Published May 5, 2004
If you have ever worked in LTC you have seen it all. Staff shortages, neglect and abuse top the list. Some nurses / CNA's do it because they love it, some because "it pays more than Wally World". In truth I think the latter started with the best intentions but became complacent with the reality of it all. When you work in LTC, you know you're not going to "save" a life but you want to give your "family" every comfort possible. I can't imagine anything worse than knowing one is being abused / neglected YET absolutely nothing will stop it. Most won't report it for fear of retaliation, alienation and even job loss. Oh yeah...all have happened, BUT why? So here's my thing - I want to stir the hornet's nest but to do so I need your advice, opinions etc.
1. I became a CNA because I thought the scrubs that the seniors at my high school got to wear looked cool and I am fascinated with emergency care, silly I know, I work in LTC but when i get through with college I will be in ER as soon as possible.
2. I feel abused and violated by my facility and by my residents. The DON makes me nervous as can be. She is just so intense that she terrifies me. The residents are extremely violent to the staff. In the last few days I have been kicked, bitten, slapped, punched, spit on, knocked down, and I have gone home each night with some bodily fluid on me.
3. Reporting abuse/neglect is very seriously dealt with at my facility. The staff member is immediately suspended until an investigation is completed. They do a complete investigation . I have a friend who was suspended for over a week because of allegations of abuse, the managers found no proof of abuse so she was able to return to work.
4. I wish that we had a support system but we have nothing. We get together in the break room and complain during our 10 minute breaks.
5. I want to see more staff scheduled so that we are able to give the residents the best care possible. Most cases of abuse I have seen come from overworked CNAs who have just snapped. I would like to have the appropriate supplies (we have a multi-purpose soap that is used for everything from shampoo to peri-care, we have a male/female "family deoderant" that smells awful, and a shaving cream that smells quite similar to gasoline.) That is basically it as far as the supplies go. We came in today and had one wash cloth between three units and around 20+ showers to do. I personally went to the DON and complained. She told me to have the housekeepers stop the dryers and give us anything they had. That helped a little, then after we did a shower we came out and the head of the laundry had went out and bought 90 wash clothes at the Family Dollar Store. The new company that bought our facility has begun ordering a cheaper brief that doesn't absorb anything, we are constantly changing beds. They have changed menus and it is food that our residents don't want to eat. They have also switched from fruit juice to a sugar free Kool-Aid type product which some residents don't like to drink. They are paying off our debt which is a blessing. Millions of dollars in debt. To be honest their are days when I think that the Wal-Mart greeter has the World's Best Job. "Do you want a sticker?" :)
i did it becuase i am a new nursing student but i actually enjoy caregiving after wiping a few rear ends and getting over the bm fear i had it fun you get to add friendship to a few resident who didnt have it before
I used to be a CNA I worked at one facility and I really liked it, I worked the midnight shift so most of them were sleeping, but I developed great friendships, but the hardest thing was when the residents passed away, and you had made that special friendship. but i do know what you mean about never having any supplies on hand, and the residets being mean to you, I had one resident that beat me down the floor i had bruises all over my back and neck, and the charge nurse did nothing.. but play back the tape and watch it over and over agian w/ all the nurses on duty. and i couldnt hit back because i would have gotten fired.. i grabbed her arm to make her stop hitting me so i could get up and i got in trouble for that.. .. then i had one lady that body tackled me to the ground. she liked to take the charts off the nursing station desk.. so i had to distract her to get it back and when i walked away.. Bam to the floor i went.. and that was on my first day there.. lol. but after that we were good friends..
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