RN's and LPN's working as Nursing Assistants?

  1. If you came into your facility and they asked you to work as a nursing assistant for the day for your regular nursing pay, would you agree to it? Why or why not? If you would, or if someone else would, do you feel they are still accountable to their patients as a nurse?
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    About blackmamba123, RN

    Joined: Sep '09; Posts: 97; Likes: 230

    78 Comments

  3. by   NurseCard
    Well, I would not WANT to work as a nursing assistant, for the simple
    reason that the work is usually much harder! But, I'm certainly not
    above it, and I have worked in that capacity many times since becoming
    an RN.

    Yes, I believe as long as you have that RN after your name, you are
    accountable for the patients you are helping to look after.
  4. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from blackmamba123
    If you came into your facility and they asked you to work as a nursing assistant for the day for your regular nursing pay, would you agree to it? Why or why not? If you would, or if someone else would, do you feel they are still accountable to their patients as a nurse?
    I "play CNA" on occasion when I have an orientee who's doing well and about to go solo ...but if I were assigned to be my colleagues' subordinate for the day, I would probably be a little bit irritated. It's more fair for each nurse to have fewer patients and for everyone to help each other out.
  5. by   blackmamba123
    I've actually seen individuals working on the unit as the CNA for their regular nursing salary who believed that they're not responsible as a nurse to their patients because they were working as a CNA on that day? In the land of CYA, that is absurd. If you are licensed as a nurse, hired as a nurse, and receiving a nurse's salary, God forbid something goes down, how do you think "well I was the CNA for the day, not assigned as a nurse" would hold up in court? I'm also irritated by the fact that me not being willing to work as a CNA is seen as being less than humble. What in the world? I assist people in that way whenever I can. But I have initials and a license that means I work a certain position. It doesn't mean I feel aide work is beneath me. Those initials have never "gone to my head". But I feel nursing assistants try to put their frustrations about their job (too much to do, too little time to do it, too little pay) on the backs of nurses who too often have too much to do in too little time and for not enough pay. Is it as grueling as working as an Aide can be? Hecks no. But that's an issue for you to take up with yourself or your employer...not expect me to do my and your job too...in my not so humble opinion. Can they help me when I've got a new admit who hasn't been assessed, blood hanging that needs to be changed, a blown IV, and somebody coding? That's a hard no.
  6. by   bugya90
    Occasionally happens at my work (though they try to avoid it due to cost/budget). What typically happens if the nurse is assigned to be the unit clerk so she answers phones and helps with discharge papers most of the day. She does "CNA work" to cover people's breaks or help with the total care patients. They will also help pass meds if the staff nurse is behind. Also when the nurse is training a new employee they will help out the CNAs and other nurses if their trainee is doing well or close to being done with orientation.
    In my state we are held liable to our highest licensure so if something were to happen she would have to respond as a nurse, can't say oh I'm just an aide let me get your nurse.
  7. by   blackmamba123
    Quote from bugya90
    In my state we are held liable to our highest licensure so if something were to happen she would have to respond as a nurse, can't say oh I'm just an aide let me get your nurse.

    It is the same in my state. But there are so many people out here misinformed about this in this state, AND, I certainly wouldn't want to say in court, well, that wasn't the role I was working in so I wasn't responsible. Additionally, I don't like this trend at all. Nurses work as nurses. You don't see judges running around doing work as an attorney. Now I'm all for doing something non traditional or innovative with your nursing degree and knowledge. But I'm irritated about how facilities manipulate us and then spoon feed that mess to us about how were doing everything for the good of the patient. If that's the case, I need management to hire some more people for the good of the patient so everyone can work in the roles they were hired for, provide safe and timely care, and not put their license at risk. Besides, do you think any facility representatives will say, well yea, she was assigned as an aide, or clerk that day. No, facilities have CYA down to a science and have a team of lawyers on their side. We as health care workers need to get it down to a science too.
  8. by   FolksBtrippin
    In adolescent psych I was floated to tech once in a while. Loved it. Easiest job ever. Just play with kids all day.

    I'm sure I wasn't supposed to like it. But I did.
  9. by   OrganizedChaos
    As long as I'm getting my usual pay. CNA duties are in my job discription so why should I act like I'm above it?
  10. by   brownbook
    Blackmamba123. When you write a long post could you please make a lot of paragraphs.

    They don't have to follow the Element of Style rules on what constitutes a paragraph. Think of a paragraph as a momentary pause in your conversation.

    I'm confused about how an aide would respond differently than a nurse towards a patient in distress.

    If I'm working as an aide I'd call for help. I don't understand what would be different? "I was working as a CNA so I didn't do anything when the patient's blood pressure was 60/30, or his dressing was saturated with blood".

    Maybe I'm missing something or not understanding? I tend to be a little dense sometimes.
  11. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from blackmamba123
    It is the same in my state. But there are so many people out here misinformed about this in this state, AND, I certainly wouldn't want to say in court, well, that wasn't the role I was working in so I wasn't responsible. Additionally, I don't like this trend at all. Nurses work as nurses. You don't see judges running around doing work as an attorney. Now I'm all for doing something non traditional or innovative with your nursing degree and knowledge. But I'm irritated about how facilities manipulate us and then spoon feed that mess to us about how were doing everything for the good of the patient. If that's the case, I need management to hire some more people for the good of the patient so everyone can work in the roles they were hired for, provide safe and timely care, and not put their license at risk. Besides, do you think any facility representatives will say, well yea, she was assigned as an aide, or clerk that day. No, facilities have CYA down to a science and have a team of lawyers on their side. We as health care workers need to get it down to a science too.
    How is your license at risk because you are working as a CNA for one shift? Yes, you are held to the standard of your license, but again, how is that dangerous for your license? CNA duties are certainly part of the RN scope. If you had no aides that day, you'd be providing that level of care for your patient as well as the advanced scope of your RN license.
  12. by   blackmamba123
    Quote from brownbook
    Blackmamba123. When you write a long post could you please make a lot of paragraphs.

    I'm confused about how an aide would respond differently than a nurse towards a patient in distress.

    If I'm working as an aide I'd call for help. I don't understand what would be different? "I was working as a CNA so I didn't do anything when the patient's blood pressure was 60/30, or his dressing was saturated with blood".

    Maybe I'm missing something or not understanding? I tend to be a little dense sometimes.

    You mean my one big paragraph is unacceptable? Just kidding!

    I guess I should've explained more in my original post. I was chatting with a group of nurses who mentioned how they frequently work as CNA's on their unit, and they felt that if they are assigned as a CNA, they are not responsible to their patients as a nurse.

    In some respects I agreed, in terms of charting assessments on patients and passing medications etc. However, it concerned me when I said should something serious go down with a patient, you do realize you would be expected to do what a "good and prudent nurse" would? The overwhelming response was "no, because I was working as the CNA that day". So in the scenario you mentioned above with the abnormal blood pressure and dressing, they felt, let me get your nurse. It's like they felt they're not responsible as the nurse in any way.

    It made me think about that scenario, and working as a CNA when you're a nurse. As I mentioned earlier, in the land of CYA, it seems that choosing to work as a CNA when you are a licensed nurse is a very slippery slope. The argument I always get when I state my case is that I act like aide work is beneath nurses. That is so far from true. We do that kind of work every day.

    However, it's not nor should it be the bulk of what we do. That's why we have nursing assistants. And I disagree with nurses working as CNA's for the day. We are nurses, we work as nurses. We assist patients and do nursing duties. We're hired as nurses, receive nursing compensation, and we have a job description that usually in no way shape or form includes working as the CNA or unit clerk etc. Just my two to three cents.
  13. by   nightlightnurseaide
    Quote from NurseCard
    Well, I would not WANT to work as a nursing assistant, for the simple
    reason that the work is usually much harder! But, I'm certainly not
    above it, and I have worked in that capacity many times since becoming
    an RN.

    Yes, I believe as long as you have that RN after your name, you are
    accountable for the patients you are helping to look after.
    Thank you
  14. by   blackmamba123
    Quote from Horseshoe
    How is your license at risk because you are working as a CNA for one shift? Yes, you are held to the standard of your license, but again, how is that dangerous for your license? CNA duties are certainly part of the RN scope. If you had no aides that day, you'd be providing that level of care for your patient as well as the advanced scope of your RN license.

    It's true...if there are no aides you'd be providing that care for your 5 to 6 patients, helping other nurses if you choose...still responsible for your normal patient load. Not half the hallway, or the whole hallway, like you would if you're acting as the CNA. Are you saying things can't get crazy in one shift??? Ofcourse they can.

    If you look at my post below it might explain a little more. I was talking to a very large group of nurses who felt they did not have to intervene as a nurse if that wasn't their role that day. I know it sounds crazy. But this large group of people really felt that way. I argued that you're a nurse and will be judged in that capacity regardless of what role you're in. And because that's the case. Work as a nurse.

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