I work in a nursing home and graduated as a cna in december 2003. the facility i work in provides the training and experience to become a cna and i felt at one time the instructor and administration were actually a caring bunch of people. it seems a lot different now since i've been at this place for about 6 months.
first, it's the pay. we are paid just above minimum wage. i am sure there are some here who know what it is like to be a cna and how stressful and challenging it can be-so i'll refrain from the explanation and try to keep this as short as i possibly can.
this time that i have spent providing care for the residents in this facility has been rewarding. i love all of the residents but what i can't stand is the administration. the charge nurses and higher ups treat us with so little respect. they will talk down to you in front of your fellow workers and boss's etc...
anyways, we have a very high turnover rate. there are always 2 classes of student aids going to cover the AM shift and sometimes (although rarely) the PM shift. i started out a nocs aide. we were fully staffed for about a month until one aide was terminated. then we 3 aides worked on 99 residents throughout the noc shift. it was extremely tiring as well.
i have since been put on the PM's shift but am working both shifts as needed because we are short. a lot of the students, once they pass state, find other jobs and move on vowing to never work for this facility. in addition, cna's who were hired on are being paid less, working just as hard, but quitting after about 2 weeks to 30 days. they, like me, can not stand to be treated with so little respect and expected to do so much in a short amount of time or we are labeled as "neglecting our residents".
the administration just recently took the T (attends, diapers) program away from the noc's shift because "the residents had or have UTI's and were not being changed at least every 2 hours during that time". this is not true. our charge nurse who works the noc shift does not agree with the statement administration has made towards the noc shift. on top of that, they do not and say they will no longer buy any new absorbent bed pads to keep the residents clean and dry. instead, they have all the old bed pads which do not abosorb even a drop of water. they have bought new beds though. these were purchased back in january and since they have stated they will no longer buy them.
last night i worked a double and decided today to quit. i cried after talking with my husband about how much i will miss my residents and they should have the BEST care but that in this facility, they probably won't ever recieve because of the shortage. a lot of residents need treatments for skin tears and decubitus ulcers and only get them about twice a week at the very most. as a cna, we were told not to ever remove those dressings because they were out of our scope of practice and used to determine who changed it and when. i noticed many residents with the same dressing, covered in urine or bm or food for days on end without being changed. this i did not agree with.
on top of all of that we are constantly short staffed and are called in to work doubles. last night i stayed for my first noc shift where there were not T's provided and we were extremely busy. there were only 3 of doing bed change after bed change constantly. we are supposed to have 5 aides during noc shift but that rarely happens. there would've only been 2 had i not stayed and i stayed because i care and love my residents and want the best for them.
now that i've gotten some sleep, i am beginning to feel guilty about quitting and i am unsure of whether or not i want to go back. but i do know that i don't want to be a part of this facility simply because i do not agree with their treatment of the residents. state has come in and investigated time and time again. at least 4 times in the past 6 months and amazingly enough, this facility manages to cover their ground each and every time state comes in.
thanks for reading.
Mar 5, '04
Has the state made unannounced visits? Perhaps they should do one at night or off shift when administration isn't there.
Mar 5, '04
I am so sorry for your treatment, unfortunately, yours is not the only facility that has these problems, I've seen it in my small town as well. I don't think you should feel quilty about quitting, and I think a lot of your residents would agree with the fact that a place of work that is miserable, will make your entire life seem miserable. This is a Toxic work enviroment that you need to get out of. As for your facility; I don't know how to make things better , maybe do some internet research to see if there is some higher authority to report to. Again, sorry for your trouble, hope something changes and gets better. Keep us posted.
Mar 5, '04
Thanks! I really appreciate the feedback.
I thought about going in and talking to the administrators of the ideas I have to change this field and to finally get things done but I don't know if they're willing to listen or even give these ideas a chance which is why I am going to go straight to the owner about this and the state. I have spent time over the past few weeks talking with other employees of this facility and they are in agreement with me on the matters at hand,which is great, but I am nervous and scared but it will be done and I will keep posted on the events as they unfold as much as I can.
I love these residents too much to just walk away like most do and never do anything about it. I want to do something, or at least make some kind of change here and I know it can be done. I just have to figure out how to do it.
It's greatly appreciated.
Mar 5, '04
Best of luck to you in finding a new position. This is no isolated case which is why turnover is high. Too bad the administrative staff doesn't have to stand in while they find new CNA's. They couldn't and wouldn't do your job. You sound like a very caring person. It is their loss, but you've got to think about your own stress level and health, as they are something those that run the place have no consideration for.
Mar 7, '04
Sad to say but you may be digging your own grave by going to administration.Never underestimate the power of blackballing-if you openly approach these people and ask for change you likely will be let go-if not at that moment they will wait until they can get you on some trumped up story(I have seen aides forced to turn on each other) and you really may have difficulty getting another job in your area.These administrators have a pretty tight network ....That said-an anonymous call to the state may be very effective-also a call to some local newspapers.Can you get some of the resident's families involved? And then quietly give notice....Good Luck
Mar 8, '04
I have since quit my job and called state and made a complaint. Thanks again everyone for your input, I really appreciate it.
Mar 10, '04
I work in a long term facility as well and note the same type of conditions you describe. I think you did the correct thing, for this environment is very toxic. Years ago when I first became a CNA (now I am an LPN) my assignment would always consist of 14-16 residents. I worked at this facility for one year, and missed one day of work thru out that year. They paid me $6.25 an hour. I heard about agency work thru the grapevine, and tried it out. I went to work my first day, my assignment consisited of 6 patients and this was in a LTC facility as well, and my hourly wage was $13.50. Needless to say, I quit the other facility that day,and worked agency for over 4 years. I respect agency staffing facilities for they make sure their facililty is staffed accordingly regardless the cost. So my advise to you is to apply at several agencies and get the pay you deserve, but most of all, give the care you know the residents deserve.
Mar 10, '04
Well, I got a call from an agency here in Cali last week and just called them back today. LOL
They have me in their listings and they said they need people badly. So I will give this a try. The pay they described sounds a lot better and I get a bonus once hired. So I think this will be a great new start so to speak and I'll get to give my future patients the care they deserve.
Not only that, but from reading this site, I have heard nothing but good things about agencies.
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