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Just some advice needed. Am I reading too much into this?


Specializes in none as of yet.

I'm wondering if anyone sees anything messed up about this......

I came to work this afternoon and chose my assignment. I started my first shower and was interrupted in the middle of it because one of my nurses wanted me to switch residents with another CNA. The other CNA involved got one of my residents and I got two of hers. I don't have much of a problem with having (numerically) one more resident than her but...

She is black, I am white and the said resident switch took place because one of the residents I got is racist and has recently kicked another CNA and called her the N-word. Please don't misunderstand....I sympathize with the other CNAs fear of possibly being battered by this resident. I was sent in to take care of this resident because I was the only white CNA on my unit this evening.

The problem I have is this and I'm simply being honest. Most of the CNAs at my facility are black women. Now, just follow along. If this resident were sexist instead of racist, would it be reasonable to accommodate this resident because the female CNAs would feel threatened? Or should we be expected to just go in and do our jobs despite a residents' bigoted feelings?

I am curious because I know that my nurses are going to try to talk me into caring for this resident tomorrow night and I will have to have one of the other CNAs help give him a shower. This will put one of my fellow CNAs at risk for being attacked so basically it feels like a d*mned if I do and d*mned if I don't. If I'm reading too much into this, let me know.

JSlice., ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Room. Has 5 years experience.

this situation sucks. Speak with the DON. In my opinion, the pt should have no choice who cares for him. If the pt abuses the staff verbally/physically, he ought to be sent to a Behavioral Institution. Staff may feel that they need to bend over backwards for people like this. It's not right that you would be assigned to this idiot every day because of his arrogance.


Specializes in Med Surg, Home Health. Has 2 years experience.

There's two answers to this question. One is the "ideal" answer and one is a bit more "real".

1) Ideal answer: The workplace is legally required to be "non-hostile" for all employees. In theory all employees everywhere are to be safe from sexism, racism, homophobia, etc. So your workplace may be, in that sense, complying with one aspect of the law by not subjecting your coworkers to racism.

2) Real answer: It sounds like you feel like this decision isn't being made fairly. Is this just a theoretical unfairness - a "what if" type of thing? Or were you treated in a sexist way by residents? If you were treated in a sexist way, did you object and ask for others to take this resident and were denied?

Or are you objecting because you feel that hardship is just a part of CNA work and to say otherwise makes work harder for everyone as people try to get out of caring for this resident or that resident because of the hardships associated with working with them?

An ideal workplace would hire conscientious people who wouldn't do this. Our real workplaces are different.

However, even in these "real" workplaces are people who have had really, really bad past life experiences with sexism and racism. Maybe a person who has been having a lot of trouble with their memories of sexual abuse shouldn't work with the guy that grabs everyone's boobs. Maybe the black coworker got beat up the other day for being black, or is just at the end of their rope about it. Or maybe they're trying to get out of doing the job. It's really tough to say, especially since employers have to maintain confidentiality about why they make some of these decisions.

I'm not saying not to speak up. Just be a bit sensitive about how you do it. It would be especially good if you frame the issue in terms of discriminatory or harassing behavior you've had, and ask your DON what they can do to offer you relief from those conditions. If they can't do anything, then raise the unfairness issue.

If you haven't had harassing experiences, then speaking up may not do you much good at that workplace.