your story and letting me know I am not alone in what I have experienced in LTC. I came to a similar conclusion as to the priorites of my shift. I basically decided MY shift work would take priority and I would work on left over dumped stuff based on it's level of necessity. What it life threatening? Could it be done later if need be? Once I did this, I started getting out on time. All the interruptions were a pain. I lost a xanax that fell out of the bubble card because we had too many in there raking back and forth against each other until the backing on one of the bubbles ripped and a pill fell out and was lost. That was when I decided I would no longer take non life threatening emergenies interruptions while I was working with the meds. When I lost that pill, a CNA interrupted me, then a family member called to complain on the phone while I was trying to tape closed the tear in the bubble card. Then pharmacy was at the door. Later that evening, I realized I had taped shut an empty bubble and let the one with the pill in it fall on the floor somewhere and get lost. Ugh! Lesson learned!
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    SO it's back to the job junt. I'm just wondering if this will be the continual theme to nursing- back stabbing fellow nurses and lazy CNAs.

    Please advise
    Yep, that's pretty much how nursing goes. I personaly think nursing school is wasting their time teaching all those nursey things- the only 2 courses they need is sabotage and bullying and lazy CNA's
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    Quote from doomsayer
    You chose not to give the needed enemas? Or chose not to do work she left undone?
    I am just asking for clarification because you said you were let go for poor performance.
    Poor job performance was claimed because that's an easy one with a new nurse. Of course I've made mistakes, I'm new and untrained. Either you're willing to support me while I learn or you aren't. What specific performance it was, I didn't ask. They also said I was disrespectful to a nurse- (questioning orders isn't disrespectful. Being unwilling to blindly agree with the nurse on day shift when you are required to do your own assessment and use your own nursing judgement, to have her angry when your appraisal of a situation differed from hers, isn't disrespect- it's me doing my job.) I already went into that in my original post. And we were alone. So there is no witness to our conversation as claimed. The witness part is just to cover their butts. All this came to a head because of the CNA write up.

    It would be complicated to explain the situation down there but here's a short version. The cart had three regulars on it (remember, I thought I was part time, that's how many hours I had been working). We were all new graduate nurse. We started to get patients who were subacute-PICC's, serious venous ulcers, central lines, multiple co-morbidities etc. The admissions started coming more frequently and sometimes near to shift change or shortly thereafter. The instructions were for the receiving nurse to assess the patient, take report, and write a nurses note, do pain assessment, a physical assessment form, call in report to doctor and generate the MAR. Well, with four available nurses on day shift, if they came in early enough, the MAR could be done from faxed discharge summary from hospital before they arrived, and report taken from hospital as well. Then assessing them and writing the note and the pain paperwork was able to be done within an hour on arrival. Keep in mind, I'm brand new. I'm working evenings, no one is there for me to question about how to fill out paperwork. But, I did my share of assessments. What started to happen was that the day nurse was getting overtime, so they literally would dump an unknown patient on me at shift change whom I hadn't received, did know when or how they got there (so how am I to write a proper note?) and often didn't receive the report on them. This one resident was so confused he couldn't help me in anyway fill in the blanks either. So, my performance on paperwork under conditions like this would be reported as poor job performance and they would be unhappy when I came back in.I never received any write ups however. BUt my performance wasn't any worse than at least one other nurse on that cart. Remember my favorite nurse had a four month head start and administrative staff to bounce ideas off of. There is no one on my shift. WHen I couldn't finish all the left over paperwork and it started to pile up, they were more and more unhappy. But, I had to give my meds, do my treatments, answer my call bell lights, do my charting, and get off that clock. It got so bad on our cart that no one was completing their charting and everyone had overtime. Treatments weren't always getting done because time ran out. And at one point we had four files of unfinished charts pilled up on the nurses station. The night shift didn't touch em and the three new grads couldn't get them done right and run our shifts. SO, that generate a nurses meeting last week. We were told to GET oFF THE CLOCK=PERIOD. Luckily the administrative nurses finally finished off the charts, but were unhappy about it. And, the admissions slowed down so we were back to running our shifts. But, yet, I still got left over work from my favorite day shift nurse. And I apparently was the only one held accountable for the total mess on that cart. Completely inappropriate, untrue and unfair.

    The enemas- I gave one because there was only one bottle in stock in the med room anyway-shocker! I had never given one before or dealt with the bowel report, maybe I didn't write it in the proper place. I believe I put it on her medicare sheet. One other resident has dementia and is ambultory and claimed he had a bowel movement. Usually that is documented by the CNA that reported to me, so hopefully she did. With the third one, I don't really remember what happen with that, but I didn't have another enema anyway so my hands were tied. I passed it on in report to 11-7 shift.

    The lab that didn't get called in for her that she had to handle in the morning, that was the shift before. Once they told this kid to get off the clock at the end of her shift, instead of interpreting that to mean she needed to learn how to do her job within her shift time and go on home on time, she didnt speed up (she's been there six months now and should be able to do this quicker and she's full time), she just took it as a liberty that she could just clock out and leave it dumped on me. Then complain when she saw it in the morning again. I prioritized my patients needs on my shift over her unfinished paperwork. I did what I could with it, I always tried, but when it started to impact my ability to finish my treatments and they yelled at me, I had no choice but to put it on the back burner and do direct patient care first.

    I think it's pretty obvious what was going on down there was an impossible situation to be in as anew grad, maybe as any kind of nurse. Maybe if she were able to complete the administrative paperwork on her shift, then all the shifts would stop backing up. At some point I think management will have to say you have been here long enough to have speed up by now to this kid. She tries to be a thorough nurse, but she spends too much time giving report (I finally had to tell her just give me the abnormals and situations I needed to address) there are 19 people I hear report on!

    Anyhow, it was definitely an experience. And, I learned many things from it. Still not sure if it's possible to survive an active sabatour who has the ear of management. Again, thanks for the interest in the situation. As I write this, I think, "Wow that place is screwed up! And I am the lucky one to get out with when I did." Just wish the job market was better!

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