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Am I expected to position and ambulate patients by myself?

CNA/MA   (1,204 Views | 10 Replies)

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I am going to be a brand new CNA this Summer. I have a very small frame, and I struggle with positioning and ambulating patients by myself.. I physically cant do it. For example, I really struggle to clean patients. I am scared that I won't have anyone to help.. is this true? Am I expected to move and ambulate patients by myself?

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AlissaTaylor13 has 3 years experience as a CNA and specializes in Float Pool.

35 Posts; 160 Profile Views

I am also very small and I struggle with moving people by myself! I'd say it depends on where you are working. When I worked in the nursing home I had absolutely no help with moving people since the nurse refused to do anything hands-on. Then I worked at a hospice facility and we did everything 2PA so I always had help. Now I am at the hospital and it seems to depend on who you are working with. Nurses will ditch you in rooms where you obviously need help, but sometimes the other CNAs will help if they are not too busy!

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4 Followers; 37,639 Posts; 102,720 Profile Views

The charge nurse should assign you in pairs so that you automatically have help. This practice allows for developing teamwork that saves time and effort. If this is not done, discuss it with the nurse. Two CNAs working together can do two assignments more efficiently and quickly than each working alone.

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Guest862922 has 33 years experience as a LPN, RN and specializes in ER.

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Based on my past and present experience the hospitals tend to have better policies for proper body alignment and lifting etc. (I used to be a CNA then LPN before) I know both sides. I also know that many nurses can be ignorant or even mean. I have also worked with some CNA’s with attitude as well. What I think could work is developing good relationships with each other. I know it sounds give or take but trust me it worked and works for me more times than not. Nurses in the nursing homes can be overwhelmed too but I’m sure many would help for a CNA who is nice and helpful and first of all is caring for the people.

I see your issue because I have had back problems since young age. I worked in a nursing home for a while as a CNA I was in pain every day. I took a job in the hospital and it was easier on my back. Then I transferred to a pediatric hospital and worked there until I became a nurse which was a dream job for me.

I’m just sharing my experience, hope it helps a bit.

There is no foolproof advice I think. I believe that hospital job for a CNA is much better then the ones in nursing homes anyway. 

Good luck to you 😊❤️

 

 

 

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752 Posts; 14,312 Profile Views

Your facility should have safe handling equipment that should learn to use.  If not maybe another place would have it.  Almost all hospitals have that equipment now.   

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Really, if there is a job that you can’t physically do, there is no way that another person would be able to do it alone safely. Say you need to reposition a large adult. You can’t do it at all, no matter how hard you try. A larger, stronger CNA could probably do it, but clearly that would mean the CNA is going to be doing all kinds of straining and twisting and grabbing. 

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3 Followers; 4,768 Posts; 36,621 Profile Views

I think you should seriously re-think your career choice.  Being in a line of work that requires lifting, moving, turning, pulling, etc. of other people is probably not the best choice for someone who physically can't do the work. 

Not to discourage you.  Just speaking what I believe is the truth.

Also do not expect the nurses to leave their own work to help you. 

Nurses are there to give out a ton of meds, prepare said meds, chart that they gave them, and get ready to do it all again.  And again.  Nurses are there to change bandages, listen to hearts and lungs, check pulses, and do other physical assessment procedures.  Nurses receive new orders from doctors and process them and carry them out.  Nurses draw blood and get it to the lab.  Nurses chart a lot.  Nurses call doctors to report changes in patients' conditions.  Nurses do Admissions, Transfers, and Discharges.  All of these things take a whole lot of time.  Nurses do more than I have listed but you get the point.

Nurses can do the physical labor that CNA's do.  But CNA's cannot perform the duties of a licensed nurse.  Therefore, nurses have to guard our time.

I would say that almost every nurse I know has back trouble, shoulder trouble, bursitis, or is pregnant or otherwise in need of light duty.  Many of us have to avoid heavy lifting because of our physical ailments - many of which are the result of working in Nursing.

My point is that you should not go into this field if you expect the nurses to give you much help with your duties.  And don't expect other aides to always be available.  Also, don't expect to be assigned with another aide all the time.

Have you considered other types of medical and nursing related work?  Things like being a phlebotomist, a lab technician, and EKG Technician, a therapist (physical, occupational, speech), a social worker?  There are many other choices, too, that don't require the hard physical work that CNA's routinely do.  And I don't think you should expect a hospital aide position to be much different or easier than working in a nursing home.

I do wish you all the best.

Edited by Kooky Korky

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AlissaTaylor13 has 3 years experience as a CNA and specializes in Float Pool.

35 Posts; 160 Profile Views

I absolutely disagree with the person who thinks that you need to rethink your career choice. It is a physically demanding job, but there are tools you can use to help you. And it absolutely is the nurses responsibility to help you with their patients. You work under their license so if you hurt someone they will be responsible as well. I seriously hope nobody is planning on becoming a nurse if they aren’t willing to help with direct cares. 

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Guest862922 has 33 years experience as a LPN, RN and specializes in ER.

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I disagree too. Not sure which state you live in. My experience is in Ohio and Florida. In both states we had to sign a contract as a nurse which included how much weight we have to lift, pull and push. It was minimum 50-100 pounds.

I do have back and SI joint issues due to an accident long time ago. But I needed the jobs. I never turned down anybody who asked for help. Good teamwork, good work relationships and time management the key.

But again you need to do your best, care about your people and the nurses who you work with. Don’t stuck in a nursing home because they’re always understaffed and care less about the workers. You could be all by yourself there. As a CNA you could work in hospitals where you could advance your skills and of course your career.

 

 

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17 hours ago, Guest862922 said:

I disagree too. Not sure which state you live in. My experience is in Ohio and Florida. In both states we had to sign a contract as a nurse which included how much weight we have to lift, pull and push. It was minimum 50-100 pounds.

I do have back and SI joint issues due to an accident long time ago. But I needed the jobs. I never turned down anybody who asked for help. Good teamwork, good work relationships and time management the key.

But again you need to do your best, care about your people and the nurses who you work with. Don’t stuck in a nursing home because they’re always understaffed and care less about the workers. You could be all by yourself there. As a CNA you could work in hospitals where you could advance your skills and of course your career.

 

 

You needed the jobs so you kept the jobs, despite the pain you suffered.  That was your choice.

Time management is necessary.  However, there is only so much time you can manage.  If you have too many patients to start with and then something unexpected happens, good luck managing everything.  If you want to spend your time helping your aides do the hands-on care, fine.  Don't expect every nurse to do that.

I have worked with too many aides who think they are in charge.  Too many who think their job is to come in on Nights and sleep.  Too many who think they are entitled to smoke every hour and still take at least a half hour for lunch.  Too many who leave on time while I am still having to give report, count, and make final rounds with the oncoming nurse.  They stand by the time clock for the last 15 or 20 minutes because they think their shift ended when the next shift arrived when, in fact, there is 1/2 hour overlap.

The nurse is not required to work late because she or he has been doing hands on care.  It's bad enough having to get permission from the Sup to stay a few minutes late to finish up and do all of my own work, that only I can do because I have the license.  I have sacrificed too many breaks and donated too many hours and hours and hours of my unpaid lunch breaks over the last several decades to do the aides' work of toileting, grooming, feeding, and the like.  What do you think aides are for? 

Aides need to work together to help each other.  As a nurse, I have my own work to do.  Yes I will answer some lights, feed, whatever, but not to the extent that my aides feel free to take extra breaks and go hide out because they see that I am doing their work,, while I miss my own breaks. 

I have seen managers not discipline people because they fear them, but nurses can get slammed for every real or imagined piece of garbage. 

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate good aides, I am OK helping with some direct care, but I have my own responsibilities and I will not go out of my way to do the aides' work.

To the OP - as I said before, if you can't do the work physically, find another line of work that you can do.  It probably pays better and will be just as rewarding as cleaning poop, sweat, mucus, urine, vomit, and blood.  And you won't be breaking your back, neck, arms, hips, etc. to do it. 

To nurses who want to do hands on care - no one is stopping you.

Edited by Kooky Korky

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18 hours ago, AlissaTaylor13 said:

I absolutely disagree with the person who thinks that you need to rethink your career choice. It is a physically demanding job, but there are tools you can use to help you. And it absolutely is the nurses responsibility to help you with their patients. You work under their license so if you hurt someone they will be responsible as well. I seriously hope nobody is planning on becoming a nurse if they aren’t willing to help with direct cares. 

You work under your own certification, you do not work under my license.  If you maltreat or neglect a patient and that patient suffers harm, you are going to be disciplined, not I.

It is absurd to think that I can oversee 30 patients and several aides and know every single thing about everyone.  Not only do I have my own work to do, which the law does not allow me to assign to you, but we are often not physically even near each other, not even in earshot, let alone eyesight. 

I am not responsible for you.  I am responsible for the patients.  I am your supervisor and you are supposed to do what you are assigned to do, as long as you are not asked to break the law or behave in an immoral or unethical way.

But I am not responsible or liable for you and your words or actions.  If I know you are somehow messing up, it is my responsibility to correct you.  I am to take reasonable precautions with regard to how you behave toward patients but I can't watch you every minute to see that you are not abusing or neglecting or threatening or otherwise violating laws and morals.  I do not have the power to hire you, fire you, or discipline you.  I can report my concerns about you, if I have any.  I will always talk to you first and then to my boss if I don't see improvements.  I owe you common courtesy and I owe the patients good care.  But I am not responsible if you curse at patients, ignore patients, or otherwise behave wrongly toward patients.  You presumably went to school and got orientation and on-the-job training to learn how to do your job.  It is not my duty to educate you or make you follow the rules by being with you every moment.  If I am aware that you are doing something wrong, I will let you know.  But the majority of my time has to be spent performing my own duties, as I have previously stated.

Your very title states that you are to aid and assist, not expect the nurse to be subservient to you and to drop everything to assist you.  Get your fellow aides to help you.  And you help them when they need it.

It's teamwork.  A football team has a quarterback.  That person calls the shots.  Others run interference for their QB, others receive the ball and go for touchdowns.  Their are specialty squads and members, such as kickers, defensive and offensive teams.  In Nursing it is the nurse who is the quarterback - the boss.  You are supposed to do your part of the work.  You can ask questions, make suggestions, but accept that the nurse is the boss and not expect the nurse to neglect his or her own lawful duties to help you every time you need help when there are other aides to help you lift, tug, pull, etc.  If you have a concern about someone, you tell me and I assess that.  That is absolutely my duty.  But I can't very well be assessing your concerns if I am answering routine lights, routinely feeding, routinely toileting, routinely doing your duties while you are out smoking or taking extended breaks.  Or even if you are an excellent worker and are legitimately busy with baths, etc.  Work with your fellow aides to help each other.

You are an adult, you are supposed to come to work to care for the patients.  You are supposed to follow your supervisors' orders.  But I have never met an aide who liked taking orders, however nicely or respectfully given.  Everyone wants to be their own boss, do their own thing.  I understand that but it is very hard to be a nurse who has rebellious aides.  I can think of about  aides right now who I truly enjoyed working with.  And it was enjoyable to work with them because they actually were nice to the patients, didn't expect me to help them every 2 minutes with something they could get help with from another aide.  I liked them as people and as workers.  There have been many others I liked as people but they were not great workers.  They were OK, but not great.  They were pleasant to patients and to me but would do just the minimum and no more, even in emergencies. 

And just to be sure you understand - you work under your own certification, your own behavior whether certified or not.  My license will not protect you.  And rest assured that I will not allow you to compromise me in any regard.  Just as you won't allow anyone to get you in trouble, neither will I.

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