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

Geriatric   (13,248 Views 61 Comments)
by nd deb nd deb (Member)

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JenniferSews specializes in Professional Development Specialist.

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I've had the same experience as Orange Tree. I started out helping a LOT. I figured it takes me just as long to do the task as it did to find someone the person who should have done it. While that is true, in my facility the CNA's have a lower ratio of patients than the nurses. The CNA's ALWAYS get their breaks and ALWAYS leave on time. I rarely got to each lunch and when I did it was always quick bites between tasks. Leaving on time is a joke. Some of the CNA's did become accustomed to me just doing things and I would find more and more tasks left undone for me. Eventually I had to hold people accountable.

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90 Posts; 2,059 Profile Views

Here is my thoughts on 'helping'.....

I really try to be a team player, and if a CNA ever specifically asks for help, I will do my best to assist them. HOWEVER, the helping does not go both ways. If I am spending a lot of time helping the CNA's, I will not get my nursing work done- and then who helps the nurse? The CNA is not qualified to do my job, so I get the short end of the stick.

The majority of my 'helps' are answering the call bell of Mrs.ImSoNeedy when all the aids are in other rooms, helping answer call bells during resident's lunch, and giving a bedpan when a resident has to go NOW.

Im not opposed to helping, I just need to make sure that my work gets done as well.

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4theBetterGetter is a RN and specializes in Med Surg, Peds, OB, L/D, Ortho.

121 Posts; 3,783 Profile Views

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..

Patient care is everyones concern! When I was an NA I helped all I could....As an RN I continue to do same. That includes bedpans.....emesis.....spilled drinks.....room and unit cleanliness.....denture and mouth care.....any and ALL of it! Team work works best when all the team is playin!:D

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Forever Sunshine has 7 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

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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.

Also those quick things to a CNA .. might not be quick for me. I need all the time I can get.. I don't have the time to do someone elses job when I am staying until 1am trying to get my work done. No breaks for me either.

The CNAs leave by 11- sometimes 11:15. But I'm there until well after midnight most nights.

And if someone ever accused me of browsing the internet while sitting at the computer at the nurses station, when I'm really entering orders, I'd make them sit back there and watch me until I am ready to go home. Actually I'd make them stand, so their feet are burning as much as mine are.

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Forever Sunshine has 7 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

1,261 Posts; 16,086 Profile Views

Here is my thoughts on 'helping'.....

I really try to be a team player, and if a CNA ever specifically asks for help, I will do my best to assist them. HOWEVER, the helping does not go both ways. If I am spending a lot of time helping the CNA's, I will not get my nursing work done- and then who helps the nurse? The CNA is not qualified to do my job, so I get the short end of the stick.

The majority of my 'helps' are answering the call bell of Mrs.ImSoNeedy when all the aids are in other rooms, helping answer call bells during resident's lunch, and giving a bedpan when a resident has to go NOW.

Im not opposed to helping, I just need to make sure that my work gets done as well.

There is nobody to help the nurse get her work done. Plain and simple.

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vamedic4 has 23 years experience as a EMT-P and specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi.

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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

Maybe your organization needs to change it's expectations of CNAs then. It doesn't require a college degree to use a phone, a computer or a glucometer. And in placing those responsibilities solely on the nurse sets everyone up for the type of resentment seen in this topic. They can certainly be taught to input orders, to do fingersticks, and to help out more than the "normal" CNA duties. They can be your best asset, even outside of the traditional manual labor CNA duties. It's just up to your organization to recognize their value, because most don't.

What's also true is that the CNAs have to be held accountable for their actions. They have to be held to a standard at an organization and have things spelled out in advance...many times that just doesn't happen. Someone just comes up and says "oh, it's also part of your job." Really? Where is that in my SOP manual?

Remember, as an RN you signed up for the increase in responsibility, and (usually) that comes with a dramatic increase in pay because of your education and training. A training they don't have, experience they didn't get, responsibilities they don't share. As a nurse you are the primary responsible caregiver. It's your name on the bottom of the form and you have to answer both for yourself and for your help as well...because she is not "licensed" staff. So it's absolutely untrue that there's no one to help the nurse get "her" work done, because it's all your work, and they are there to assist you with it.

I understand you're frustrated, maybe meeting with your supervisor, manager and/ or the aides can help if you explain what you need. Talking to people instead of about them makes for a much better work atmosphere.

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55 Posts; 1,184 Profile Views

I don't think anyone is asking nurses to help cnas out A LOT! all we are asking is that you pitch in, after all, a cna job is also part of your job description. we are there to assist you, that doesnt mean that when we are swamped you cant pitch in to help! I don't expect a nurse to answer every call light or toilet everybody, but when I'm in mr. jones room toileting him and mr. smith light is going off, do I expect nurse jackie who's on her facebook to answer that? ofcourse!

I work as a tech on a busy 28 geriatric unit at my hospital and I'm usually the ONLY tech on my shift so I'm literally on my feet from the time I clock in to when I clock out! most nurses who jump in to help, but there are some who think cna job is beneath them :rolleyes: I mean seriously you are going to hunt me down in pt x room to tell me that pt y needs blanket when you had to pass by the clean utility room to find me?:banghead::banghead:

And yes, I'm going to ask you to help me clean mr. x! why? cuz there's is no way I'm hurting my back rolling him by myself. sheesh When i ask for help, that means i really need it and not because I want you to do my job!

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VeronicaWileyRN specializes in Long term care-geriatrics.

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As a nurse I feel that it is important that staff work together. Nurses need to help nursing assistants and the nursing assistants need to help the nurses. The patients come first.

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nerdtonurse? is a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

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In the time I've been a nurse, I've only seen 1 CNA that drove me nuts about this; I'd be in the middle of trying to do my q2h neuro check on a new onset CVA, or waiting for a notoriously "don't make me wait if you call me" doc to call back on a bad lab, etc., and she'd want me to come help with a bath, right that minute (not a code brown, just a regular bath). I'd tell her, "Look, wait until doc X calls back and I'll be right in there." She'd stomp off making some comment -- I'd also tell her we need to have everyone bathed before 6 when the 6 am med pass cranks up, and sure enough, she'd want to start baths at 6, then go around telling everyone how I wouldn't help. It got to the point where I'd just bathe my own patients and do my own FSBS so I wouldn't have to deal with her. Looking back, that was probably her plan.

The majority of CNAs I've worked with have been great, and many on the path to RN, MA or LPN; people like the one above are the exception, not the rule, thank heavens.

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55 Posts; 1,184 Profile Views

In the time I've been a nurse, I've only seen 1 CNA that drove me nuts about this; I'd be in the middle of trying to do my q2h neuro check on a new onset CVA, or waiting for a notoriously "don't make me wait if you call me" doc to call back on a bad lab, etc., and she'd want me to come help with a bath, right that minute (not a code brown, just a regular bath). I'd tell her, "Look, wait until doc X calls back and I'll be right in there." She'd stomp off making some comment -- I'd also tell her we need to have everyone bathed before 6 when the 6 am med pass cranks up, and sure enough, she'd want to start baths at 6, then go around telling everyone how I wouldn't help. It got to the point where I'd just bathe my own patients and do my own FSBS so I wouldn't have to deal with her. Looking back, that was probably her plan.

The majority of CNAs I've worked with have been great, and many on the path to RN, MA or LPN; people like the one above are the exception, not the rule, thank heavens.

edited cuz i just reread...ha

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Not_A_Hat_Person has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health.

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When I was in LTC, I initially had no problem helping the LNAs, but it was hard to get help from any of them. The day I spent 10 minutes trying to flag down an LNA to assist with a 2-person transfer (no lift available) was the breaking point. No one would help. The patient ended up soiling themself, and complained to the unit manager. Fortunately, the patient mentioned in the complaint that I'd tried very hard to help her. After that, I only helped LNAs who helped me.

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GooeyRN has 12 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Psych, Med/Surg, LTC.

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It goes both ways, IMO. I have no problem helping to turn, lift, transfer, ambulate, clean up a code brown, etc. as long as I am not in the middle of an emergency. I will help as soon as the emergency is over. I don't want anyone using a lift alone or lifting a heavy person alone and hurting themselves. I worked as a CNA and an LPN prior to becoming an RN, and let me tell you, it sucked seeing nurses socializing at the desk while I attempted to use a lift alone or whatever. They would always say to find another CNA for help. :confused::crying2: That sounds fine, if you can find one that isn't super busy. Other CNA's can't stop showering someone or cleaning a code brown all of the time to help with a transfer. And sometimes the residents can't wait to go to the BR. It sucked. I never wanted to be a nurse that wouldn't take the 30 seconds to lend a hand in lifting someone. I try my best to do some patient care every shift I work, just to lesson the load on the CNA's. Even if it is just walking a few people to the bathroom and doing one code brown, I feel it makes a huge difference.

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