Nurse helping out Cna at times = they eventually expect the nurse to help them?


Just wondering if anyone has found that if they helped cna's on the floor with answering lights, assisting them with putting residents to bed with lifts if eventually they expect the nurse to help them. This helping out is done when the nurse is having some down time..


286 Posts

Specializes in Home health. Has 22 years experience.

Yes, the cna's at the nursing home I worked in expected the nurses to help them all the time. At the time, I was the discharge planner and I was answering call lights too. The cna's didn't seem to think it was unusual to expect the nursing staff to cover for them.


111 Posts

Um, I used to work as a CNA and I'm in nursing school now. By "help" what do you mean? Were you at lunch? Were they just being lazy?

In the hospital where I used to work, it really was a care TEAM (I miss my hospital :crying2: .) When I was busy with one patient and another patient pushed their call light, sure I would expect the nurse to help. That's just good patient care. If I needed assistance putting a patient to bed because they were too big for me to handle alone, again, what's wrong with helping?

And if a nurse ever needed "help" with something that wasn't my responsibility, I'd be there for them. But, I guess if it's happening so frequently that you can't take care of your job responsibilities, another CNA should probably be hired.


1,465 Posts

If I am not doing a nursing task that has to be done at that time, then yes I help out the CNAs (techs at my job) - even if it isn't my patient. If I am busy and they ask to help, I always ask them to give me 5 and I'll be with them. Our techs are great in knowing when I'm busy and just can't help, but they also know that I will help when I can.

casi, ASN, RN

2,063 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

I've been having trouble with an aide that expects me to be at her beck and call. Especially in the TCU setting where I have 27 patients I can't be helping out all the time. I help where I can when I have time. I've been learning to set limits which seem to work out okay.

My supervisor keeps pushing the idea that I can do their job, but they can't do mine. So when I'm drowning in meds and paperwork I can't be jumping up to grab a call light.

Testa Rosa, RN

333 Posts

Specializes in Tele Step Down, Oncology, ICU, Med/Surg. Has 6 years experience.

Many hands = less work for everyone. I always throw my hands in when I can and usually can expect the same in return.

loriangel14, RN

6,931 Posts

Specializes in Acute Care, Rehab, Palliative.

Jeepers, has no one ever heard of TEAM WORK? Where I work you always help out on the floor with what ever needs doing.Toileting, personal care, feeding, answering call bells. My charge nurse showered someone today and she cleaned up one of my patients that was hugely incontinent of stool. She is quite often found feeding people at meal times.(yes, I do work in a hospital)Our rule with soiled patients is that if you find it, you clean it. Of course we have to get our nursing duties done but we never are above providing care for our patients.

Specializes in Psych. Has 2 years experience.

Patient care is EVERYONE's responsibility.

As an aide, who is going to nursing school, I hope that I am like the nurses who are willing to help out with patient care. Do I expect nurses to help when I ask? Yes, I do. If I am asking it is not because I do not want to do my job, but because I need help in doing it. There are times I will ask where another aide is to help me because I think that nurses are too busy to help me at that time, and usually get told to hold on a minute and they will help me.

My mom was the DON at a SNF and instilled an atmosphere that everyone was responsible, from her down to the aides. It was not beneath her to toilet someone who needed help.

Many times, the nurses who are willing to help out get the most respect from the aides, while the ones who ignore the bell, spend 10 mins trying to finding an aide to toilet someone instead of just toileting the person the aides will not go out of their way to help.

Specializes in ED, OR, SAF, Corrections. Has 26 years experience.

They should expect you to help them out - just as you expect them to help you out when you're busy with other duties. Yes, we have responsibilities that CNA's do not, but things like toileting, cleaning up incontinent patients, turning & positioning, etc... are part of OUR jobs as well. We're not just there to chart and pass meds. CNA's do the lion's share of 'grunt' work, but RN's are responsible for it as well. Teamwork means EVERYBODY pitches in where and when necessary.

Has 10 years experience.

I work at a small rehab hospital. I answer call lights, toilet patients in between giving meds, and help the CNA's as much as possible. Sometimes when we're short-staffed of CNA's, total care (bath, mouth care, dressing pt., ambulating pt., etc.) is assigned to the nurse. It's easier to work as a team rather than working alone.

casi, ASN, RN

2,063 Posts

Specializes in LTC. Has 3 years experience.

I understand that team work is important. I help out where I can because I'm a huge team player. The problem comes when I'm giving meds, dealing with a heart rate in the 40's, or am up to my eyeballs in paperwork that NEEDS to get done and a certian aide or two start demanding that I start answering call lights NOW.


316 Posts

Specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych. Has 4 years experience.

This is a loaded issue.

I have worked on LTACs and other units where I have literally busted tail answering lights (of which, half are for meds, which only nurses can get), toileting, getting snacks, trying to feed umpteen people, and other stuff while some nurses sit on their tail drinking sodas and playing on facebook with their new i-phones that cost more than I make in a week. I know paperwork can be rough... but sheesh.. must not be too rough if you are doing that.

On the other hand, I have seen some lazy CNAs not do crud... the RN/LPN has to go through the rooms making sure even the basics are done so he/she does not get in trouble. If your CNA is sleeping or AWOL during calls, by all means report them! But do not be a jerk about it. On night shift, there is occasionally downtime. Just because I sit down for a second does not mean I am neglecting work.

Main thing is, help your CNAs. We can not be in two places at once. And... just because you had to see brown and yellow during nursing school does not make you so good that you let some little old lady go all over herself while you yell down the hall for an aid. :mad:

More teamwork and less ego drama. Or... you may end up your facility does away with CNAs... and puts LPNs/RNs on those lights... like many already have as I have read in some posts.