Published Nov 20, 2010
You are reading page 2 of Nurse helping out Cna at times = they eventually expect the nurse to help them?
I am very fortunate to have a great team of coworkers. When I have down time I don't mind jumping in whether it's assisting patients or giving baths - I'm all in! I don't see any harm in it and I'm sure the patient appreciates it when they look up to see both the nurse's aid and nurse coming in. I don't think they (nurse's aid) expects us to help, actually, many are quite surprised when I do jump in and help but they do go out of their way to say "thank you" at the end of every shift. :)
dont look for anyone to rush to your side when you need help if you cant make yourself available for others.
no help = possible fiasco
dont write a check your *** cant cash. help out.
Where I am at I have noticed lately that the cna's now think that the nurse should be answering their lights even when they are having a quiet shift. Got one shift that the cnas only will answer their own lights on their list because they feel that they will get behind if they are answering everyone else's. They leave supplements to the nurse to give, walking residents to the nurse to do. Had a Cna a couple of times try to tell me that the nurse is to give the supplements, walk someone.. I think it all comes down to that they don't want to waste their time doing it so they try to leave it to the nurse.. I believe in team work but I just get the impression that once you start helping them out that they start to expect that you are to help them all the time and/or will try to take advantage of the nurse.
In order to survive it is important that everyones role is defined. CNA's need to know that they cannot depend on a licensed nurse to help them because there are many time sensitive things the licensed nurse does that makes them unavailable. I would use a situation like this as an opportunity to get the CNA's together for an informal in service and make sure they know how to organize their work so they can use each other to help out and educate them about what your duties are and how relying on you to help is not a good plan. Of course if they are asking you to help them with an emergency situation i.e. res. is about to fall, a res. is hitting a CNA, CNA needs your expert advise, that is different. Helping CNA's with routine care is not necessary unless you literally have nothing better to do with your time.
I am a nursing student who graduates next month and works as a tech on a busy surgical floor, and I have seen both sides of this issue and been in two very different environments for each. I work in a large, metro hospital on a busy surgical floor where it's not uncommon for me to have 10-15 patients, and on shifts where even 2-3 of my patients are on post-op vitals, it can easily get frustratingly busy (to say the least). On my floor, the nurses are about 50-50; half are quick to help and don't mind at all, while the other half will literally call you from the patient's room they are in for you to unplug the IV machine so the patient can ambulate themselves to the restroom. Because the other tech usually has as many patients as I do, it's not always easy for them to come help as soon as I need it, and I don't want someone laying in filth any longer than they have to. If I'm in a patient's room by myself for 30 minutes changing them and rolling them around in bed to get them cleaned up, then who is going to have to answer the other call lights for that 30 minutes? The nurses. Whereas, if I had had another set of hands to help, it probably would have taken 15 minutes and saved the nurse some time in the long run too. At the hospital where I am completing my senior preceptorship, the role of the techs are very limited compared to where I work - techs only empty urine/stool, help with ADLs, and do vitals. No DC'ing foleys, IVs, or emptying any type of drain. Yet, every nurse there is quick to go ahead and empty foleys or hats when they see them filled, they answer call lights without fuss, and will always go get snacks or drinks for patients without even thinking of calling a tech because it's just as quick to grab a gingerale as it is to call the tech to do it. The nurses there are so much happier at their hospital than the nurses where I work, and the environment is much more teamwork focused than where I am employed. Even with helping with simple tech tasks, the nurses nearly always get out on time. During my preceptorship, I have been taking a full load of patients by myself, and I will do tech tasks while I'm there. I did have one day where I was very busy with a full load of patients (it is harder right now anyway because I'm not as quick as experienced nurses) and a tech asked if I had time to feed a patient. I said I was sorry but I really didn't, and I could tell she had expected me to just say yes because I was a student nurse. However, I just went on with my nursing duties and helped out in other ways as time allowed. I think it all comes down to a team centered approach- nurses are not above doing tech tasks; it is, after all, ultimately the nurse's responsibility to ensure proper care is given. If you earn the respect of techs by helping when you can and yet remain assertive, I don't think techs "taking advantage" of you should be a problem.
Forever Sunshine, ASN, RN
I totally get the fact that patient care is everyones responsibility...
But how am I supposed to get everything I have to get done, and help the CNA's and do their job.
If I'm staying until 1am trying to get done everything I have to get done.. then I'd be there until 4am if I helped the CNA's PLUS do everything else I have to do.
Nurses can help the CNA's. but the CNA's can't do the Nurse's job. They cannot do meds, they cannot do fingersticks, they cannot call MDs, they can't do treatments, they can't chart, they can't do admissions, they can't do orders. etcc
I am a tech. We work as a great team, we all help each other. Normally I set everything up before I ask for help, so its generally a 5 minute job instead of a half hour one.
A CNA/Tech has every right to expect help, IMO. We all all there for the patients. I know that an RN has their own work to do, and i will answer call bells all day/night long. But if a person needs 2 people to be cleaned, then they need 2 people, so yeah, I do expect someone else (either an RN or another tech) to help me.
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.
I think that is different- at least to me. I would never try to drag a nurse away from a critical patient, and if I tried, our nurses would tell me "find someone else, this is a priority". I do know that there are techs that would try to pull them away, though. Some don't see the difference between "sitting on your butt" or working behind a computer screen. Now, I have worked with people who spent all their downtime on ebay/facebook. Damn right I am going to call them away from that screen to come clean up with me :)
Seems like those aides need some education as to what else you do that isn;t covered by their job description :)
I totally get the fact that patient care is everyones responsibility...But how am I supposed to get everything I have to get done, and help the CNA's and do their job. If I'm staying until 1am trying to get done everything I have to get done.. then I'd be there until 4am if I helped the CNA's PLUS do everything else I have to do. Nurses can help the CNA's. but the CNA's can't do the Nurse's job. They cannot do meds, they cannot do fingersticks, they cannot call MDs, they can't do treatments, they can't chart, they can't do admissions, they can't do orders. etcc
I want to clarify- I don't want help with everything, all the time. Just if I have a heavy patient who needs rolling or whatever. I grab whoever is free. Quick 1 minute jobs. And here, where I work, techs do finger sticks and some treatments (like simple dressings) too.
Well all the work a cna's job is actually the responcibility of the nurse, it just delegated. So i would expect the nurse to help out. I always try to help out my cnas when its a hectic day. I will not help if they are just sitting in the nurses station. As the last letter of their title says, they are there to assist me with the minor functions of my job so that i can performe the more intense portions better.
I help techs out all the time, it really is a team effort. I work with a couple nurses who will walk all the way to the other end of the unit to find a tech to walk a pt to the bathroom--really irks me since it would be over and done with if the nurse just helped out!
I initially had problems delegating tasks to CNAs. I didn't want to be that "lazy" nurse who never did any of the grunt work. I also noticed that the CNAs were busy too, so I felt guilty. Then it was pointed out to me that the CNAs always left at 7:15, and that the nurses who got out "on time" were there until 7:30-7:45 (I was often there until 9-10). I was encouraged to start delegating more and to KEEP MOVING- and that's what I do. There are times when I'll spend 2-3 minutes finding and asking a CNA to do something that would have taken me 10- and it's because I need those extra 7-8 minute blocks to complete my work. It's not because I want to play on the internet or on my phone.
I've also noticed that it helps motivate the slackers if you hold them accountable for getting "their" job done. If every patient I pass meds to has an empty water pitcher, I'm going to ask that they be filled because they should have been to start out with. When people understand your expectations, they'll usually live up to them. And if they think you don't care about something getting done, they often won't bother to do it.
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