CNAs We Love and Hate

  1. To all the wonderful CNAs out there, thank you for being the fantastic assistants you are. You are greatly appreciated for everything you do. You help to keep things running smoothly and by performing what seem like menial tasks, you free the nurses you work with up to handle more pressing issues. Reporting important information is extremely important and for those of you who do this I thank you. Although I may consider myself a competent and worthy nurse, I am not super-human and do not have eyes in the back of my head, so I count on you to give me insight to what's going on in many situations. B/Ps outside parameters, febrile temps, broken skin, and the multitude of other things you might discover while providing care. I can not possibly express the gratitude I truly have for your contributions to the health and well being of our patients. Thank you!

    That said, for future reference, please try to refrain from telling me how to do my job. When you come to me to report a patient is in pain, great! I got it. I'll do what I can. When a patient is having an episode of increased confusion, again, I'll try to do everything possible to help that pt. But, just because I don't jump and run to a pt who says he is in pain does not mean I haven't done anything or don't plan to. There may be circumstances you are not aware of, circumstances that I am not at liberty to discuss with you, or feel I have to explain. Its not your call. Its mine. Just because a pt is causing you to get behind in your other duties, having to put them back into bed because he/she is crawling out, or screaming out for what seems like no reason, does not mean I am going to sedate or chemically restrain that pt. so you can move on to other things. It is my call. It is my decision. It is also illegal to chemically restrain a pt without express orders from the doctor. Also, many medications ordered for decreasing anxiety and agitation in dementia patients don't work. Often they have a paradoxical effect. That is the opposite effect of the one they're supposed to have. Rather than calming the pt, the medication might make their anxiety/agitation worsen. Not that I need to explain, but perhaps explaining may give you a better picture. Many times talking to the pt, getting their attention and re-directing them proves more helpful than meds anyway. Toilet or change him/her, give him a snack, sit down and just talk to her. So, you get five minutes behind. You can easily catch up. However, coming to me every few minutes to tell me (not ask), to "do something" isn't helping at all.
  2. Visit LilPeonNo1 profile page

    About LilPeonNo1

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 38; Likes: 61

    21 Comments

  3. by   Okami_CCRN
    I hope you are not offended by what I am about to say but I feel that this post was not necessary and could have been worded a bit different. At certain points in the post you are talking down to the assistants and that is not necessary.

    "Also, many medications ordered for decreasing anxiety and agitation in dementia patients don't work. Often they have a paradoxical effect. That is the opposite effect of the one they're supposed to have. Rather than calming the pt, the medication might make their anxiety/agitation worsen. Not that I need to explain..."

    that being said I believe if you feel so strongly about what you have posted you should have a talk with the CNA's you work with and let them know how you truly feel.
  4. by   libnat
    Not that I need to explain
    because that attitude always works wonders for getting people to do what you want.....
  5. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    Quote from happyloser
    I hope you are not offended by what I am about to say but I feel that this post was not necessary and could have been worded a bit different. At certain points in the post you are talking down to the assistants and that is not necessary.

    "Also, many medications ordered for decreasing anxiety and agitation in dementia patients don't work. Often they have a paradoxical effect. That is the opposite effect of the one they're supposed to have. Rather than calming the pt, the medication might make their anxiety/agitation worsen. Not that I need to explain..."

    that being said I believe if you feel so strongly about what you have posted you should have a talk with the CNA's you work with and let them know how you truly feel.
    Well said, nothing else for me to add.
  6. by   GGirll22
    I agree. Sometimes I am in the middle of giving meds. No rush and CNA's will rush you, and not knowing what is going on as far as the meds and the Patients. I had a patient Expire, and paperwork. I had to call the family then. Sometimes you get VERY GOOD ones then you get angry ones. I used to be one so I know how the work is and all.
  7. by   systoly
    I'm with happyloser, you lost me at freeing up nurses to handle more pressing issues.
  8. by   coffee4metech
    Who do you think you are talking down to CNA's its not cool I was sad to see that you have little respect towards your fellow co-workers . What if I was a Dr. saying that about nurses that they were always bothering me and interfered with my work! It just totally came out wrong .
  9. by   mncna08
    As a cna who works in memory care i am very familair with such behaviors. My first response is not to prn someone, i try and redirect and figure out what the problem may be. while i dont think you meant to sound demeaning, that is the way it comes off. without us, there would be not be any nurse jobs period. we are with these people day in and day out, we know what the norm is. when we call the nurse its for an important reason. i have been in the position when i didnt know what to do because i had never dealt with it before. too many times i have recieved b.s instructions and an atitude of whatever was going on, was not that big of a deal. is it really that hard to say "ok let me figure something out and get back to you", or just some feed back in general. i can remember a time when one of my residents had a bloody nose, and im not talking any bloody nose..exuse me for being gross but i didnt even know blood clots that big could even come out of a nose! so we call the nurse and she says wait 30 mins and call me back,not even advice on how to stop it. not that i felt i needed to call 911 but i thought that she did need to be seen or something because for over an hour her nose bled, and she did end up going to the e.r to get it to stop. this nurse also said nothing when we called because one of the resdients blood sugar was over 400, which is obvously very high.things that may seem small to a nurse may be scary to a new aid who has never seen or dealt with certain things. we are honestly worried about the resident otherwise we wouldnt pester.i guess the frustrations just works both ways. but next time if they keep coming back say in a nice way "ok thank you i will figure it out as soon as im able to" and i bet the aid would back right off.
  10. by   Tina1968
    I understand your point, but it was a little condescending.
  11. by   RN2BFawnie
    I agree with many of the posters here in saying that if you are having this problem, maybe you should speak with the co-workers that you are having this problem with...and yeah, it was a little condescending:

    "So, you get five minutes behind. You can easily catch up."

    You can EASILY catch up? I was an aid myself and just like nurses have things that are their list of things to do, so do we and it's not always that "easy" to just catch up.
  12. by   EastBayCAStudent
    I will be a CNA soon, and at first I thought you were giving some helpful advice I could use....and then I was just thinking "Boy, I hope I don't have to work with her!"
  13. by   mochabean
    Quote from LilPeonNo1
    That said, for future reference, please try to refrain from telling me how to do my job. When you come to me to report a patient is in pain, great! I got it. I'll do what I can. When a patient is having an episode of increased confusion, again, I'll try to do everything possible to help that pt. But, just because I don't jump and run to a pt who says he is in pain does not mean I haven't done anything or don't plan to. There may be circumstances you are not aware of, circumstances that I am not at liberty to discuss with you, or feel I have to explain.
    I feel the same way about some nurses. It goes both ways. And depending on the experience of the CNA, you can't assume that a CNA will know about physical/chemical restraints. If you respect CNA's for their hard work like you say you do, then you would respect this particular CNA who is bothering you and explain to him/her about how sedatives work and the legalities of physical/chemical restraints. I don't know how coming on here and being condescending is helping at all etiher.
  14. by   LilPeonNo1
    It did not occur to me that what I said might be construed as demeaning. I really do appreciate CNAs, I was one for 10years before returning to school for my LPN and know how difficult a job it is. And, when time permits, I take pts to the bathroom, clean them up, sit down and just talk with them if they are confused and trying to get out of bed. I will also keep a pt at my side to monitor while at the desk or keep in eye-view of my med cart while passing meds. And even though I may lose a small amount of my time needed for other things (more pressing issues; like a bloody nose), it often saves me the aggravation of filling out endless incident reports on falls and injuries.

    I have worked with many more great CNAs than bad ones and in my experiences it isn't the "good" CNAs who come to me and hound me about a resident. I'm not talking about the CNA who reports something then later maybe coming to find out if I've taken care of it. Or, telling me that mr. soandso is still complaining. I'm talking about the CNA who comes at me like they are the "nurse police". "Did you do that"? "Did you take care of that"? That CNA is the one who usually doesn't want to do their job. Who's looking for a way not to deal with a problem, but rather push it off on the nurse. That same CNA will shirk their responsibilities off on other CNAs, asking for help with a pt (and its usually the one they asked for help that does the job), then hiding out or making excuses not to help the other CNAs on the floor.

    When a new CNA comes to the floor, I do my best to place them with a CNA who knows their job inside and out. So they can learn how to do their job well. When he/she comes to me with questions I answer them. I certainly would not leave a CNA to handle a bloody nose no matter how experienced they are. Because that's my job, not theirs.

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