RNs Don't Help CNAs - page 2

Dear Nurse Beth, I am a nurse aide, and a nursing student, working athospital in the Las Vegas area. I've been working at this hospital for over a year and could not be more disappointed in the... Read More

  1. by   BlueDawnRN
    I've seen lazy nurses and lazy CNAs. I've worked in other professions before nursing and there were lazy people there, too.

    I love our aides and do as much as possible to help them. I respect them a lot and they respect me. We help each other out.

    That being said, CNAs don't necessarily see how much more there is to nursing than direct care. We also have to coordinate care and chart promptly. You can see how hard the CNA is working, but you can't see the nurse thinking.

    Nobody should be goofing off or internet shopping at work. We have to work together.
  2. by   Koalified
    I work in a unit where our clinical techs (nurse aides) are also our phlebotomists. They mostly seem to concentrate on drawing labs rather than doing the dirty work. I end up toileting my pts, taking out dirty trays, trash, and laundry from rooms. If a room needs to be set up for a new admission, I am the one getting the welcome kit, water, SCD sleeves. Also the call bell is directly linked to my phone and rings to me before it rings to the techs. I find our techs pretty much useless. Other units in this hospital system are not like this but something about this unit is backwards. I miss my techs from my previous units.
  3. by   NutmeggeRN
    Well, my beef with the post is the title...It just throws fuel on the fire and is, in the long run, of no help. But maybe grabbing attention was the OPs plan.

    There are, sadly, always elements of this on both sides of the equation. What you see as me sitting in the office, sometimes it is the first time I sat all shift. I may have just called an MD. Trust me, NO ONE wants to not be available when the doc calls back. I may have just called a family memebr and do not want to leave them hanging. I may be procesing a ridiculous request from a family memeber and trying to work it out so YOU don't have to. I may be making staffing calls. The list is endless. You may be sitting around because you are not gonna help the other side one more time, you may have just sat down for the first time as well etc etc.

    We all have those days. But tossing out provocative thread titles (BSN is a Joke comes to mind)...does not help the situation at all.
  4. by   cyc0sys
    Quote from grad2012RN
    Don't take this the wrong way. But, I've never seen a CNA/PCA on my unit, not take a lunch break. As a matter of fact, almost all, routinely take an hour for lunch. If by chance I do get a break, there is a 95 % chance it will be interrupted and I won't have time for another. The CNA on the otherhand is never obligated to stop their break and take care of the patient or respond to phone calls.

    Some RNs too see CNAs laughing and playing, texting, watching TV on their phones, listening to music loudly, using computers to shop for personal items, in CHARTING areas?? I've had CNAs outright tell me, "get it yourself" (blanket, soda, etc.), and they have no idea that I have late meds, two phone calls to make to MDs, two elevated BPs to treat stat, telemetry calling to say a patient is in Vtach etc... No matter how much I and some RNs help, the CNAs still complain to management. Lucky for them, management listens, thus, giving CNAs more power/worth than RNs.

    At the end of the day though, CNAs are at the utmost importance to me. I can tell you how much I truly appreciate that extra attention and tenderness you give to OUR patients! You're an important extra set of eyes. The CNA may be the first to see bloody stool, report abnormal vitals, save a patient from falling or even see that "something is different" about the patient. CNAs are an equally valuable member of the nursing team!
    I couldn't agree more. Where I work, the CNAs run the show. I've written them and reported them to the DON for everything from No Call and No Show to disobeying a direct order. Nothing ever happens.

    They don't miss breaks, barely come in earlier or stay late. They'll hide in rooms. Walk off the floor without telling you. Do things to screw each other over. All want to take breaks at the same time. It's like romper room. Even the good ones I have to coddle and placate their petty disputes.

    I know it's a thankless job. I used to be a CNA. I still try to help them out when I can. I'll toilet a Pt. Change a brief or whatever needs to be done. I barely get a thank you. But let me walk by a room without answering a call light and it's the end of the world.
  5. by   NLLL16
    I have been on both sides of this dilemma. I worked as a CNA for 5 years before earning my RN license. There were some nurses who were so very helpful and others that seemed to let us do all the "grunt work". However, after becoming a nurse I realized how much other stuff the nurses have to do. While I'm not advocating for leaving the aides to wipe butts alone just to go sit and chart, I will say that a lot of times if I'm sitting down at the nurses station it's because I'm charting or doing something equally as important in the care of my patients. I am not above doing total patient care. Usually I don't even bother the aides and do a lot of stuff on my own just because I know how busy they are.
    Have you asked the nurses while they are sitting down to help with the patients? I did often and while sometimes they weren't able to help, there would usually be someone willing to help with something.
    If that doesn't help maybe you could bring the subject up to your Charge Nurse or Nurse Manager. At our hospital each unit has a Unit Based Council that meets regularly to discuss issues on the unit. The council is made up of whoever wants to join-whether it be nurse, nurse aide, etc. They discuss the issues, take suggestions to management and see what gets approved. Many problems have been solved this way!
  6. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from dodah677
    I agree with Pixie, RN. I started out in 1970 as a "house orderly". About the only time RNs appreciated anything I did was chest percussions during CPR. When I graduated in 1974, RNs did full pt. care with help from LVNs and Aides, (CNAs). When in charge of a shift, it didn't take a genius to figure out, if I may use a politically incorrect term " the nursing chain of command ", that the LVN's and CNA's are your best allies. They see the pt. more often and can report what is going on. It is even more important today to ask them, (LVNs, CNAs, Med Techs, etc) questions and listen, because we might only see a pt. twice a day. The best to all of you.

    And yes, Florence Nightingale sat at the desk next to me.
    Please know that RN's appreciate what orderlies and aides do. They might not always show it because they're so absorbed mentally in the work that they alone can do. That is, they are thinking about things they need to communicate to the doctors, about carrying out orders, about getting patients to tests and surgeries, about new admits and discharges, and on and on. They're thinking about their bursting bladders, their painful, leaking breasts, their hungry bellies, their parched mouths, and their cramping bowels. They're focused on their aching feet and their breaking backs. They're wondering how their children are. And they're thinking about, as I said, the patients and all that they need to do for them.

    But please know that RN's do appreciate the orderlies and aides.

    I don't like when people assume, as some PP's have done, that nurses are being lazy or arrogant if they are sitting at the desk.

    It certainly wouldn't hurt nurses to answer lights and help with direct patient care. But don't expect too much of that because nurses have to do meds, charting, orders, etc. and the aides can't help with that.
  7. by   Kooky Korky
    Quote from Koalified
    I work in a unit where our clinical techs (nurse aides) are also our phlebotomists. They mostly seem to concentrate on drawing labs rather than doing the dirty work. I end up toileting my pts, taking out dirty trays, trash, and laundry from rooms. If a room needs to be set up for a new admission, I am the one getting the welcome kit, water, SCD sleeves. Also the call bell is directly linked to my phone and rings to me before it rings to the techs. I find our techs pretty much useless. Other units in this hospital system are not like this but something about this unit is backwards. I miss my techs from my previous units.
    There must be an awful lot of blood to draw.

    You are doing trash, laundry, etc. because you and the other nurses have not yet trained the aides to do this work so that you can do the paperwork and thinking work that nurses should be doing. Or maybe even taking your breaks. Am I wrong in assuming you don't get many breaks?
  8. by   sunny time
    Unforrunately, this is every where. my son who was a CNA for 15 years complained of this same thing. I don't understand as I am an RN and helped the CNAs whether I worked days or nights. my CNAs loved working with me because they knew I worked as a team. at one time I worked as a fill in staff, I have a patient his am medications and realized he needed water. I took a pitcher to the kitchen and got ice and water. The CNA saw me and started telling down the hall,"hey you are not suppose to get the water that's my job." I felt as though I did something wrong. but I smiled and said, " you were busy and I wasn't when I need you I will call you. if you need me to help you call me." she asked where I worked because she wanted to work with me. Nursing is a team work job. I think some nurse s have forgotten this and the fact that the patient is ultimately the RN s responsibility.
  9. by   sunny time
    so you are working as a nurse. welcome to hard work and earning that large amount of hourly salary
  10. by   sunny time
    Bull pucky there are so many RN s that sit at the desk and talk not about patients but the happenings of the weekend or what is going on next weekend. The vacations they are planning, the color they are painting there living room or if it is a male nurse the hunting trip they are going to take, the new truck they are going to buy, that great rifle and scope they are getting ready to buy. I have heard all of these conversations as I am whizzing past the nurse 's desk to answer a light. I am an RN too but my first responsibility is my patients and staff. not schmoozing with other nurses.
  11. by   zynnnie
    I currently work as a CNA in a hospital while in nursing school. I lost a job one time cos I reacted to a Nurse's constant belittling behavior towards me. Of course they had to choose between me and her and I was fired. CNA are over worked and paid very little that's why most don't stay very long. Some nurses help the CNAs and I have my fav nurses I like to work with but most nurses don't help at all. I hate working most days but working makes nurses school easier for me. I see what they they teach in class in practice.

    Cleaning poo is beneath some nurses, is a tech job to do nasty stuff while they talk about boyfriend and personal issue all day. I have learnt to do as much as I can, mind my biz and graduate from school.

    Being CNA for a year should be a pre requisite for nursing school.
  12. by   Ruby Vee
    I have never worked anywhere that the CNAs were overworked to the point where they didn't get to take their hour lunch and their 15 minute breaks. I have never worked anywhere that the CNAs didn't have the time to go off the unit to run to the sub shop or the local seafood emporium to pick up lunch. I've never worked anywhere that the RNs didn't have to hunt down a CNA in order to have help with a turn or clean-up. (The CNAs were hiding in the stairwell, in a supply room, in an empty patient room, or in the linen closet smoking pot. OK, that last was just one hospital.)

    I love our CNAs, and when they work, they work hard. They're a great resource. I might never have taken care of Mrs. BigButtDecub, but the CNAs have and they know exactly what supplies I need to change that dressing. But they spend half the night watching Netflix on the computers in the charting area, taking a 3 hour "walk to Central Supplies" or "going out to my car because I left my wallet lying on the passenger seat", etc, while call lights are lighting up like Christmas trees. Maybe it's just the culture on my unit -- and the last ICU I worked in on the other side of the country, and that other ICU in Washington state and that MICU in the midwest, too.
  13. by   cyc0sys
    Some LPN programs require certification as a CNA as part of the course curriculum. Most of the student RNs I've precepted wouldn't make good CNAs and they do believe the work is beneath them. So I agree with what you're saying to a point but no one is barring you from higher education either. Therein, lies the rub.
    Last edit by cyc0sys on Nov 2 : Reason: spelling