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Nurse forced to work as a tech/CNA

Posted

Has 2 years experience.

I work in inpatient rehab PRN. We’ve been super short staffed. They brought in a bunch of travelers so we have enough nurses for now. But we only have 1/3 of the CNAs/techs we’re supposed to have at night. I offered to work a couple shifts as a CNA/tech to help out a few months ago. Ever since then, they’ve been putting me down as a tech almost every time I work there which is 1-2 shifts a week. I understand that the travelers won’t work as CNAs so I’m pretty much their only option but how is that fair? 
 

I don’t even mind working as a tech but the only reason I work at this facility is to get some experience AS A NURSE in that specific setting! Is there something I can do about this without coming off as whiny?

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Are you the only nurse being assigned as a tech? Is the facility trying to hire CNAs? Is the facility chronically short staffed due to low pay or intolerable conditions?

I think the best approach is honesty, then planning your next move based on their response. It would only be "whiny" if you complained about it to everyone else instead of to the person who's actually in control.

You probably left yourself open to this quick fix when you first volunteered.  Now, since it is no longer so acceptable to you, have the appropriate conversation with the appropriate person and then decide what, if anything, you need to do.  You can't really blame anyone for taking the easy way out of situations.

CharleeFoxtrot, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

1 hour ago, ThatOneRN_ said:

I don’t even mind working as a tech but the only reason I work at this facility is to get some experience AS A NURSE in that specific setting! Is there something I can do about this without coming off as whiny?

Good gravy, I used to love being scheduled as a tech while getting paid a nurse's wage. No responsibilities, the chance to spend time doing basic care...nice.

You can choose to look at it from a negative, or try and focus on absorbing nursing experience by watching others, working on you own assessment skills, playing the "what would I do" game with yourself. Guess it's all a matter of perspective.

As far as getting out if it without looking whiney, perhaps you can rationally explain your position to those in change and try and get a compromise worked out.

Been there,done that, ASN, RN

Has 33 years experience.

On 4/4/2021 at 5:22 PM, CharleeFoxtrot said:

Good gravy, I used to love being scheduled as a tech while getting paid a nurse's wage. No responsibilities, the chance to spend time doing basic care...nice.

You can choose to look at it from a negative, or try and focus on absorbing nursing experience by watching others, working on you own assessment skills, playing the "what would I do" game with yourself. Guess it's all a matter of perspective.

As far as getting out if it without looking whiney, perhaps you can rationally explain your position to those in change and try and get a compromise worked out.

 

I have worked in patient rehab. The tech role requires a lot of physical labor. Much easier for an RN on rehab.

I have worked as a traveler. There is no reason they cannot be assigned to tech duties.

Just because you agreed to the tech role one time, does not mean you are required to do it every shift. Talk to the manager and whoever makes out the assignment.. BEFORE your next shift. Make it clear you will certainly stay in the rotation for tech duties, but you do NOT want to do it all of the time.

Asdf

Specializes in Emergency. Has 2 years experience.

I’m not sure what state you’re in but where I work you cannot legally work “below” your license. For example I worked as a tech while I was in nursing school, I graduated in may and took the NCLEX in June I got hired as a RN at the same hospital/unit and started orientation in August but if I had not, I would only have been allowed to work as a tech for 90 days after taking/passing the NCLEX. Anyway, you might want to look into what the rules are where you practice. (Def days I miss being a tech too)

Edited by Asdf

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

On 4/7/2021 at 7:58 AM, Asdf said:

I’m not sure what state you’re in but where I work you cannot legally work “below” your license. For example I worked as a tech while I was in nursing school, I graduated in may and took the NCLEX in June I got hired as a RN at the same hospital/unit and started orientation in August but if I had not, I would only have been allowed to work as a tech for 90 days after taking/passing the NCLEX. Anyway, you might want to look into what the rules are where you practice. (Def days I miss being a tech too)

I believe you can receive a "tech" assignment while being paid as an RN. You would be held to an RN's level of responsibility with your patients however.

There is nothing in a PCT's job description (in general at least) that wouldn't come under the umbrella of nursing duties...

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

4 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

I believe you can receive a "tech" assignment while being paid as an RN. You would be held to an RN's level of responsibility with your patients however.

Agreed. Filling in is a completely separate issue than actually working in a tech position as a title when licensed as an RN. 

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

I usually do one travel assignment per year and in my experience travellers have to do as told. 

I have frequently taken tech assignments. It all comes down to the nurse manager and the charge nurse during the shift. 

It seems to me that your administration is weak and incompetent. Regular staff members are usually the first in line for being in charge and if they are the ones making up the assignments for the shift, that's where the problem lies. 

Are you sure that maybe you are not that confident or competent and you are being given the tech jobs because of that? Personally, I wouldn't care because I would prefer no responsibility for an RN's wage. 

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

6 hours ago, Curious1997 said:

Are you sure that maybe you are not that confident or competent and you are being given the tech jobs because of that?

 

6 hours ago, Curious1997 said:

I have frequently taken tech assignments.

 

Jedrnurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nurse. Has 29 years experience.

11 minutes ago, londonflo said:

 

 

Well played, londonflo, well played...

Curious1997, BSN

Specializes in Psych, Medical. Has 13 years experience.

20 hours ago, Jedrnurse said:

Well played, londonflo, well played...

I'm sure that was very helpful to the OP! 

Very mature indeed! 

Maybe that advice applies to you and Londonflo as well. The OP is looking for advice and it's helpful to understand why is it that the charge nurses feel confident enough to give the OP tech assignments and do not expect the OP to respond or that there may be consequences? Examination of one's own behaviors is sometimes the answer. 

Maybe, instead of becoming personal, you and Londonflo could address the OP's question! 

Edited by Curious1997