Am I Too Slow?

  1. Hello everyone! I wanted to see if I could get some people's opinions on something. I took the CNA course offered by the local tech college and got my certificate. I have been working in an Assisted Living Facility for 2 weeks. Heres what is bugging me. I always feel like I am the slowest aide there. The residents that are on my hall (the ones that need total assistance anyways) seem like they are the last ones to get to the dining hall...I am the last one to finish making rounds....I can't get everyone ready for bed in time....etc etc. I know one of the reasons I am slow is because I take extra time transferring residents from beds/chairs to wheelchairs because I am afraid I will hurt/drop them. Am I being too paranoid? Also I consider myself a people person and often get involved in conversations with the residents. However I know this prevents me in getting my work done in time. How can I let the resident know that I do enjoy talking with them, however I need to get things done, without hurting their feelings or disrespecting them? Any thoughts/ideas would be appreciated! Sorry this got so long!
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    About TiggerBelly, ADN, RN

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 179; Likes: 137
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in ALF, Medical, ER


  3. by   all4schwa
    you're going to be 'new' at this for a long time. it takes awhile to pick up speed, but it will happen. everyday you will think of things or notice ways to do things better and more efficiently. use the time you are doing hands- on stuff to talk to your residents and when time is up, don't be afraid to say that you have tasks waiting on you, or that you are new and trying to stay on a schedule. people will understand, although, everyone knows that you will always have people sometimes that you just can't get away from!!
  4. by   CrownHunter
    Everyone takes time to adjust to the pace of nursing homes. Often there are just too many things to do and not enough time to do it in. Dont feel bad. The pace will come and you'll find that often its not like the classes you took. In fact I learned that alot of the short cuts other aids do are dangerous. save your back and the patients lives by taking your time and providing the quality of life they deserve.
  5. by   can
    Don't feel bad, my first day as a CNA I had one patient and I was the last one done everthing. The shower alone took me 4 hours. I was very paranoid and no one was willing to help me. Speed will come with time. Don't take short cuts, it's not worth it. Good Luck.
  6. by   dorselm
    Hey Tigger! I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way. I started classes at an LTC facility on Dec 20th. It was a 3 wk class. When in clinicals I tried to pay attention to how the experienced aides were working but it went out the window when it was my time. I too think I'm slow. I try but like you, I talk to the patients while caring for them, 1. because it eases my nerves and 2. because it seems so impersonal to not talk to them. Mannn, I'm tellin you!!!! It is so not like class when caring for the patients.
    Diapers and dirty linens are thrown on the floor. The thing that messes me up though is that I forget to use gloves. For instance, I'll wet the washcloth and start washing the face and then I'll do the underarms and then it's time to wash below and I realize I don't have any gloves on and I have to stop and put them on and it's a waste of time. The aide that I was working with last night said to give the washcloth to those who can wash their face and while they're doing that, start to put on their socks, shoes, and pants. Then wash under their arms and put on their shirt then wash the bottom, put on their brief or pull up and then pull up the pants. Put them in their wheelchair and let them do their oral care and while they're doing that, empty the wastebasket and take out the dirty linens and make the bed. I have to work tomorrow so I'm going to try this and see what happens.
  7. by   sissyboo
    You'll learn to pick up speed as you go along! You'll learn the shortcuts to getting things done (things like which patients to deal with first as things usually go smooth with them, who requires a bit more time and patience). Just be patient and get everything done properly, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  8. by   hptogram
    Do not stress over this. It takes awhile to get to know the residents. You'll figure out in time how long each resident will take you. It used to take me an hour to do Mrs. H. This includes transferring from bed to chair, chair to toilet, dress, put teeth in, fix her hair, transfer to chair, make her bed (which usually includes changing her linens), clean up whatever stuff got tossed around, put away wipes, desitin and powders, give Mrs. H a hug and saying bye. Now I'm down to 15 minutes if she doesn't need a bed bath. (She doesn't like taking showers and I'm not one to force my people to do anything they don't want to do).

    Everyone starting out has been where you are. Just be patient.
  9. by   chadash
    It really takes time to figure it all out. It sounds like you care alot, and that is so so important! Keep on keeping on!
  10. by   meintheUSA
    :spin: Thought I was the only CNA that was slow... The girls on the next shift were ALWAYS complaining about me. Other aides would fly through their work and help out the next shift.
    Then I realized something. The residents I had washed, dressed and helped were the ones that had the neatest hair, cleanest fingernails and smiles on their faces for the day. The beds were made with ALWAYS linen that was clean, and the garbage was out of their rooms.
    One resident told me I was the only aide that made his bed in the morning (and he was not on my list). Once the preacher had been there and the resident was embarressed his bed had not been made and the only chair was cluttered. He had tears streaming down his face as he told me this. I have since made it a point to make his bed and tidy his room before I leave for the day (I work nights).
    Sometimes being slower is Gods way of slowing me down to be proud of my time helping these residents.
    Stay in step, but be proud of your work and your step may just be slower for a reason ....
  11. by   Fadiossu
    I am sooo glad that I'm not the only one that feels like the "slow one" at their job!!! :roll Actually, I have discovered that a lot (not all) of the "fast ones" don't take the time to really bathe/help bathe people and try their best to stay out of the pt's rooms all day. As long as I'm taking care of my pt's, I feel like I'm doing a good job. After all, I am a Patient Care Tech right now and the first two words in that title are...patient care
  12. by   indierock
    i have found i am a bit slow as well but i have found that it is mainly while i am dealing with residents (i give back massages and feet messages when i do showers, i talk with residents etc) but i have found the way to get faster without compromising them is to try to get faster doing the work that doesn't involve people (making beds, cleaning up after a bed bath, etc). I Have also found that if you walk into a room that you know has a resident that is a talker, tell them you only have a few minutes and they will understand.
  13. by   theofficegirl
    I agree with everyone here. I also have some personal experience to share with you.

    About twenty years ago, I was notoriously slow. And I was a 3 year "veteran" at the time.

    However, like you - all of my patients were well groomed, fully dressed and wore glasses they could see through and hearing aids that were turned up to the proper volume. Nails were clean and teeth (or dentures) were always brushed.

    When she handed my assignment to me one morning, the charge nurse said "If your beds aren't made by 11, I'm writing you up".

    On my way to make my last bed at 10:52, one of my patients was sitting in the doorway of her room, rocking back and forth in her wheelchair and had to go to the bathroom ("bad"). So what was I supposed to do?

    Long story short... I got "written up". As I was getting Mrs. M. back into her wheelchair while she gave a sigh of relief, the charge nurse was standing in the doorway at 11:01 with a smirk.

    Later that day, the DON called me into the office, and upon hearing this story, tore up the "write-up" and tossed it, and proceeded to tell me I was doing a fantastic job - although I could work on the speed a bit.

    Moral of the story is - your job is patient care, and if your patients are getting your best, the furniture can wait.

    You will put on more speed during your patient care routine, and as you find little shortcuts you can make with the "furniture", you can continue your excellent care.

    - Sara
  14. by   DizzyLizard
    When I started out as a CNA I thought I was always the slow one. Other shifts constantly complained about me and I was frequently in the DONs office for one thing or another. I too made sure the residents were always clean and dry and hair was looking nice, glasses were cleaned, earrings on, clothes matched etc. I finally lost my cool one day about the whining and had a long discussion with the DON. Long story short, I asked the DON if I could follow one of the two aides to see how and why they do things so quickly and efficiently. All I can say is wow, how did they get away with what they were doing for so long. The aides were severely reprimanded and eventually left. So, you may not be "slow" after all. Don't take shortcuts, keep doing what your doing. Speed will come in time. Once you find your rhythm it'll be much easier.