CNAS, what's it like at your nursing home/long term care facility?

Nursing Students CNA/MA


I'm getting really burned out with a lot of things going on in the facility I work in. Way too many things to name. What's it like where you work in terms of call-ins, scheduling, lazy cnas, mean residents, cold DONs, favoritism, work load, etc. ?

Specializes in Psychiatry, corrections, long-term care..

I have Fridays and Saturdays off for Shabbat because I'm Jewish. I'm sure many coworkers find this snobbish and insist on calling me in to work on those days. I shut my phone off. If I've had a hard week and get an extra day off, my phone remains off as well.

I work part time so my schedule is pretty nice. Just three 8 hr. shifts a week or so. My staff development nurse is great.

I ignore lazy CNAs and their requests to do their work for them while they have smoke breaks. If they ***** about coworkers to me in front of a resident, I shrug and say I don't care.

Smiling a lot at mean residents always makes me feel better because they've no bloody clue why I'm being so nice.

Your DON might seem cold because he/she can often be quite busy. If you haven't introduced yourself personally, I'd suggest doing so. The DON/DNS is someone you want on your side.

Favoritism is in every job and it's always difficult to get away from. I fly low under the radar, do my job well, and usually happen to be a "favorite" of the nurses, but not excessively (teacher's pet) so.

Work loads can vary depending on census or what hall I'm on. I usually have between 8 and 13 residents. If I'm on another hall, I have 10 but after 9PM I have 18 for rounds.

I work in a 77 bed facility and we're essentially an extension of the local hospital so it can be very busy and stressful, but after nine months of it, I feel comfortable handling BS and the stress.

im out of that place now, i couldnt take it anymore! im staying prn though

Specializes in LTC.

My workplace prides itself on being the best, which I think is a joke. I know it could be a lot worse but we are no better than any of the other "good" facilities in the area.

We have a call-off at least every other day, so I've learned not to get excited about an "easy" assignment or a good working partner. Usually the same people abuse the system over and over again. Overall I like my coworkers but a couple of them drive me crazy. I wish the staff rotated through the units more so no one would get stuck working with the same annoying person over and over again.

Mean residents- don't get me started. Again, I wish they would rotate all the staff through every unit so you wouldn't have to deal with the same people on a daily basis. There's one resident on my unit with a family member who visits all day every day and bothers the staff literally every 10 minutes or so. Not only is she a nuisance, she is hostile when you don't immediately abandon your other residents to go fluff Mommy Dearest's pillows! I just want to get faaaaaar away from her at least a couple times a week.

That said, why is it permissible for this one psychotic family member to RUN THE FLOOR? As a lower-than-dirt CNA I have no authority to put her in her place and the higher-ups know how she is and they don't care.

My DON doesn't like me so she's pretty snotty to me. I'm a good worker with good attendance but if you don't suck up to her she has no use for you.

Favoritism- I feel like I rarely get acknowledged for all that I do. I make the time to do nail care on all residents, push fluids, toilet and reposition frequently- things that nobody else does- with most of the other CNAs you're lucky to get your teeth brushed. My residents are always impeccably groomed, not just thrown in sweatpants and messy hair. I help other CNAs with or without being asked. I come up with ideas on how to be more efficient or give better care based on what I think is best for the resident(s). Then someone else always comes along and takes or receives credit for it from a supervisor. The other CNAs and floor nurses see it but I just don't have it in me to suck up- I don't know how without seeming really fake (it IS fake!). But it would just be nice to get some recognition from a higher-up once in a while.

My workload is heavy but I've figured out how to manage it. I have a little system for every assignment. My regular unit is all long term so things don't change very fast and I asked to have the assignments rearranged to make things easier for everyone (they used to make NO sense). Since then it's been easier. I don't think many of my coworkers are lazy but when I do work with a lazy person I just kind of ignore them. If I have time I'll toilet some of their people or whatever but I don't stress about it. And I'll cheat to get things done- like if I know the lazy partner is going to refuse to ambulate a 2-assist later on in the day I'll ask her to help me walk them to the bathroom in the morning. That way the resident doesn't get a walk all the way down the hall but at least it's something.

I don't understand why LTC places are like this! It would seem like it would be the opposite way around! Low pay for what we do, when nurses sit on their butt and 'chart' all day and get paid 3 times as much! We should get paid a hell of a lot more, and the DONs need to realize that we need more help! With how much it costs to live in the place I work, you'd think that they would hire more help, I KNOW they can afford it. The place is a joke!

Gee what would they do if the families knew how it REALLY was? Most LTC facilites would be out of business and have fines right up their patooty!!!!!

It's soooooo sad...but what's even sadder is the fact that there is NOTHING we can do about it, because when you inquire about a better and safer way of doing things, the DON just brushes you off because it reality they don't even have the slightest idea of how hard it is dealing with everything, and they just don't care!

And the situation with the lifts is ridiculous! So unsafe! With the sit to stands, there is NEVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR 2 people operating them....even though lifts are supposed to have 2 people, and even with the 2 assists they don't even use 2 people! One day I had a very combative lady falling out of it, her feet completelt off the platform falling face forward because she was wriggling around, this is why she is a 2 assist! Her chin was resting on the bar in front of her and she about broke her neck! All because the other cna I was working with told me that it only takes 1 of us! She would not help me. So I did it by myself. And that's what happened! GRRRRRRRR. I have done this lady many times by myself but recently the DON told a few of us in a meeting that they are not to be done alone anymore. I even told the other cna this, she said "oh that's probably just for a certain time of day" IS SHE RETARDED?

So many things have happened in that place I don't even know where to begin. I could seriously write a book. If only the families really knew how it was when they aren't around. But of course they can't tell their familes because they don't have the mind to!

alshksdflash dlkuja;lsd hfsdhg AHHHHHa;hdpsijdfposiujs!!!!!!

Sorry, I just get flared up everytime I think of all of these things!

Specializes in Geriatrics.

fuzzywuzzy, you've pretty much summed it up for me!

Specializes in Long term care.

At my facility we are pretty good. We truly do care about our residents, but when we work short ((which management hates the term so they assigned a different term for us to use if residents or family ask)) everything doesn't get done as good as it should be done. We are also like a second family at my facility but that doesn't mean that there are not call ins every other day, lazy staff, and mean residents ((I find the meaner they are the more I like them--might have something to do with the time spent with them :D)) Overall, I love my job--even if it is hard and demanding.

Specializes in geriatrics, dementia, ortho.

Work load is evenly spread out at my facility; everyone gets rotated through every run, so you don't end up stuck in one hall over and over. There are constantly call-ins (I've never worked anywhere where this wasn't the case) but the charge nurses are decent about trying to scrounge up someone else to come in when that happens, plus there's a $2 differential if you come in on an unscheduled day.

A couple of my coworkers are lazy, but like fuzzywuzzy, I mainly try to ignore them and get their help at least once throughout the day. I also can always use the sit-to-stand if someone is a 2 person assist and I can't find a second person to help me.

I'm still new at my facility (about to start my 2nd month there) but so far I haven't seen favoritism among management. Some of the aides there have been there for 10+ years, so of course they think they have the run of the place, and occasionally have tantrums when they don't get their way. Whatever.

Mean residents, we've got up the wazoo - it's a dementia facility. They're combative. Even with PRN meds applied judiciously. Sucks, but it's just the nature of that population.

So far, this is the best facility I've ever worked at, and I'm so glad I took the job!

I am getting burnt out too from working with so much stress and drama. I would like to rant about my workplace but it'll be a long story. I know this is horrible but I am feeling less compassion and sympathy for my residents.

I'm just going to tell you - you're going to experience the things you described at just about everyplace you work. Not just LTC facilities, either. Contrary to the shiny halo'd glowing "I WANNA WORK AT A HOSPITAL!!!!" ideas that we tend to get after working in LTC, hospitals have these problems too. Of course some places have it worse than others, but in general, you just have to suck it up and do the best you can with what you have.

I understand burnout - I've been through quite a few aide jobs in my 5 years as an aide - four different geriatric LTC facilities (assisted living and dementia units mixed in with healthcare units), the hospital (in skilled care and also as a float), and now a pediatric LTC facility for D.D. kids and young adults.

Every single place has been overworked and understaffed with various other problems, that's why I switched jobs so many times (though I've also moved three times in that timespan). My current facility has terrible staffing and some of the worst aides I've ever worked with...but I'm happy there. I love the kids I take care of and the differences in the work from geriatrics.

My point is, if you're unhappy in your job, by all means, look for something in another area. Figure out what it is about your job that you dislike...but don't expect other places to not have the same problems. It's just the norm in healthcare, unfortunately. You've just got to find a place where you're happy enough to deal with it.

I still consider myself a new CNA, I've been working at a LTC facility since August and have been certified since November. I started out on this job very idealistic....oh what a wonderful inspired CNA I'm going to be....oh yeah I'm going to get the Employee of the Month award one day and have my picture up on the wall. All my idealistic philosophy went out the window after orientation was over and they turned me loose on the evening shift. I didn't have a regular assignment of residents as many of the established CNA's had, so almost every shift I was switched to another new set of residents that I'd have to learn all the particulars about. It was dizzying and frustrating. I often felt like I was just herding people around like cattle more than really caring for them as I felt that they deserved.

My 120-day performance assessment came up, and I got mostly good marks from my supervisors. By that time, I was disillusioned about this career path I'd chosen, in view of the fact that I'd never done such back-breaking dangerous work before and yet I was making less than I'd earned in more than 25 years doing administrative jobs in the medical field. I took the risk of being totally honest and candid with the DON. I wrote her a letter and spelled it all out for the only thing good about this job was the residents, who I absolutely loved. Everything else about the job sucked -- the poor communication with and lack of support from the other CNA's and how the only 'successful' ones were those who cut corners and didn't follow the care plans in order to get done on disgusted I am about the low pay CNA's who work in LTC facilities earn even though the quality of care is mostly due to quality of care is always sacrificed for quantity and the most important consideration is ALWAYS about cost-containment. I just didn't give a **** anymore if my being honest was going to work against me somehow, because I'd lost almost all respect for my employer. A very strange thing happened -- the DON came up to me and personally told me how much she appreciated my letter. She seemed to treat me with more respect from that point. I'm glad I was honest, without trying to step on toes or blast anyone personally. I just had to speak my mind, and I'm glad I did.

In regard to sit-to-stand lifts and total lifts........yes they're supposed to be manned by 2 CNA's in this facility as well, and they NEVER are because there's just not enough staff for that. After my orientation was over I was on my own with all the lifts.

Specializes in Float.
Contrary to the shiny halo'd glowing "I WANNA WORK AT A HOSPITAL!!!!" ideas that we tend to get after working in LTC, hospitals have these problems too.

Every single place has been overworked and understaffed with various other problems, It's just the norm in healthcare, unfortunately. You've just got to find a place where you're happy enough to deal with it.

"Shiny halo'd" hospital worker here! I was definitely disillusioned with my title when I realized that PCT only meant more work in addition to patient care. However, I don't dislike my job. I suffer from the same complaints as all of you and working in a hospital seems to exasperate the problems. So many different agendas!

I've been floating since august and there have been some floors where I don't care to go back to. If it was just an issue of ignoring the lazy ones it would be such a relief. Unfortunately, we are required to cover the floors when they go for breaks and lunch and the lazy dinosaurs have figured out how to do absolutely nothing while shifting the load onto me, or whoever floats to their floors. They work it so that their breaks coincide with meals, so when I should be doing my ice pass, I'm feeding one or all of their feeders, running to the lab/blood bank/pharmacy, or cleaning the emergency blow out pt. By the way, that pt was already soiled but since they've been sitting in it for God knows how long, it has managed to overflow when the tech is off the floor and now becomes my emergency.

All of a sudden I go to certain floors and the techs split the floor, but only until it's blood sugar time, then I manage to get the side with the most sugars instead of the split pt care assignment I've been given. I look around and the tech is sitting at the nurse's station with the charge nurse, in this particular circumstance an ex tech. While steam starts blowing out of my ears, I'm spending excess energy trying to figure out how to balance my own assignment without any misplaced animosity to wards my pts. I've caught myself more times than not but I hate being in that position.

The good thing about floating for me is I now know how to work any floor I go to and my praises are sung by most of the nurses. It came in handy when a particularly evil nurse decided that I had disrespected her and reported me to management. That day, after having a meeting where I needed union representation, I left with 5 out of 10 pts still soiled. I couldn't sleep that night, not only because of the work I had left behind but because of the false accusation that had me wasting my last hour in an ego meeting as opposed to finishing my assignment. I was floated to that particular floor again and felt better when upon leaving, there was only 1 pt uncompleted and a bunch of 'thank yous' from the nurses I worked with. Wherever I float, with the exception of one, the nurses ask me to please come back while their regular techs are standing right there. It makes me uncomfortable because I don't wish for the way that I work to be a cause for dissension between us but I've found that these particular techs want me to come back as they can pass their work onto me.

I'm learning the tricks they use and I'm coming up with some defenses but for the most part, I just do my job and let God handle the rest. While they think that they are getting over, they are really compromising themselves and it's nothing worse than you being your own worst enemy.

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