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LTC problem getting assistants to respect me

Geriatric   (4,093 Views 22 Comments)
by NurseSuzann NurseSuzann (New Member) New Member

1,449 Visitors; 56 Posts

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I am a new graduate working in LTC, so far it has been okay. Honestly a lot of times I think I find more work because I am a new grad and I try to do things by the book that we don't have time for. However, I am having trouble because I am in my 20s and some of the older assistants do not seem to respect me. Before people start getting into you get what you give, I really respect the nursing assistants a lot and I always thank them and consider their POV because often times they know the residents better, however I am wondering if asking their input because I want to gather all the info before making a decision is causing them to not respect me. Usually I know what to do and I bounce ideas off of people but I think this is giving me an air that maybe I am not as confident? I just want to be the safest nurse possible.

What can I do to get more respect? The other day, the assistant decided to call for back-up when someone was in trouble before giving me a chance to assess and although I was grateful, because I was having a lot of issues pulling me away from my med-pass that day, I worry that that means they do not respect me and my judgement :(

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3 Followers; 95,923 Visitors; 36,544 Posts

I would be more concerned with how your supervisor perceives you. Some of the assistants will come around when they perceive that you have it together; others will never come around. Either way you have to get the job done. As long as your supervisor does not see a problem, then there is no problem.

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robby5313 has 3 years experience.

1,986 Visitors; 84 Posts

I agree. It's kind of a slippery slope. When I was working in LTC I made sure that I listened to what the CNA's had to say but in the end, as an RN I had to also do what I felt was right. Many times CNA's become territorial with their residents and are protective. When they realize that you know what you are doing, most of them will come around.

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1,449 Visitors; 56 Posts

Thank you, hearing that some of them will never come around makes sense with what I am thinking, because I know some of them have been doing it for 20 years and think they know much better than me even though they have no license. I keep thinking I'm fighting a loosing battle trying to please everyone, but you're right. I am being a little naive about trying to change people's attitudes because its impossible at times.

The supervisor does appreciate me because I do address things and immediately, at least I haven't had any complaints in the time that I have been there for a few months. And I would hope that they would address any issues they were having with me head-on because if I'm doing something wrong, I need to know and I'm still getting used to the many policies. I feel I am doing a good job practicing nursing as I have been taught.

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9,963 Visitors; 686 Posts

I learned that you cannot demand respect-----you have to earn it. If they know that you know what you are doing, you’re confident, and you are a real professional person, then that should help. Also, you have to be courteous too. Sometimes they just become territorial and defensive if they feel that you are belittling them. (I am not saying you are, I am just mentioning some possible reasons why they act that way in general). Praise them when it’s due, but tell them too if there are patient issues that need to be addressed and done.

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57,418 Visitors; 10,263 Posts

Some aides are fabulous and do their jobs well regardless of the leader. Others are meh and do a barely adequate jobs. Then there are the annoying, lazy ones. Just like nurses. I am betting that you are having the most trouble with the latter and some problems with the middle meh ones.

Just keep on managing. And sometimes it take a write-up to actually get someone's attention.

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1,449 Visitors; 56 Posts

Thank you everyone. I just feel like when you do the right thing, everyone makes you feel like you're doing the wrong thing :( I had that happen today, because I could not help them with tasks which were less important than more critical things, thats what I was taught in nursing school, the critical things are more important. If the patient is safe, clean and healthy we will get to it....Thats my POV, and I feel like LTC is going to make me a bad nurse and cut corner in order to please :( :sniff:

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1,662 Visitors; 31 Posts

I too was a new grad and young (20). I learned to always ask the CNA to do something and not order them. I understood they knew more about the patient and respected their opinion. I kept my professional relationships professional and personal, personal. Worked well for me for over 25 years.

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57,418 Visitors; 10,263 Posts

Suzann, you help when you can. However, you are being tested. Hang tough.

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1,449 Visitors; 56 Posts

Hi Ladies and gents.....

I thank you for your advice so much. I feel I can't take LTC as a new graduate because I am feeling so alone....I had to deal with one of the asssistants though I was as polite and professional as I could be about a behaviour not appropriate, if it were little I would have let it go and I did not get the most professional response back and this person has been there for a few years and is needed, who is management going to see the POV of....not me I'm new and a little bit green but I felt I knew what was right for the residents...:( I got into nursing because I love and care for these old people and want to treat them as nicely as if they were my family, not a job and I can't fight forever. I have been at this for a couple of months and don't want my resume to look terrible but there isnt many hours in a few weeks here anyways, i dont know if I should tough out the many hours I have coming up and then keep the position and go in for the occasional shift so it doesn't look bad if I have to quit when I speak to management about everything.

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57,418 Visitors; 10,263 Posts

You're not going to have to quit. You're not the first new nurse to have to deal with insubordinate aides.

Calm down. It's not you, it's them. Your first year in nursing is almost a hazing. It gets better. Promise.

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1,449 Visitors; 56 Posts

I am not going to have to quit, because honestly I can't afford it, but I do not know how I can stay if I am fighting a loosing battle on my own. However I found an old nurse who works there who advised me that I didn't do anything wrong and that sometimes things get out of hand and unfortunately despite all the tasks I have to do and how hard it is, you have to take this person aside and warn them about their actions. I just think some of them believe they can get away with things around me because I usually am pretty easygoing except when it comes to very important things.

I also am very sympathetic to how hard their jobs are, and I have to stop doing that because it gets me into trouble. Yes its hard and almost downright impossible, but thats every persons's job in LTC right down to the kitchen because they only get so much time to do a job.

Of course what she advised me to do is what I did at the time but the things that came out of my mouth probably weren't very effective because I was upset when I said it.

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