2 months as CNA/PCT in hospital, still struggling


I have been a pct 2 months now working part time and I am still kind of struggling. My floor gets around 6-7 patients per pct. I am somewhat forgetful sometimes. It's not like I am just sitting around doing nothing but the fact is I am so busy, I tend to forget to do certain things (ex. forget to chart how much patient urinated or leaving dirty gowns or towels in washroom)

I am not sure If I am just making excuses, but I constantly get call lights and I get called by three different nurses to do so many things at the same time, which makes me forget to do certain things. Its to the point where I am getting somewhat depressed because I am pretty sure some of these nurses hate me now.

Timing of everything screws me up all the time. (i would get 2 discharges and 1 admission, all within 30 min)

I just wanted to know, am i just making excuses or is this somewhat common for new pcts?

New pct, new CNAs, I think there will always be a learning curve that we go through, and mistakes will happen!!

Don't be so hard on yourself, because I am sure your doing the best you can, and I believe that things given a little bit of time will start to become easier for you. When you notice that you forgot something, or that you made a mistake, and think to yourself oh I wish I would have done this differently try to keep a mental reminder of these things, and then hopefully you won't make the same mistakes again. You might make new ones or different ones but eventually you will get use to the the rythem of your job and you will become a great pct.

Also try to stay focus on the task and patient that you are dealing with at that time. If you are with a patient and you need to record that urine, make sure you do not get distracted by another patient and go to that chart and record it. remember to speak out for yourself with the other pcts and nurses. If you are in a room with a patient and you know you need to record soemthing when you are finish and a nurse says another patient needs something, speak out for yourself and say yes I will do that as soon as I am done with this patient and record his vitals.

Edited by mvm2

We all need to find our own routine with this stuff. You will find your groove. Don't forget to prioritize your tasks and write down stuff you need to do next or were asked to do for which nurse, etc. It does take time to find a routine. Just stay flexible and take things as they come. Good luck!


Specializes in none.

I write any important charting I need to do later. Then, it doesn't need to be stored in my memory.

I will try and write things down next time.

The main concern I have now is, when I am in the middle of ambulating a patient and I get a call from a nurse to do something.

Then I would have to remember what to do next, as well as call lights. The hosptial I work at writes you up if it takes you a while to answer call lights.

Edited by MikeDee1234

All I can say is stay focused and think about only one or two steps ahead of what you are doing at that moment, and like the previous poster said write it down if it helps

If you are trying to remember 20 things at once it will indeed drive you to insanity, and you will forget things and will never feel organized.

Remember to keep calm and finish what you are doing with your patient. It is not your sole responsibility to answer any call lights that will pop-up. There are nurses are there and if you're lucky, another CNA.

I hope your nurses are helpful. Just because they are a nurse, it does not mean that they no longer have the skills set to help a patient to use a bedpan. I am lucky at my work because the nurses there understands that when I am doing something for a patient or for them, they don't ask me to do this and that. I mean, a nurse asks you to wheel a patient out, and another nurse tries to ask you to prepare a bed. They help with stripping the beds, etc.

It's been about 2 months for me working as a CNA in a LTCF just weekends, and I'm still somewhat slow, and still finding my routine and rythm. There was this one weekend where it seemed I did everything wrong - after I was done with the resident I was reminded at least 5 times to lower the bed back down (resident safety issue); twice I was reminded to re-attach the residents "don't-get-out-of-bed" monitor; I forgot to change another resident and that resident and the bed was soaked when next shift arrived. I felt awefull. A few CNA coworkers told me directly that I need to learn to pick up the pace; but, there are also a few who encouraged me and said that I will eventually find the right way for me to get things done in a timely manner - they shared their stories with me of how slow they were when they first started, and the mistakes they made. Just stick with it, the time WILL come when you can juggle all your task efficiently and effectively. One thing I had to do was to find my voice in speaking up, respectfully. That moment came when a resident told me there was only so much I could do at one time; that resident was waiting for me and was responding to my apologies for taking a while getting to her because I was attending to another resident (that resident has no idea how she empowered me). I was written up for something I believe was done correctly; I went to the DON and she agreed with me, and corrected the charge nurse - my write-up was taken out my employee record.

If you like the work, stick with it. It does take time to get a routine going. I also believe that because you are limited to working weekends, that it's not uncommon for that process to take a bit longer.

Maybe create a cheat sheet for the residents - low beds, alarms, etc. it's best to exercise safety and proper care and eventually the speed will come.

Did the RN assigned to that patient also get written up for not answering a call light in time? What if you were in the middle of doing something else that couldn't just be dropped when the call light went off? What if you are doing a complete bedding change on an incontinent patient in an isolation room, or more than one call light goes off at the same time, you can only physically be in one place at a time. I can think of MANY reasons why you wouldn't be able to get to a call light quickly.

5-7 patients is a pretty low patient load for a tech, but its still enough that you wouldn't always be able to get every call light quickly.


Has 13 years experience.

I wish I only had 6-7 pt's as a pct!