I feel like Nurse Jackie


....except I am not a nurse.

I am a newly minted CNA who got my certification solely to get a job quickly in this state I moved to. I actually have a graduate medical degree and I am working on that. However I have kids and needed something ASAP. So here I am.

I was blessed to be hired in an agency with health insurance and pay is ok. I was hired for days in a LTC facility. Its been over five months..

and It has been downhill ever since.

Firstly, I was floated on every floor . Ok. Working 4 12 hour shifts in a row. Ok. But in this facility CNAs act like LVNs doing things that are outside my scope- veinipuncture, EKGs, suppository, colostomy, inserting catheters, applying medicated ointments... So I was supposed to be trained and signed off on things, and given a preceptor, but my training has been all over the place. Plus, the people I followed either didn't do these things or refused to train or did not even offer help or guidance..even the RNs.

before I was ready I was thrown on night shift which I wasn't hired for. And the LTC facility wasn't even running yet. Probation is over six months.

I didn't do well on nights at all. And while I had a good rapport with patients I felt coworkers didn't care for me much. I don't gossip, I don't fraternize, I eat alone and just tried to do my job.

Out of left field came a meeting with one of the five nurse managers. He listed five incidents from six months ago that I don't even remember - some involved patients that I didn't even have- all while I was supposedly training or on nights-and now I am under investigation.

I do have a bargaining unit, but until this resolves I can't do patient care. So I feel like Nurse Jackie where she is scrubbing toilets and toiling in the basement- doing wierd scut work , being gossiped on and talked about, and made invisible.

I do think my attitude- overwhelmed and frustrated- coupled with being a "Yankee" in a "hi y'all" fake environment didn't help. Where smiles become grimaces because you are trying hard not to cry.

how do I get through this? And has anyone been through this?


13 Posts

Any takers?


204 Posts

Specializes in Infection Prevention, Public Health. Has 33 years experience.

It is a difficult situation. You have become an island at your workplace. There is a lot of truth in the risks of being separated from the herd. Having an education that far exceeds that of 99.9 percent of your coworkers can be touchy.

Then you combine that with eating alone and it brings about feelings that you may feel better than your fellow CNAs. It is dangerous when no one has your back and they clearly do not.

What is it that you are being accused of? You say you are "under investigation". It is quite unusual to remove you from any patient contact, but to keep you on the payroll. There is some good news here. If you have no future plans to remain a CNA or to pursue a nursing career you can just wash your hands of the whole situation and get out. If your abilities are being questioned, the worst they can do is fire you and report you to the Board of Nursing. Worst case scenario with the Board of Nursing is that they revoke your CNA certification, but you don't want to be a CNA in the first place.

If you are accused of something serious like diverting drugs then there is the possibility of criminal charges. To me

it would seem that working as a cashier at WalMart would be a preferable alternative to your current situation of essentially sitting in the naughty chair surrounded by people who are not in your corner.


13 Posts

The incidents are relatively minor. Neglecting to empty a urine bag, not completing a dressing change because there was no MD order ( RN knew this; dressing left c/d/i) and mistake with colostomy bag which I was not trained how to do and RN refused to help.

But I see what you are saying; if you have x amount of years in a graduate medical program that could be considered threatening. But very few people know this; I did not offer this information and have been very humble.

frankly I sit alone because I don't speak the language most of the nurses do on break, and the ones that do speak English love to complain about the NMs, other coworkers and patients. I abhor gossip. And maybe that is biting me in the ass.

BrandonLPN, LPN

3,358 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

Stuff like phelbotomy, urinary catheterization and EKGs aren't necessarily out of scope for CNAs. Unlicensed staff do these things all the time.

roser13, ASN, RN

6,504 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC. Has 17 years experience.

I don't know what a "graduate medical program" is and why you keep mentioning it.

Nurse Leigh

1,149 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry.
I don't know what a "graduate medical program" is and why you keep mentioning it.

Thanks. I figured it was something really obvious so didn't ask....



Is this what you are talking about? (Yes, I realize Wikipedia is a less than professional source, lol)

Anna Flaxis, BSN, RN

3 Articles; 2,816 Posts

Has 16 years experience.

Well, color me disappointed. I was expecting to read all about your addiction to prescription pain pills and how you're having an extramarital affair with the pharmacist to get them. Dang.


13 Posts

In my state colostomy bags, suppositories, tube feelings, etc are out of scope.


13 Posts

You are right- my education is irrelevant to the discussion. My apologies.