I Blew It Today


Today a resident on my hall kept hitting the call button. Whenever I answered he said that he could not remember why he called. I figured he was just lonely. He seemed upset and uncomfortable all evening and would not eat his dinner.

When we started getting him ready for bed I discovered that he was soaked. This resident uses a urinal and it did not occur to me that he might be wet because he never mentioned it. Now I know why he kept calling me.

Unfortunately I don't take hints. I prefer it when people just tell me what they need me to do.

Today was my fifth day working as a CNA. I have alot to learn!

morte, LPN, LVN

7,015 Posts

you didnt "blow" it, that would only happen if you didnt learn from the experience......


903 Posts

It says a lot about you that you are upset by this. You're a good aide.

Us CNAs work with an imperfect system in less than ideal conditions. As much as we don't want mistakes to happen, they will, whether someone has been a CNA for 20 minutes or 20 years.

As you get more experience, you will learn more about your residents than they know about themselves. You will know when each person likes to go to bed, when they typically have BMs, when they urinate, how much, etc., all before they even ask or tell you. In time, you will know that when Mr. Smith puts on his call light at 6:20p that he needs to urinate, or than when Ms. Jane puts on her light at 9:30p that she will be asking for a pain pill. You'll learn that some residents are heavy wetters, so you might double pad them.

Situations are always coming up -- new admissions, falls, combative residents, deaths, etc. They always seem to push our schedules back and there seems to be so little we can do but try to "swim" through the rest of the shift.

It doesn't make you a bad CNA, it makes you human. :)

In time, you will not learn to prevent mistakes, but just to minimize them. I still have situations like you described above.

As long as you learn from your mistakes and move on, you will never "blow it." :D


28 Posts

Specializes in Home Health, Long Term, Psychiatric.

It's okay! When you first start out as a CNA it takes a while to get used to everything. I have been a CNA since 2007 and it still happens to me every once in a while. Once you have the same patient for a while you get to know them and just like the person above me said...you will learn each of their routines! So don't feel bad at all! The fact that you feel bad about what happened shows that you are a great CNA because you seem to care!!! There are many CNA's that don't care! :)

Specializes in LTC, Med/Surg.

You didn't "blow it", not by a long shot. :)

This resident couldn't remember why he rang and had used a urinal, so there was no way for you to know that he was soaked. Many CNAs would have done the same as you, especially if they don't know this resident's routine.

If you want to hear about blowing it, I've had two residents end up on the floor in three days because they were poopy and never told me. I put one on the toilet as part of his routine and gave him his call light, which he always always always rings when he's done. This time, though, he got up after I left, fell in his room, and pooped on the floor. Heaven only knows what he was thinking. The other resident was in a geri-chair, and someone forgot to put her foot rest up. She got poopy and decided that she was now able to walk, and fell right down as a CNA was walking by. :uhoh3:

We have a new admit who is a major bell ringer. Every time we answer her light, she either wants to use the bathroom or says she doesn't know why she called. There was one evening where she urinated twelve times in one hour. But, I learned something interesting-- when she gets her pain pill, she stops ringing, and remains perfectly continent. So now when she rings, the RN gives her some tylenol, and she doesn't ring for hours (a major accomplishment for her). Sometimes it's a matter of learning the underlying factors. :D