Sitters/CNA's: Thank you for "doing nothing" - page 2

by CheesePotato

19,493 Views | 38 Comments

Two mornings ago I received a distraught phone call from my mother telling me that my dad, who is suffering with end stage COPD, spine compression fractures, and a distinct lack of proper narcotic metabolism, became flighty,... Read More


  1. 2
    They can move soooo fast can't they?? Last week I had a 90 year old that kept me running back to him all night. I wish we had sitters. That gent was faster than me and I'm known for moving fast lol... No falls thankfully
    herring_RN and CheesePotato like this.
  2. 6
    ((HUGS)) It hard to see a parent not themselves and ill.......I'm sending you hugs and prayers and if prayers aren't your thing I'm sending warm positive vibes...((HUGS))
  3. 4
    Hardest thing ive ever done is sit overnight with a patient that is not acting up.
    herring_RN, CheesePotato, Twinmom06, and 1 other like this.
  4. 6
    Your timing is so interesting. We all got an email today saying that due to budget cuts, we need to call our manager at home, day or night in order to get approval for a sitter. Our aids and unit secretary hours have been decreased and falls have gone way up as it is.

    It really is a shame that the large university health system that I work for does not see the forest for the trees (I guess the dollar signs get in the way).
    herring_RN, Twinmom06, MMaeLPN, and 3 others like this.
  5. 4
    I loved this story, I am a sitter myself! Some days are easy, but some days are difficult. Patience and compassion are a must. I wouldn't have any other job right now...I have met some amazing people! <3
  6. 6
    First and foremost, I'm sorry for what you and your family are going through.

    Second, this post brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the hundreds of people I "sat" for as a sitter before I became a nurse. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saying thank you to sitters. Boy do I have stories of my own from my sitter days. The one that comes to mind first was the lady I cared for on a neuro unit. I came in the morning at start of shift. Everyone thought the patient was still sleeping. I knew this was unusual for her. She didn't wake when I took her BP. I called out her name, over and over. She didn't wake, I began to call out for a nurse when one walked in. Rapid response followed by a CT of the brain. It turns out she had a hemorrhage. And everyone thought she was just sleeping. Many others saved her life, but I've always silently known that it was I, a lowly sitter, who caught it to begin with.

    I had another patient as a sitter who began seizing while eating, sitting up at the edge of his bed. I cleared the food and lay him in in a safe position as to not aspirate.

    I know I've prevented countless injuries and falls from confused patients trying to get out of bed. I know I've eased anxiety in countless patients.

    Thank you for reminding me of all I've done. And thank you for being appreciative. Being a sitter is one TOUGH job.
  7. 13
    CP, as always, you write with a combination of poignancy and humor that's not often seen. I love to read your stories!

    As a hospital CNA, I used to be a "sitter" too, mostly with patients on sui watch or CIWA protocol who needed 1:1. There were times when I almost screamed to be let out of the room because the patient was climbing the walls and driving us both crazy. But then, I'll never forget the patient I sat with during my co-worker's dinner break and wound up staying with for the rest of the 12-hour shift because we bonded in about two minutes. She was my age, a wife and mother who suffered from depression and had made a half-hearted attempt at suicide with a handful of tranquilizers when her husband threatened to have her committed.

    We talked through the entire night. I don't recall what I might have said to help her, but at one point she sat bolt upright in bed and said, "That's it, I am NOT going to let other people have that kind of power over me, ever again." I ran into her in the mall about a year later---she recognized me right away, while it took me visualizing her in a patient gown to remember who she was---and she looked amazing! She had her two small children with her and was obviously enjoying life, and she thanked me again for that night we'd spent together battling her demons. It was easily the most gratifying moment of my early career.

    Sitters do perform a valuable service, and I don't understand why hospitals are so stingy with them because they SAVE the facility money in the long term by preventing falls, exit-seeking behaviors and violent incidents, as well as the necessity of employing licensed staff to replace the lower-paid techs. Penny-wise and pound-foolish, I call it.
    dudette10, vintagemother, TiaKay, and 10 others like this.
  8. 5
    Quote from deemalt
    We all got an email today saying that due to budget cuts, we need to call our manager at home, day or night in order to get approval for a sitter. Our aids and unit secretary hours have been decreased and falls have gone way up as it is.
    Saving money? They'll be paying in spades.
    Miss Lizzie, VivaLasViejas, MMaeLPN, and 2 others like this.
  9. 4
    I loved it when I had a sitter for my patients. I made sure they got breaks and kept them happy. I checked on them and the patient frequently and even brought my sitters drinks. This goes along with respecting every member of the healthcare team from the housekeepers on. Besides from being a decent human being you just never know when you may need that person.

    I remember a ward secretary that was spreading catty rumors about me and my boyfriend. Well, one night look who gets admitted to my unit with an SBO and look who is in charge! I think she turned a pale green when I walked in the room and almost passed out when I immediately secured some IV pain medication for her,got her settled and comfortable and she was fully aware that I knew of her insane jealousy and untrue nasty rumors.That WS from that day on treated me like a queen because she learned her lesson the hard way and realized I was kind person that chose not to use my position to seek revenge.

    Glad you dad is OK
    Miss Lizzie, SleeepyRN, MMaeLPN, and 1 other like this.
  10. 1
    Oh wow! Great piece of writing!
    CheesePotato likes this.


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