CNA agitation

  1. I posted this over in the LPN corner as well to get the POV of the licensed professionals, but I would also like to hear from fellow students. Here is the situation:
    Our school had a blood drive last month, and being O- I decided I would donate. Upon entering the auditorium, I knew the young gentleman doing the donor interview as a person who had started the surgical technician program in September but had been dropped from the program because of grades. Instead, he came back in November and obtained his CNA. Good for him! CNAs are very important. Anyhow, I told him it was nice to see him and that I was pleased he had gotten a good job so quickly. He then replies, "Oh yea. I have two. One at MCH, one with the Red Cross. I became a nurse and then it was really easy to get a job." I smiled, but inside I was infuriated. I know I should have said something, but I couldn't. I was too angry and afraid I would hurt his feelings. In no way am I downplaying the CNA title, nor am I saying these valuable individuals do not work hard to get their certification. What angers me is how someone can have the gall to say they are a nurse when in no way have they put in the hours or paid the dues I have. My family and I have sacrificed A LOT this year so I could follow my dreams, and we have a long way to go as I transition from LPN to RN. Not only is it illegal for a CNA to call themselves a nurse, it is insulting to me. Am I the only one who feels this way?
  2. Visit HisTreasure profile page

    About HisTreasure, ADN, RN

    Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 821; Likes: 441
    BSN student; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Pediatrics

    24 Comments

  3. by   xokelly2
    Could he have gotten his Nursing degree elswhere??? or been from another country and had to test to practice as a nurse???? You should have questioned him more like something really specific about a course......hmmmmm good question...
  4. by   HisTreasure
    Quote from xokelly2
    Could he have gotten his Nursing degree elswhere??? or been from another country and had to test to practice as a nurse???? You should have questioned him more like something really specific about a course......hmmmmm good question...
    Good thoughts. When he was in the surg tech program we spoke on occasion and he told me that this was his first venture into the healthcare field, just as it was mine. He took the CNA class offered in November and was certified the same day as one of my good friends who left the LPN program and decided she wanted to be a CNA first and perhaps pursue nursing later in life when it was more convenient for her family life. I don't know of any 3 month nursing programs either, but of course I am only 23, so I could be mistaken. I try really hard not to pass judgement on people or assume too much because when I do either of the two I always end up wrong.

    PS, did I note sarcasm and rudeness in your post? If so I hope it is not because I offended you in some way. My post was not meant to ruffle any feathers. I apologize.
    Last edit by HisTreasure on Mar 26, '05
  5. by   RainDreamer
    I don't think Kelly was being sarcastic or rude at all in her post.

    I would have been frustrated by his comment too. CNAs are a great asset, but they are not nurses and can't legally call themselves nurses. They can't do the skills that nurses do. I would have said something simple like "you're a nurse?", just to see what his response would be.
  6. by   wonderbee
    What is a nurse? CNAs provide basic nursing care. The term "nurse" is a broad one. Check out any job description for a CNA or PCA. Look at any dictionary.

    A CNA is a member of the nursing team. In his mind, this man is a nurse. I would not disagree. I may be out on a limb here, but when medical assistants are referred to as "the nurse" in the doctor's office, it doesn't tick me off that a nursing assistant who bathes and cleans and feeds and takes VS, and assists a sick patient or elderly resident would refer to himself as a nurse. In my mind, he functions as a kind of nurse. In the patient's mind too.

    I'm not so sure that what he said to you was illegal. He didn't represent himself as an LPN or RN. He didn't walk into your room and say "I am your nurse", which would be illegal.

    Why get upset? Far be it from me to elevate myself by making someone else feel lower.
    Last edit by wonderbee on Mar 26, '05
  7. by   RainDreamer
    In some state nurse practice acts it is illegal for anyone but a RN or LPN/LVN to call themselves a "nurse".
  8. by   xokelly2
    No, I'm sorry I wasn't trying to be rude or sarcastic, just spewing some random thoughts, I should have gone back made it sound a little nicer....
  9. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from RNKittyKat
    Why get upset? Far be it from me to elevate myself by making someone else feel lower.
    Rather than implying that the OP is attempting to elevate herself by making someone else feel lower the real point of concern should be that someone else is elevating themselves without having earned that elevation.

    Since I'm a nursing student and administering nursing care can I go ahead and call myself a nurse? Of course not. People tip toe around this in fear of upsetting CNAs (which I am I should add) but no one is attempting to devalue the occupation, they are simply pointing out that they should not claim to be something they're not.

    I would actually be really upset if I was greeted by an NP who called himself a physician. Is that because I think less of NPs compared to physicians? No. I simply want to know the credentials of the person who is administering care to me PERIOD. I, as a health care consumer, do not appreciate being lied to. And that's what this is ultimately about.
  10. by   caye
    Sorry, but it is offensive to the nurses that have worked hard to earn their nursing license for CNA's to call themselves nurses. Remember what CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant--not nurse. I would never call myself a physician or any other title that I am not. Not only is calling oneself a Nurse a violation of the State's Nurse Practice Act's, is is also fraud.
    I am an RN. It took four long and hard years of going to school, trying to raise two teenage daughters that were very rebellious, all the while my nursing instructors did their very best to make things difficult just to make sure you would make it as a nurse.
    I teach CNA students. I tell them how very important they are to the nursing "team". Key word-team. I explain to my students that the nurses can't be there as often as they are, and are counting on them to report anything odd or different regarding their patient's. I doubt my student's would even want all the responsibilities and headaches that go with being a nurse. :angryfire
    I am also a student again, taking an online Legal Nurse Consultant Course. I plan on becoming an LNC and starting my own LNC Practice. BUT, eventhough I am studying about the law and legal aspects, I can't call myself an attorney!
    By the way, I admire all of you students out there. Hang in there. Make it your goal to finish and don't let anything or anyone stop you. :hatparty:
    And, if there are any LNC's out there, I would love to hear from you too.
    HAPPY EASTER!
    Caye
  11. by   wonderbee
    If there is any implication I'm making, it's that there are many opportunities to get our feathers ruffled in the profession upon which we are embarking and so many important professional issues facing us. If we don't get selective about what we're going to allow ourselves to get upset about, we'll get burned out and bitter pretty darned quick. Of course the guy is not a nurse in the professional sense of the term any more than a paralegal is an attorney and if he represented himself as such in a facility, he'd be in deep doo doo. But there is another broader imperative here that goes back thousands of years. Again, what is a "nurse"? Not an LPN or RN or CNA... but what is a nurse if not someone who administers nursing care?

    Like I said, going out on a limb here and no offense is meant to anyone. Just like to throw out a little food for thought.
  12. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from RNKittyKat
    If there is any implication I'm making, it's that there are many opportunities to get our feathers ruffled in the profession upon which we are embarking and so many important professional issues facing us. If we don't get selective about what we're going to allow ourselves to get upset about, we'll get burned out and bitter pretty darned quick. Of course the guy is not a nurse in the professional sense of the term any more than a paralegal is an attorney and if he represented himself as such in a facility, he'd be in deep doo doo. But there is another broader imperative here that goes back thousands of years. Again, what is a "nurse"? Not an LPN or RN or CNA... but what is a nurse if not someone who administers nursing care?

    Like I said, going out on a limb here and no offense is meant to anyone. Just like to throw out a little food for thought.
    I'm respectfully disagreeing here.

    Yes, a nurse does administer nursing care, and a nurse's assistant ASSISTS the nurse in administering that care. The word key to their occupation is ASSISTS. This assistance does not make them a nurse. I used to assist my boss, a doctor, when in surgery.. this did not make me a surgeon however.

    You're right that we should pick our battles. Protecting the integrity of our future profession and the safety of our future patients by insisting that others not represent themselves as having the education and skills of a registered or licensed nurse when they do not is something that should be worth our time.
  13. by   hippienurse
    He is not a nurse and should not say he is. Simple as that. And in some states, what he did WAS illegal.
  14. by   RainDreamer
    I agree with the posters that say to look at what "CNA" stands for. A nursing assistant, not a nurse. Just like a PA is an assistant, not a physician.

    And no one is trying to elevate themselves by making others feel lower. I have my CNA license and I've worked as a CNA before, we all know it's not easy work. But the class that I took to get my CNA license was about 3 weeks. And here I am in school, for years and years, to get my BSN. 3 weeks to get your CNA license vs. years to get your LPN/LVN/RN. Those are different categories. You bust your butt for years and years and call yourself a nurse, where someone that has 3 weeks of training is calling themselves the SAME thing you are?

    I agree that it's a team effort, we all work together, we all provide patient care. But it's not one in the same. Unless you have a certified license that says "NURSE", then you shouldn't be calling yourself nurse. As someone previously stated, that's fraud and it should be taken seriously. And I totally agree with marie, very well said:
    Quote from mariedoreen
    Protecting the integrity of our future profession and the safety of our future patients by insisting that others not represent themselves as having the education and skills of a registered or licensed nurse when they do not is something that should be worth our time.
    Yes, it's definitely worth battling.

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