Im begging for someone's opinion here. Too tired to enjoy my job... Too tired to DO my job


My whole life I have dreamt of being in the health field and I just started a job at a LTC facility over a month ago. I am a CNA and this facility paid for me to my license..I either owe them $700 or 6 months of my time. This is my first CNA job and I came into it bright eyed and bushy tailed, happy and excited.... There are three wings. A,B and C. A wing is residents who cannot physically help themselves, most of them are overweight. It's the hardest floor of all three. It's mentally and physically exhausting. b wing is rehabilitation and some physically handicapped. It's a slow paced , easy going floor. Last but not least there's C wing. That is Alzheimer's and Dementia. I love C wing and that's my permanent floor. I love my residents. They are precious in so many ways. I work 3-11 usually 4 times a week, 8 hour shifts. But recently we've had people fired for failing drug tests and people quitting so now we have to work more. But instead of our scheduler having us work 12s we have to work 16s. And after a 16 (mine is 3p-7a) you better be back into work 8 hours later (3p). I thought it was a once a month thing but now I have been scheduled 3 16hr shifts in a week.... I am absolutely miserable. I cried my entire shift on A wing the other night because I was so physically and mentally exhausted. They put me on the hardest wing BY MYSELF and they know that I barely know these residents. I have had to have my boyfriend or my mom pick me up because I am so tired I can't drive. I have fell asleep while driving home from a 16 before and almost wrecked. Don't get me wrong the pay is great and I love my residents but I am so torn from the pay/love for my residents and quitting so I can finally get the rest I need....I can't run on less than 8 hours of sleep. I work 45-50 hours a week....In my CNA class we learned about taking care of ourselves and being well rested to give the best care to our residents.... I feel like a quitter/failure and I am questioning if I should even go to be a RN because I can't even be a CNA. Please help me and guide me to what I should do.... I can't preform my job right the way I am supposed to because I am so tired. The room spins and I get cold sweats and I try to drink cold water to wake me up it doesn't help and It's not just hurting me it's hurting my residents because I've become more agitated with them and BECAUSE I am so tired it's hard to do things for them physically. They mean no harm especially in the Alzheimer's wing... The things they say make my day and they bring me so much joy and laughter. I have been nonstop crying on my day off today because I am lost as to what I should do... I try to get the other girls to help me but they "encourage" me to do it by myself when really, they know I am new so they become lazy. I feel taken advantage of and so disrespected. I truely am miserable...... It's not my residents, it's not the work, it's the amount of work and the hours of the work..... I guess maybe I got my hopes up to high.


95 Posts

Those hours are a disaster waiting to happen. Is that even legal? Please go to your supervisor and tell them you are concerned about making a critical mistake or compromise a resident's safety due to your exhaustion. If you do not receive some relief, leave! Your first priority is your own health. Also never think for a second this impedes your ability to be a RN.

verene, MSN

1,790 Posts

Specializes in mental health / psychiatic nursing.

I would check state labor laws but that many 16s in a week may be violating what you can legally work. Also talk to management. It does them no good if you harm a resident or drive into a ditch because you are so sleep deprived. When a facility is understaffed or even a well staff-facility hits a situation where many people need to work overtime then people need to work together - it's the only way to get through the exhaustion and still provide safe care. If Unfortunately management may not care - poor working conditions and under staffing, and lack of team players, may well be why they offer "free" training in exchange for 6 months work.

missdeevah, NP

318 Posts

Gosh, I'm so sorry that you have been put in such a position. I agree that you should speak with your supervisor ASAP and let him or her know how working that many hours is affecting you, including falling asleep while driving home, and not being able to provide proper and safe care to the residents. Once you tell her about your fear of not being able to provide safe care to the residents she will probably be afraid of liability issues should she not make some necessary adjustments. If things don't change within a week (or less) I would leave. I would rather owe $700 than not have sanity on a a daily basis, or worse risk my life. Only you can put yourself first...your employer will not do that for you.

Please realize that RN jobs do not function in this way. There are too many liability issues and protecting your licence once you have it for a facility to force nurses to work that much. That is why they would rather pay the big bucks to agency nurses when they are short-staffed. Good luck and keep us posted.