Published Aug 14, 2002
I work as an RN in LTC. Staffing at my facility has become so nonexistent, I'm wondering how much longer we can continue. Giant holes in the schedule are filled not only by mandating nurses, but supervisors as well. The other day I went in to check the upcoming schedule, and found the DON acting as both floor nurse for one unit and supervisor for the entire facility (approx 250 residents). Graduate nurses are left in charge of units. We often have only two CNAs per unit (40-45 residents). I don't want to go to the DON and merely complain. I'd like to be able to suggest some ideas that might help the situation. My facility does utilize agency nurses to help fill the gaps, but I'm wondering--and forgive my naivete--is there such a thing as agency CNAs? It's heartbreaking seeing our aides trying to do the best they can when there's only one of them per 20 or so residents.
we don't use them, but i know they have them. actually, now that i think about it, we did use 1 once! we are a 21 bed er, and were holding 15 patients overnight. we put 4 very stable rnf patients back in our fast track.
we told the agency cna, we need her to stay back there with them, q1hr vs and make sure they are breathing. then our staff handled the few meds and stuff they may have needed overnight.
Around Portland, Oregon, there are many Agencies that have many CNAs :)
They get paid better at Agency than at staff positions and determine their own schedule and work Agency much the same reasons as RNs.
We have worked in nursing homes and hospitals that are chock-full daily of Agency CNAs, and LPNs and RNs and probably lots of other positions.
Working short is exhausting! and causes personnel to quit, not to mention endangering the patients. But the shortage of all nursing staff seems to be worsening.
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