Published Apr 20, 2004
I have posted a few times on situations in the LTC facility I work. I am a CNA to attend LPN school in the fall. I chose this facility becauase they will reimburse me for my schooling.
To briefly summarize the situation, as a CNA there my fellow CNA's are high school dropouts with several children each, heavy smokers, low income, uneducated, foul mouthed, unclean, deceitful, dishonest and more. I have had money stolen, a jacket, and food from the breakroom. I have watched in dismay as they haphazzardly rush through their work, scold residents, humiliate them, make fists behind their heads, all to go out for a smoke break.
Some of them have been in jail, the ones who weren't have children with fathers who are. I would not want these people caring for a loved one.
I went to management (the head nurse) with this and she took down everything I said on paper. SHe then told me to "grow up and get back to work" I had tears in my eyes as I told her this stuff and she said "how old are you! 5 years old????get back to work!!!!" The next day she met with the CNA's I "told on" and told them everything I said. Now I am REALLY working in a hostile environment. Not one person will talk to me, I can't find help...I received a phone call at home from one of them who said she was going to lose her job because of me. Because of me or the way she conducts herself as a CNA?????
THe nursing supervisor told me..watch yourself, get the security guard to walk you out and hide your car. God knows what these "things" are capable of. Yet I feel she threw me to the wolves!
Is this what most facilities would do? I have been calling in sick and can't stop with the diariah and vomiting due to the stress. when I call in they are very nasty. Maybe it is the area I am in...but this CNA experience is very discouraging. I don't want to lose site of my career goals.
Town & Country
First of all: I would not SET FOOT IN THAT PLACE AGAIN.
To hear this is truly chilling! That the Head Nurse knows these residents are being humiliated ~ and yet, she does NOTHING?!
This is mind-boggling! Do they not do background criminal checks on employees?
I don't know, but if it was ME, I would be looking for another job, pronto.
Also, don't worry about your career: you are obviously cut from a different cloth, shall we say. You are obviously a future nurse and a FUTURE PATIENT ADVOCATE.
YOU DID THE RIGHT THING!
It just makes me shudder to think stuff like that is going on - I have worked LTC but I've never worked with people like that!
Ditto to Shazam's comments. Get out of there and never look back. Sure, there are many places who would be happy to have a hard working and honest employee. Look to your local school for scholarship info.
Good luck to you and hold your head high.
HI... 20 year veteran of long term care here. Most are not like that but I think they all have a thread or two of what you are seeing. You are stuck in a spot. You can a patient advocate and just do the best you can there or you can leave. If you stay, your lite WILL shine and the residents will notice that you are different. I too worked in a facility where excons were part of the work force. Unfortunately, our Government officials thought getting moms off of welfare quick was a good soap box for them to stand on. Too bad for the elderly who has to deal with the effects of it. Two weeks of training and poof one more off the system. Only to have one more with a grudge against the world taking care of some of our weakest citizens. If you decide to stay... document everything you see with names, dates everything in a private journal that no one but you sees. Take care of your patients and depend on no one to help you but don't risk hurting your back for the cause. Start phoning other facilities... ask to speak with the Director of Nursing or the person in charge of the CNA's. Let them know you are looking for tuition reimbursement or assistance. Then let them know what type of situation you are in now. Give no names and don't give specifics such as the incident with the Supervisor. (They will think you are a whistleblower). Let them know that you have seen abuse, neglect and poor attitudes up and down the ladder. Tell them you don't want to be a part of that type of environment. They will see that you are caring and concerned and have a good work ethic. Good CNA's are a rareity and any bright DON will see that and snatch you up. As long as you are at the present facility, lay low, social little and do everything you can for you patients. Don't worry about trying to get letters of recommendation or having a good reference. You don't want your name associated with such a place. After you leave take your notebook and call your State health officials. Obviously, there is a safety risk there for you and retaliation sounds very possible with no back up or support... ( been there done that and it won't change). If you want you can take that little notebook to an attorney, a local or national TV station or newspaper and reveal what is going on in there. If nothing else, they will get a call for comment. They will know they are being watched and things will change a little. If this is not a private one horse facility call the home office and fill them in as well. The Administrator and DON usually know when they are coming in for a visit and of course, everyone will be on their best behaviors. Good luck, don't lose site of your goals. It sounds like you have a good heart and your spirit is in the right place. You will be a good advocate, maybe not right at the bedside there but hopefully your time will n ot have been in vain. Hopefully someone will listen and respond. Best wishes
I worked in LTC for 2 years as a CNA. I would not want any of my fellow CNA's caring for me for any of my loved ones. I know what you are saying about poorly educated, I don't think that McDonald's would hire any of these people. One of the CNA's could not even read. What I don't understand is how she passed the exam to become a CNA, you have to read the questions and answer them. All I know is that I will never go back to LTC, like the hospital much better.
SURPRISE... You don't have to know how to read to take the state exam. They give oral exams if you have difficulty. I was also an examiner in Virginia and the stuff I saw made me shudder. Fortunately, I worked with a group of ladies that believed in the way the system should be. We gave no mercy to the applicants. If they missed a portion there were no mercy points. If they didn't know it by the time they got to us... oh well, we were NOT turning these folks out on the elderly and disabled to learn! Surprisingly enough, you could tell who really wanted to go thru with their dreams. We had a few return to retake their failed portion of the clinicals but you could spot the ones a mile away that would not return. I guess they weren't so ready after all to get off the system!
I truly feel that most the CNA's I work with are there because their welfare had run out. I was suckered into giving one of the "nicer" ones a ride home each night, out of my way and in a very bad part of the city..when I leaned she had been going to the nurse about me all along trying to get me in trouble. She smiled in my face the whole time. I got ready at her apartment one night for a function and accidentally left behind my diamond studs...she swares I did not. I know I did, I was in a rush. I can never prove it. How can someone be around this type of people everyday and be healthy??????
It is impossible. I go into work each day through a cloud of smoke as they all puff up as many smokes as they can b4 the clock says 3:00. It is disgusting!
I am sorry but I feel this behavior is a red flag and I am not being judgemental, only saying what I see.
My advice would be to leave, ASAP, because your personal safety is in danger. I have seen CNA's do physical harm to other CNA's (not in the workplace, but on the streets), and you can't be a patient advocate for those poor souls in the facility if you are in the hospital. What you need to do is call the state, immediately! That's not a guarantee that anything will be done, considering they have obviously passed inspections in the past. However, this time they might show up unannounced, and might catch them when they least expect it.
How can family members visit their loved ones and see who's taking care of them and not be concerned??
PLEASE don't think that all LTC is like this, it's not! I work with some wonderful staff, and wouldn't trade some of them for anything. This can occur in any setting, anywhere. It's not just LTC. Find a facility that would be grateful to have a patient advocate like you.
unbelievable. what hellhole. I can't believe facilities like this exist.
Krissy, GET OUT OF THERE!! Tuiton reimbursement won't be worth anything if you are dead!! It's not safe for you there and you know it. A good CNA is hard to find and you will get another job pronto.
There are soo many fine places to work, why on earth stay at a place like that?
Move on and let your career move on as well.
(is this how NY is? We westerners are scared of that area)
I REALLY hope she gets out of there!
I tell you, this sort of thing gives the GOOD CNAs a bad name ~ one facility I worked at had excellent CNAs: they really cared about those elderly people and treated them like FAMILY.
They were truly a great team to work with! They kept those residents DRY, TURNED, and attended to .... they would alert me if anything was going on that needed checking ~ they were just great.
However, I have also worked with the sort she is describing; mercifully, I feel they are in the minority.
Most of the CNAs I have worked with were really caring, compassionate people. I don't look upon CNAs as "lower" down the totem pole than I am as an RN ~ CNAs are the backbone of the operation. If you have GOOD CNAs, then your job as an RN is a *whole lot easier!*
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