how do you get NA's to help more? (those that want to do the minimum)

Nurses General Nursing


There are a couple NA's on the night shift where I work who only do the minimum. they have the standard tasks, VS q 4 hours (2x/shift) and BS (blood sugars) at 0600. They drag these out and refuse to answer call lights when they are doing this "I am doing BS" Well I am doing charting, passing meds, researching, talking on the phone to lab or whatever...In my opinion, if a call light goes off, BS can's a matter of proritizing.

I asked an NA to help someone on the commode during her BS round, and she never did, when I went back, 10 minutes later, "I am doing BS"...Well I was doing 3-5 things at once...She was leisurely doing BS.

They take a full hour break at one time, though it was recently posted tht they could not do this. Last night I gave her a sheet to with all my patients and asked her to write down the VS for me (as she had neglected to tell me of a low BP in the 80's the previous night) (and she dosent tell me BS results, ect) and she was all around the unit talking to other aides, then the charge RN about me. The charge RN is very young who may be technically good, but sometimes dosent use the best judgement, and she supports the current atmosphere of covering your tracks and having a good time for the most part on the shift, not of any 'corrective action', if I am making sense. So in other words, not too suppportive. I told her I did basically two jobs the night before, and wanted to get more help, and s it was, tonight there was a BP of 82 which wasnt reported so I made the list, I told her it is within my bounds to ask her to write this down, paticularily sonce I was answering call lights, and cant sit down at the computer sometimes for over an hour.

Anyway, my minimum expectations and the aides ae different, and I am getting frustated, particularily with th lack of support. Should I just "do it all" becuse they have been able to do this with others?


559 Posts

I'm starting to wonder if we work on the same floor! ha! Well, anyways...I have the same problem with a PCT on my floor. Doesn't report abnormal VS and doesn't seem to turn my patients or answer call lights.

Well, there's nothing that you can do that will make them change their bad behavior. I finally got so fed up with it that I went to my Clinical Leader and said that I feel like this PCT is neglecting her patient's. And I strongly emphasized on the term NEGLECT, because that's what in reality she was doing.

I'm in the same boat as you are. At nights I feel like I do both PCT and RN duties. The hospital increased our the RN patient load awhile back and ever since then I can get very frustrated. We just hired a few new PCTs and they are great, but the one who neglects the patients is still there; and on top of that she is very much a drama queen, so I try as much to keep my distance. I hate having this PCT as my tech, and when the PCT is assigned to me it makes me cringe, because I know that I will be doing the full load of work. Last time I had this tech I had a q1hr VS on a patient for 12 hours and guess what...I did 11 of those VS and the tech did 1...go figure right?

Well, on the brighter side...I only have a week left on the unit then I'm transferring to the ICU. I figure, well if I'm going to always being doing the full load, then I might as well transfer to the ICU where I will only have 1-2 pt's to take care of instead of the 5.

My best advice to you is to bring it up the chain of command, and put it in writing. I've only had to do that to one employee in the 15 months I've been working here, and it was the last draw for me. I had to really be pushed over the edge. Best of luck to you.


1,975 Posts

Write them up. If they don't do their jobs you need to start a paper trail as the managers can't avoid that as easily as a verbal complaint.


283 Posts

Specializes in Tele, Acute.

OMG, you are describing the same kind of unit that I work on. I had one nurse tell me that he got his car keyed for reporting the CNA. They have an attitude before they even hit the floor.

I must add, all CNA's are not like this, we have some really excellent ones.

Specializes in med\surg, ER.

Ths is so true!!! It's a shame to say but most try to test you to see what you will or won't put up with as a new employee to their floor. As above I agree with writing them up but does it actually go anywere? I know where I work, the ones who are usually bad are promoted to some type of cush job, 9-5 with weekend and holidays off. It's bad because you hate to feel as though you can't trust the techs you depend on..... if no consequences are layed down at the onset, you can forget it! I soooo think the bad ones are foul, spiteful of us and jealous and feel you can't tell them what to do!!! They don't understand the "job" we are hired to do!! It's a shame you have to leave due to lack of support. I always believed if you want it go to school and get it like we did!

elprup, BSN, RN

1,005 Posts

Wow, maybe you work where I used to work???? Looking back, I believe I was terminated/failed orientation recently due to this exact problem! It was my second nightshift, assistant listed under my pts and only did the vitals (45 min after shift started!) So, I basically did my own to pass meds. Anyway a pt's lite was about to go into overload mode and CNA was stocking pyxis right next to pt's room-HELLO! When pt's lite started blinking red I walked over and asked CNA to please see what pt needs - i had meds and an enema for diff pt. She looked at me and stated "No". Pardon me I said. CNA "I have to finish stocking supplies for PYXIS (not meds), go ask manager if you have a problem". Which I did and manager stated yes CNA is supposed to help us with lights etc. OK, so end of shift I get to my locker, CNA is in there crying. I told her I was not trying to upset her, I was sorry if I did. It was my third time on nightshift and I needed to know how night shift worked, who does what (I'm a new grad).....blah blah blah. CNA stated "I am going to quit, nobody appreciates me, I've been here 5 years, blah blah". I left. When I came in the next week I was escorted to manager's office and terminated, well "failed graduation" and they stated reasons I did not believe were true. I believe I ****** the CNA off and so they got rid of me. The really SAD thing in all of this is that ALL of the other nurses and managers on nightshift were totally frusterated with CNA, agreed that she did nothing but run around like a maniac, and they continued to baby her every shift I saw. HA, after seeing me get terminated for saying something, I bet nobody will say anything now!

That is what is really terrible. And that is why I am Happy I am not there anymore.

Specializes in pediatric.

oh my ELPRUP, that is AWFUL that they fired you because of something that seems so trivial! Did they favor this CNA or something because what they did does NOT seem right. Please tell me where this occurred so that I never apply there!!!

diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

I just don't seem to have that problem. We all get the shift pep talk at the beginning of the shift and everyone seems to work together and help where ever needed. I guess we are just really lucky on our floor.

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