What do nurses really think of CNAs? - page 5

I have been working as a CNA in a LTC facility for the past four years. I am posting on this forum, because I would like some feedback from nurses. Recently at work, a survey was handed out to... Read More

  1. by   RNHawaii34
    Quote from jessica27
    i have been an stna for almost 9 years. all of the nurses i work with seem to praise me on how good of a job i do. i only have one rough spot in my area. the 2nd shift supervisor seems to like to give me the cold shoulder. i have never done anything to her and it just seems like i do nothing right in her eyes. i am only hopeing when i do become an lpn she will treat me with the same respect as I always treat her. any suggestions?
    either you need to suck it up, be nice to her everyday, but to tell you honestly if you feel uncomfortable now? it may get worse and will never get better when you get that LPN license...Get outta there as fast as you can, move to another unit!
  2. by   RNHawaii34
    at first, it was really hard for me to ask my nurse aide to do something for me, like rechecking blood pressures..i was an aide too, for 8 years before getting my rn license. but now i really. really do appreciate the aides. i cannot imagine what its like to work without them, with all of our responsibilities, there is no way i can get my job done.
  3. by   bmoregirl
    i've worked in LTC for 2 years and in an hospital for 6 years and i think the whole system is designed to make CNA's feel like they don't contribute or are not a part of the team . Your voice is not counted we have no representive in any council and the only time upper management associates with us is when JCAHO is coming andthey want to make sure we know what to say to them .there are those rays of sunlight called " good nurses" who show apperication so i think it all depends on your attitude, outlook, and feeling about what u do. There are some fab nurses out here the same way there are good tech/cna out her it's all a gamble.
  4. by   JentheRN05
    I used to work in a hospital. I no longer do, and I no longer have CNA (I have 'staff' I guess). Anyway, when I worked in the hospital, I saw how little CNAs were appreciated. It irked me. I was only a CNA for a brief amount of time. But it was long enough to know how hard their job is, and how little they get paid to do their job! The least we can do is show them respect and appreciation. So last Christmas I decided I was going to do something for the aides (which I did anonymously) and made Candles for all of them with a little note attached to say "I just want you to know you are appreciated" Nothing else. Imagine how upset I was when my boss took the credit (even though I had personally heard her say 'she's just a CNA' to a family member!)
    I really don't care though, my point was made, and all the aides got a gift, and the little note attached. I no longer work there, wonder what the 'boss' will do this year to top her gift last year? lol
  5. by   Pleaides
    When I first worked as a nurse in LTC, I had the license but did not know how to dress a combative pt, get a 400 lber out of bed, etc. Everything practical I learned from CNA's. It is a very stupid nurse indeed who does not appreciate a good CNA. (I have worked with some bad ones, but they usually didn't last long). A really good CNA is worht her/his weight in gold!
  6. by   BrnEyedGirl
    [quote=ccyrrus;1923837]Thanks to all the people who replied to my recent post. I appreciate your honest opinions.
    However, I have had nurses who have walked three hall lengths to tell me that a resident wanted some fresh water. It would have been quicker for the nurse to have gotten the water herself, from the machine which was located just around the corner. When I stated this fact, the nurse replied: "I didn't go to nursing school for two years just to pass water! That is a job for the PBWs!" (professional butt-wipers)"

    At the hospital were I work,..they are PCA's = Patient Care Assistants,.they care for pt's, not nurses,..that said,..I could never do my job without you guys! We have a term for some of our new RN grads who develope "RN itis" usually shortly after orientation is over,..the Sx include saying phrases like "I'm the NURSE, I don't have to do that!" ,,"I'm the NURSE, that's not my job",.."I'm the NURSE, that's what your here for"....you get the idea,..well I'll tell you what I always tell them,.our PCA's spend way more time w/my pts than I do,..they have saved my butt on more than one occasion, if a PCA comes to me and says something is wrong w/ Mr Jones tonight,.I go check Mr Jones,..our PCA's are introduced, as often as possible, by the RN to the pt as "this is Janet, she will be your PCA tonight, if you need anything one of us will be happy to help you", We both put our first names on a board in the pt's room,..I'm very lucky to work w/ some great PCA's, we are all a team, working together to do the best pt care we can, I think the key is that they all love thier jobs,.not always everything about thier jobs, but truely love pt care,...usually the ones that aren't good PCA's only took the job because it was job,...don't think that works for anyone in the medical field, be it PCA, RN, DR, pharmacist, etc. If you love what you do, it will show and you will be good at it! I say a huge thankyou to anyone who does the job,..w/out you I would never make it!!!! THANKS
  7. by   BJLynn
    I have a lot of respect for my CNA's. I started out as a CNA. Some things I always tell the CNA's I work with: You can always ask me if you need help, and if I can do it, I will be there without a grumble. If you do your job right, I will back you up 100% (I stood up for one my aides when she was unfairly accused of neglect. I got it cleared off her company record. She was a jem of a CNA!). However, if you do things wrong or hurt someone, I will make sure you are taken to task for things.

    I never have had a problem with 90% of the CNA's I have worked for. Now, there have been a couple I have reported, and I got one CNA fired for abuse. But like I said, the VAST majority of them are good people.

    I couldn't do my job with out them!!
  8. by   IslandtrainedRN
    I work on a unit that uses team nursing. This means that on a team of 9 patients we have one team leader (always an RN) and a worker (usually an LPN but sometimes an RN). When I'm team leading, there is no one I appreciate more than the worker on my team, and there are many LPNs who I would rather work with than some of the other RNs. I always try to help out with vitals and baths and dressing changes, but since I'm a new grad and I'm still pretty slow doing meds and assessments, my worker usually takes the brunt of the workload, and I feel terrible about that.

    Anyway, the point that I first intended to make was that some RNs have inferiority complexes from being bullied by MDs and senior nurses (who were bullied themselves). I think sometimes people take their frustrations out on who they perceive to be working "under them", which is terrible.
  9. by   tatgirl
    I work in LTC on a unit with 46 patients. There are 2 nurses (myself and another lpn) and on 3-11 we have 4 cnas. Those cna's are a vital part of our team. Every night I tell each of them thank you for your hard work. That being said, I have had to have some not so good cna's work on our unit as floaters. These individuals would take vital signs and not notify the nurses of abnormals. Or they would wait until end of shift to let me know that Mr so and so had diarrhea or something else that I needed to know hours ago. There are good and bad in every profession, and for the most part I am fortunate to work with a good crew. My cna's know that I am not above answering call-lights, or changing residents. When time allows I help them feed residents that are unable to feed themselves. Their job is hard and the pay doesnt reflect their hard work and dedication to their job.


  10. by   rach_nc_03
    When I worked as a CNA, I was in a hospital ICU. I was a nursing student, and needed the job for the health insurance coverage so I could have surgery. had i not been in a bind, there were MANY days I would've quit because of the way I was treated. I had one nurse who would page me REPEATEDLY while I was in a patient room (usually with at least one more nurse) to come and help her A&O patient to the BSC. I'd be helping these nurses turn and clean a 300 lb head injury pt with a ventricular drain, on a vent, totally unstable- and Miss Impatient would come and stand at the curtain, tapping her foot, until we were finished. Even if it took us 15 minutes. Yep, she could've taken said pt. to the toilet and back several times by that point. she just wanted me to do it because she was a former manager who hated poop. And she wanted to go out to smoke.

    Another nurse on the same unit knew I had dachshunds- she did as well- and she gave me a very inexpensive dachshund watch for Christmas. I still tear up when I think about that. she always said thank you to me, and I would've moved mountains for her.

    Then, when I worked as a nurse:

    had a CNA who said she was too old to run around getting vitals all night. Period. Every other CNA did it, but she was 'too old'. She'd sit all night, talking to her buddies from other units about how old and tired they all were. She was never fired, because she'd been there for 20 years. If you had the misfortune of working with her, you had to assume you'd get no help with anything for the entire shift.

    I also was a supervisor for a CNA who got thank-you notes from families every single week- literally. Residents would clap their hands when they found out she was working that shift. She knew every resident, nurse, CNA and housekeeper by name, and treated everyone with absolute respect at all times. She seemed to be able to be in six places at the same time. The mood of the entire facility improved as soon as she walked in the door. If I could, I would clone her.

    As a patient:

    One CNA came to my room every time she took a break and before she finished each shift to ask if I needed anything. If I needed pain meds and she answered the call light, she'd go look for my nurse- if she didn't find MY nurse, she'd look for another one- and while she was looking, she'd let me know, every few minutes, that she was still looking. I sent the unit manager a note after I left in praise of this wonderful CNA.

    After my recent hip surgery, I'd been put in the bedside chair by the PT and fell asleep. A CNA came into my room and, while changing my bed, kicked my leg and stepped on my foot. When I yelped (this was how I woke up), she said, 'oh, is your foot sore?' um...I just had surgery on my hip, and you kicked my leg! YES! She said, 'well, you need to move so I can finish making your bed.' I couldn't move my leg, and asked her to release the foot brake to move the bed over. She said it was too much trouble, then left the room- leaving my call button out of reach, and my bed stripped.

    Most of us have had wonderful- and really crappy- CNAs. The wonderful ones can transform the workplace and make EVERYONE happier. The crappy ones can make everything harder, and they can be dangerous. IMHO, I think the ratio of wonderful to cruddy CNAs would change dramatically if CNAs were paid a decent wage and treated with respect by other employees, patients, and families.

    The same exact thing could be said for nurses.

    So, I have a hard time giving my general opinion of CNAs. Their position is absolutely essential in some settings, and they can (and do) literally save lives. But I feel that you can't make any generalizations because various factors can allow terrible, dangerous employees (CNAs, nurses and docs alike) to keep their jobs, while fantastic ones burn out and leave. Thus, quality of work (and of character) varies wildly.
  11. by   UM Review RN
    Boy, Rach, what a great post! So true!
  12. by   allantiques4me
    Quote from jessica27
    i have been an stna for almost 9 years. all of the nurses i work with seem to praise me on how good of a job i do. i only have one rough spot in my area. the 2nd shift supervisor seems to like to give me the cold shoulder. i have never done anything to her and it just seems like i do nothing right in her eyes. i am only hopeing when i do become an lpn she will treat me with the same respect as I always treat her. any suggestions?
    I really wouldnt worry about what the 2nd shift supervisor thinks of you.There are many people in the world you will come across,some will like you ,some you wont click with.Thats fine too.I feel that by being an stna,you will gain invaluable experience that will make you a wonderful nurse.I was a nurses aid(back in the day we didnt have to be certified)I know that made it easier for me when I became a nurse.You will gain confidence in knowing you are a good nurse.Take in as much knowlege as you can.and you will be fine with some of the people who occassionally give you the cold shoulder
  13. by   TheCommuter
    I respect CNAs. After all, they do the truly backbreaking, grueling work that only special people are capable of. Thank goodness for the CNAs across the nation, since they are the backbone of the healthcare facilities. I wouldn't be able to do my job adequately without CNAs.