"Just" a CNA?!

  1. I confess being a total rookie - I graduated with my BSN in December 2013. Already I am kinda annoyed, miffed, and confused over this rampant obsession over what role people are in the healthcare team.

    The one that kills me the most is hearing "I am just a CNA". Well let me tell you something Just a CNA - I have learned a lot from you! CNAs have taught me how to be better, faster, and more efficient in basic aspects of care my schooling totally neglected to teach me. I have nothing but respect for CNAs and the help (and lets be real here, butt saving) you guys have given to me during school and during my first few terrifying weeks as a nurse!

    Then you have the weird aggression over LPN vs ADN vs BSN etc. I just thought (clearly, naively) that we were all on the same team. Everyone is bringing something different to the table and isn't that supposed to be a good thing?

    I am not one frequently attributed with being a starry-eyed idealist - but in the last few weeks this issue has really gotten under my skin as I have seen way too much time, energy, and effort wasted on debating over crap like "an ADN shouldn't be allowed to serve in leadership" or a "BSN shouldn't get more money than an ADN" or an "LPN has no right to work cardiac step down" - all of these comments I have heard in the last week alone. WHO CARES!? Go take care of your patient and stop bickering over this crap during shift! Appreciate your coworkers! Cooperate with each other! Sheesh!

    Ok. End rant.
  2. Visit AliceTrout profile page

    About AliceTrout, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '13; Posts: 63; Likes: 259
    RN - ICU; from US


  3. by   unicoRNurse
    Right on.
  4. by   Pangea Reunited
    It's possible to cooperate while recognizing that we do have differences in education, training and ability.


    When I hear CNAs say they are "just a CNA", it usually involves getting away from a demanding patient with lots of questions that need a whole team of specialists to be answered. I think most CNAs know they are awesome.

  5. by   brownbook
    I say I am "just a RN," when family or patients ask me medical advice.
  6. by   Meriwhen
    I think it may be the context in which the "Just a..." is used that makes it self-depreciating.

    I agree with the prior two posters: saying, "I'm just a CNA/LVN/RN" to families is less about self-depreciation as it is about deferring to another member of the healthcare team who may be more qualified to answer a patient's questions or concerns.
  7. by   AliceTrout
    I also understand context is everything. But several different people have used the "just" when introducing themselves to me in my first two weeks, and this is specifically the context I was addressing.
  8. by   utadahikaru
    My hat is off to anyone who spends the majority of their time involved in direct patient care! With regards to salary, remind your mates that people do not determine salaries based on what should or should not be. A person's salary is determined by their worth in market, which neatly falls under the laws of supply and demand.
  9. by   Sam J.
    I've always worshipped the ground that CNAs walk on. And every CNA I've ever worked 'with', knew, that if they were to say "I'm just a CNA", that they would be in the 'dog house'. It's offensive for me to hear that, but CNAs hear it so often from nurses that they repeat it by rote.
  10. by   sallber
    I love that I am lucky enough to have worked with some wonderful CNAs. A CNA can make you or break you, much like a nurse can make or break a doctor's day. CNAs are often the ones who notice subtle changes in your patient and make you aware of them before the patient goes bad. We make an amazing team.

    My mother is a CNA, and paid for my college education, and supported me as I became a nurse, then as I earned my masters degrees in Nursing and Public Health. She always taught me to never look down on anyone, simply because they have less formal education than you. It's because of my mom that I appreciate every CNA I come in touch with. They truly are the unsung heroes in our profession, in my opinion.

    Nurses (and other ancillary staff) who don't appreciate CNAs are really a shame to the profession, and are not smart or humble enough to recognize and celebrate their value.
  11. by   amygarside
    I agree. We are part of a big team that provides health care to patients. It is not just the doctors or nurses but the CNAs and LPNs as well. Each one of us has a big role in the society.
  12. by   Paws2people
    [QUOTE=sallber;7737969]I love that I am lucky enough to have worked with some wonderful CNAs. A CNA can make you or break you, much like a nurse can make or break a doctor's day.

    And working with an awesome nurse can make or break a CNA's day
  13. by   bakerbakerRN
    I feel for you. You may find that some work environments are like this while others are not. I initially worked in a county hospital where this wasn't an issue at all. I was an LPN at the time and relocated to a larger city and the hospital I worked at there was cut-throat about titles. Eventually I finished school and became an RN and moved back home to work in the hospital where we were all a team once again.
  14. by   gotaquestion
    i agree too. I am an RN in other planet lols but since I have migrated to another planet and became an alien, i have to start again. it is sad but then it hurts me more when people around me say " why JUST CNA? why not take NCLEX and be CA-RN? I always tell myself that it is not always the title that maters but the pride you take to the profession you have chosen.