I started working as a CNA with no experience a month and a half ago in a LTC facility. I was in "training" for a few weeks (i only work one day a week, and weekends every 2 weeks.) I was really excited about work because I love taking care of the residents, I love taking care of people and I want to give them the best care that I can, and they appreciate my hard work. I love it when they tell me how sweet I am and how I do such a great job, but this week everything shifted when we were understaffed and I had to work a hall by myself.
I had 16 residents to take care of all day, and it was...quite overwhelming and stressful. I had to give 3 showers and 2 of them took a long time because they're very high maintenance and I have to transfer them with hoyers and sit-to-stands. There is just only so much I can do. Showers take me the longest time for those reasons, I also think i'm still slow at my job? even though I can move quick it's just not quick enough! By the end of the shift I had no idea if my co-worker changed 3 of the residents that require 2 people assist, i had no time to change one of my resident's briefs all day until before I left, i was told i needed to get those same 3 residents to bed but I just couldn't handle all the things i had left to do anymore. I still hadn't finished my charting, i had to make a bed, collect all the trash from the rooms and clean up, change one bed-bound resident, help 1-2 get ready for bed, etc. I did ask for help sometimes from my coworker when it was most needed, but I still felt like I needed help with everything. Like I couldn't handle things by myself, there's only so many things I can do and handle. I can barely lift and turn patients by myself. I mean, I understand we are both busy because we have 16+ patients on each hall to take care of and things to finish but I still wanted more teamwork I guess? I know everyone works differently and I understand completely if people get busy and have things to do but I was still brand new to this rush of things. And she'd constantly ask me "did you change so and so?", "did you do this?" "did you do that?" and I was just like "no" because i've been giving showers all day, assisting each resident with bathrooms, changes, feeding, etc. I still haven't had any time at all to do all those things, it was insane.
With all the stress of the day i felt so incompetent in my job. For not finishing some things, missing changes, feeling so slow, forgetting to do things. It just made me upset because I'm obviously not taking care of certain patients properly, and I don't like that. I want all my residents to be taken care of, clean, safe. I had no idea what night shift would think when they came in and saw the mess that I had left behind. I had a moment before the end of my shift and I accidentally started crying and a resident saw me and cheered me up, but now I feel bad about it because I was told I shouldn't show my weaknesses and emotions like that in front of a patient. I'm planning on leaving after 3 months of working there because of school starting in a few months, but this shift was so horrible and I felt like a complete failure. My coworkers do everything so easy, so quick, they can handle things by themselves. But I feel like I can't do things by myself, and I know that's holding me back so I've been forcing myself to do things alone and it has worked out alright I guess.
It was just a harsh day for me, and I was wondering if others have felt like that? have had a similar experience? what did you do to overcome those obstacles?
It takes time to get a routine going and finding what works best for you in order to get everything done. I would focus on the basics first. Make sure everyone is clean and dry and work the showers in between the changes. Your speed will catch up when you've been doing it longer. Plus, one of the benefits to LTC is you get to know the residents so you'll already know their preferences, how long it takes to complete care with them, etc, making it easier to plan out your day. If there is one that takes a really long time I'd save them for when I've gotten caught up if possible.
For your two assists, get together with your coworker and see who she also has for 2 assist. Set up a time when you can both start going through these as a set as to get them done in a timely manner and repeat as necessary throughout the shift. This is quicker than trying to find eachother and break away from what you are already doing when the need arises.
It takes time to be up to speed. In nursing school there's a reason why you start out with only one patient with many schools and then gradually work up to around the same number of patients you would have when you work as a nurse by the time you graduate.