Rude Cna To Nurses - page 5

I am working in a unit with only one regular tech in our shift who is efficient and hardworking, but she has a hell of an attitude. I am barely new to the unit but I think I can't take it anymore. ... Read More

  1. by   Repat
    Well said, lisadlpn2Brn and Hellllllo Nurse!
  2. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Unfortunately there are some who think that a CNA's place is beneath others, and make them feel that way. Now every place treats the CNAs with respect. What really sucks is when you work your *** off like a dog, and are still seen as the dirt beneath some ppl's feet.
  3. by   RN34TX
    I was a CNA for 2 years and worked with plenty of great CNA's as an LPN and now an RN. But after 6 years in Med/Surg I moved to ICU where I can give total care to 1-2 patients, give my own baths, turns, vitals, etc.
    One reason why is so that I do not have to rely on a CNA who may or may not do what they are supposed to be doing depending on their attitude or motivation.
    Management and the state nurse practice act tells us that we are responsible for ensuring that care delegated to CNA's is carried out properly.
    But try doing something about the bad CNA's. I've been a nurse in 3 different parts of the country and it's the same everywhere.
    Try telling your manager about CNA's leaving the floor for long periods on smoke breaks, ignore call lights, making up vitals, omit bathing and turning. I have yet to see anything significant done about it at any hospital I've worked. I get the same generic wimpy answers "We all need to work together" or "she's been here a long time and is so good with the patients"
    I would like to see a day come when CNA's become licensed like LPN's and RN's and can finally be individually held responsible legally for failing to provide care and have their licenses threatened by the state. I know that they currently are certified but it seems that no one ever really tries to go after them like nurses. They know that the final responsibility rests with the RN/LPN and they can walk away with clean hands when bed sores develop or vitals aren't taken.
  4. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from Repat
    Well said, lisadlpn2Brn and Hellllllo Nurse!
    I do too! I did my stint as a CNA long ago. I don't need to prove anything now. I earned my LPN license and then I earned my RN license. I know what each job is like very well, thank you very much. And that is not to say that they are not all difficult at times.
  5. by   1BlessedRN
    I totally agree with RN34TX!

    RIGHT ON !!!!
    Last edit by 1BlessedRN on May 8, '04
  6. by   RN34TX
    Earlier I talked about job performance and accountability but actually the first posting was more about CNA bullying behavior. I've encountered this since my very first clinical rotation in LPN school where the CNA was very similar to the one described above. She was thrilled to see brand new scared to death nursing students stumbling around the unit and had a great time trying to boss us around and saying tjings like "Your supposed to be going to school to be a nurse and you didn't know that?" whenever a bedbath or whatever skill was not done to her satisfaction.
    After graduating I took a job on a different floor of the same hospital but there was another one working on that floor as well. She had a bachelors in biology and was going to school to be a PA so she considered herself WELL above LPN's and ADN RN's. She would be sugar sweet to the nurse manager and charge nurses but belittle the rest of us. She did that to keep her power so that if you complained about her they would say"You know she's probably the smartest one on the floor, she has a degree you know." If you didn't constantly stay ahead of her you'd be subjected to things like "Your patients tube feed is about to run out, are you trying to starve him? Your IV pump is beeping, didn't they show you in nursing school how to use an IV pump? I'm a CNA and your supposed to be the the nurse and I have to tell you that?"
    7 years and 3 different states later I've learned that they exist everywhere and management does nothing about it.
    Complaining about it gets you accused of either being a "lazy nurse who expects the CNA to do it all" or a big ego RN who can't stand a CNA knowing more than you do. What a bunch of crap.
    They all have 2 things in common, even the one with the degree:
    Jealosy and low self esteem.
    These types probably could function much better if they went back to school and got their nursing licenses. They feel as if no one values them on the floor other than to do the dirty work so they need to remind everyone constantly of how smart and great that they are.
    This would not remedy the one with the biology degree because she would be lowering herself if she were to try to become an RN. But for the rest of them I've tried diligently to encourage them to go back to school and better themselves and show everyone what they know. I've brought them pamphlets about the LPN or RN program at some community college in the area, I tell them about my own struggle and journey from CNA to LPN to RN. I do the same for the LPN's who suffer the same syndrome of "I can't believe that I have to tell these RN's how to do their job."
    I too was bitter to watch people providing substandard care yet they got paid more than me because of their license level. I thought to myself, "it's just a piece of paper, I'm a better nurse than a lot of these RN's." But the hospitals don't see it that way. So what did I do?
    I went and got that precious piece of paper that supposedly tells the world that I'm the more competent professional on the floor even though I believe that I was just as good as an LPN. I did not spend my time belittling RN's and reminding them of how smart and great I was. I SHOWED them.
    But try to encourage your co-workers to go back to school and you find that many (including unit clerks) were RN students at one time and every excuse in the book starts coming out:
    "My instructors were out to get me" (Whose weren't?)
    "My husband left me with the kids and I had to quit, my mother got sick and I had to care for her, I hurt my back" etc.
    I don't mean to make light of these very real life situations that happen but....
    Stop taking it out on us because for whatever reason you didn't become a nurse.
  7. by   robred
    DO NOT run to your NM anymore. Confront this CNA with another nurse present who will only act as a witness. Make sure this CNA understands that she will get only as much respect as she gives and that any comments about a pt's care need to be conveyed in private and not with the pt present.
    DO NOT allow any further excuses to be made for this person. She obviously has a need to show that she can be superior to satisfy whatever is lacking. This needs to stop. You are in the best postition to make that happen. You can do it!!!
  8. by   nursemike
    Quote from Repat
    I certainly didn't mean it in a superiority way (about losing a nurse vs. a CNA), but in a financial way - they oriented me for 6 weeks, sent me to a 2-week critical care course, and certified me in BLS/ACLS. An awful lot of money invested in me due to my position on the staff (and the other nurses, not just me). The CNA's, while they are required to be certified, do not attend those classes at the hospital's expense, and while they also require orientation, it is usually two weeks long.
    I don't think you need to hesitate to claim "superiority" in this context. Being a nurse doesn't make you a superior human being, certainly, but you are almost certainly the more valuable employee, which is why you get paid more, and your position is at least partly supervisory, making you a superior.
    As a nursing student/orderly, I see this issue from both sides. There are way too many self-appointed nurse managers in the world, and way too many support staff who don't respect nurses. Too bad it isn't a perfect world, but it is the duty of management to make their part of the world tolerable. I see this as a case where market forces can work. You have a right to express your concerns to your manager, but not to the point of telling her/him how to do their job. If they don't address your concerns, in the present climate you can easily go elsewhere for employment. If the problem persists, others will likely do the same, until upper management recognizes the need for a new nurse manager. (If changing jobs is a bigger burden than you want to take on, going over the manager's head is another option, but usually not a great one.)
    In my hospital, orderlies and aides are accountable to the nurse manager and nurse director, and parts of my job are none of the nurses' business. But when I precept, I try to make my trainees grasp that a.) the charge nurse speaks for the manager and b.) in matters involving patients, that patient's nurse has "godlike" authority. Unless, of course, you know for a fact she's wrong, in which case you call the charge nurse, pronto. Of course, now that I'm in nursing school, I encourage my peers toward an entirely inappropriate degree of reverence for nurses, but they pretty well know when I'm full of it.
    Well, I'm getting windy, here. My main point is, it isn't undemocratic to recognize that competent nurses are harder to find than competent aides. That, and I did think Teacher Sue's advice was very good, too.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from tommycher
    I still always think that each nurse should work as a CNA one shift every few months, it will not only be an eye opener for the nurse, it would also create a better team environment. Sometimes those of us who were aides before we were nurses forget just how hard that job is. And it is true, some of us get a case of "nursitis" whether we want to admit to it or not. True, as nurses, we are always with our heads on a chopping block, but that does not negate the lack of respect aides sometimes receive.
    Hmmmm, what about units where RN's do it all? Like do aide work, do their own labs, empty the trash in patient rooms, in ADDITION to RN work? I already DO aide work, so, no this won't fly. ON that same line, then, should MD's do RN/LPN work to appreciate how hard WE have it? Or should social workers? Pharmacists? No, I do not think that is what it takes to garner and give respect .

    I know how hard Aides work. I hope aides also know it's not peaches and cream for RN/LPN's, either. Mutual respect would be nice-----actually it's critical for a well-run unit. I just won't tolerate disrespect from anyone and I won't give it, either. I don't need a "glimpse" into others' work to be a decent human being, I guess. I just do it cause it's right. This toxic aide needs to be stopped, and it begins with each nurse putting her right in her place, telling her he/she won't tolerate it, period and documentation WILL be kept for each incident of abuse she heaps. But EACH and EVERY nurse needs to do this for it to be effective, not be afraid to take a stand against this bully because it's out of HAND!
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on May 9, '04
  10. by   nursemike
    Quote from Stitchie
    It's not just the aids, or housekeeping, or nurses or docs. We all have a part, we really are part of a team. Nowhere is this more evident in a code situation. If we practiced that level of teamwork on a regular basis, we would fix many of the problems.

    I once read a poem about good nursing (can't recall where) that said something about no nurse (in any capacity) having a bad day unless all the nurses were having a bad day.

    'Work ethic' is sadly missing among many in healthcare today. This is not directed at you, but rather from what I have observed from working in three different hospitals (all of them v. different).

    There are those who are there to collect a paycheck and treat support staff as a means to an end and/or their personal slaves, there are those who are there to collect a paycheck but have a good work ethic, and there are those who think of nursing as a 'calling'.

    Personally I like to think that I fall into the second category: I do my job, I expect to be paid fairly and I expect this behavior from others on the floor. That means, if I'm drowning (I work ED, I'm new to the ED, so I drown on nearly a daily basis) I expect, if I ask for help, someone to help me out, without snide remarks or comments. I expect them to ask, "is there anything else I can do?".

    I want my co-workers, whatever their capacity, to be polite, considerate and to clean up after themselves. I want them to acknowledge a fault and fix it. I want them to come to me, f2f, and acknowlege any fault/problem/issue/omission of mine, workwise, so that I am able to fix it, instead of going behind my back to the NM or CN. I do not want to be the target or receiver of gossip and backbiting. I want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

    How we go about doing that is more of a topic for a Ph.D. dissertation than a quick fix on a BB, but maybe here's a good place to start.

    What we need is for each of us to go to work today tomorrow and every day with a decision to help each other out when possible, to can the 'tude, to speak kindly to and about each other. Also, to confront appropriately and kindly with the idea that you're giving an opportunity to improve rather than to cut someone down.

    Call me a Pollyanna, call me naive, but what really matters is doing our jobs with the end in mind -- good patient care. I enjoy my job, I want to enjoy my co-workers, but often it's difficult. IMO if I work in this capacity, then I can set my own tone and feel good about the way that I perform my job. At the end of the shift, that's all I can really do. Know that I did the best I could, and that I helped someone or made a difference, however small, for someone else. And did so without participating in the 'eating our young' that has become so obnoxiously prevalent in healthcare today.

    I like this better than your "whup arse" post. Sometimes, nurses have an easy shift while I'm getting killed, sometimes it's the other way around. I will always help anyone who needs it, but they may have to let me know they need it. I have had nurses call me for things like they dropped a piece of cake in the report room and could I come clean it up? It's usually the same nurses who get irate if I get a personal phone call while on duty (something I discourage, but it happens). That said, I like my management, I like my job, and most of "my" nurses are my role models.
    P.S. I started nursing school for your second reason, but darned if it isn't turning into the third.
    Last edit by nursemike? on May 9, '04
  11. by   susanna
    what exactly does that mean when someone says, "nurses eat their young"?

    do doctors "eat their young" too?

    im young and i dont like the sound of that:uhoh21: :uhoh21:
  12. by   Justus
    RN34TX...To read your post you are of the opinion that "all CNA's are jealous and have low self esteem" and that there is some reason why they did not become nurses.

    Although I agree with everything else, to state the aforementioned is stereotyping CNA's. There are some that simply choose to be CNA's while other's may become nurses, phlebotomist or flip burgers. It is possible that some stand in awe of nursing (nurses) without being "jealous" .

  13. by   RN34TX
    [I did not say ALL CNA's are jealous and have low self esteem. I was afraid that someone would rush and read it that way but I did not say that. Remember that I used to be one myself. I made a clear distinction specifically singling out those CNA's that behave that way (trying to run the floor) and are rude and inappropriate to nurses, or any staff for that matter.
    Yes, if you are making a point of making peoples lives miserable at work everyday by publicly and rudely pointing out mistakes and putting them down in general, you are attempting to feed your ego and make yourself feel superior to them. In many facilities, nurses do it to each other. How many nurses have you worked with that thrive on combing through someone's charting or MAR just thrilled to find some error that they can go to the staff and management and say, "Thank God I'm here and caught this error, the patient could have been harmed."
    We all know they do it for attention, they want everyone to think that they are great nurses for finding the errors of the "incompetent" staff.
    Interestingly enough, on several occasions I have brought errors to their own attention as no one is perfect. But I do it in private, and if the patient wasn't actually harmed, I leave it at that. Just a reminder to be careful next time. But it's funny that those types of nurses don't appreciate their own mistakes being brought to attention even though they thrive on humiliating others when it's someone else.
    And yes, when I was an LPN I got a little offended at times because people seemed to believe that all LPN's wanted to be RN's. I would hear "you're going back to school to get your RN soon, right?" from nursing and the public alike and I would think to myself, "Yes I want to get my RN eventually, but if I wanted to stay an LPN, what would be wrong with that? Why do I have to get my RN?" So I understand that some people stay where they are for their own reasons.
    I'm talking about the CNA who is trying to run the floor and intimidate people, basically trying to be the charge nurse but he/she has every excuse in the world why they are not an RN but will make every attempt to act like they are your boss and that they are more skilled and knowledgable than you.
    Believe me, I live by the phrase "It's not how much education or training you've had, it's what you do with the education/training you've got."
    I know CNA's I would rather have taking care of me than some BSN prepared RN's.

    QUOTE=Justus]RN34TX...To read your post you are of the opinion that "all CNA's are jealous and have low self esteem" and that there is some reason why they did not become nurses.

    Although I agree with everything else, to state the aforementioned is stereotyping CNA's. There are some that simply choose to be CNA's while other's may become nurses, phlebotomist or flip burgers. It is possible that some stand in awe of nursing (nurses) without being "jealous" .