doing the work of a CNA at a lesser pay

  1. I'm a first year nursing student. I just got a job as a one on one caregiver for seniors. Some of the cases require CNA quality care, which, I've mostly been trained for, but I am in no way certified. Some cases also require basic care, which could basically be called a "companion" as well as monitoring medicine, eating and helping around the house.
    I just interviewed with someone seeking daily care while she's battling Cirrhosis. I'm familiar with this, but she is also incontinent. If I go through with this I'd be transferring her, monitoring her, but also helping her with the incontinence (clean up, changing). I CAN do this, but I feel like it's crossing into CNA territory. I'm not paid very well, and I'm not saying it's about the money, but when I'm cleaning soiled items and making contact with patients, I feel it should be done by the appropriate person, who is trained and paid accordingly. I want this job, but I don't know if it's right that I'm doing it. I'm not sure why my boss suggested it when she's knows I'm not certified, but maybe she's hoping I'll do it anyway since it's less money. I really want this experience, but not if it's for a company that puts untrained/under paid people to work.
  2. Visit grace_lorraine87 profile page

    About grace_lorraine87

    Joined: Jun '12; Posts: 18; Likes: 10
    Nursing Student; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in PEDS


  3. by   Asystole RN
    CNAs themselves typically are in a grey area of work. Anything under a RN/LPN level is typically referred to as "unlicensed staff" and thus open to interpretation, although CNAs are usually described within the NPA. There are laws that require nurses but I am unaware of any that require a CNA.

    Even here in my hospital we have CNAs and "PCTs" which are simply CNAs that have been given extra training but are not legally recognized.

    Caregiver is a broad term that can encompass a variety of tasks and in all reality is defined by the employer.
  4. by   roser13
    "I CAN do this, but I feel like it's crossing into CNA territory."Aaahhh, there's the rub. Whether student, student nurse or nurse, you can and should be able and willing to do whatever is necessary to provide total care for your patient. If you are drawing these lines of distinction while still in school, I fear that your collaborative career will be short-lived.
  5. by   Floridayz
    I am not asking you to share, but I am wondering what you think CNA's make? I am knee deep in every body fluid you can think of for up to 24 patients for 12.5 hours a day and I can tell you I don't believe my pay, being a few dollars above minimum wage can come near to appropriate compensation. For a dollar or 2 less, I would love a job like yours
    Also, if you have been through fundamentals, you should have as much training as someone with a CNA cert.
  6. by   grace_lorraine87
    Hey, that's not nice! It's just I was wondering if I shouldn't be doing it because it might require things I'm not familiar with, even though the family and my manager specified some of it. Yes, being someone who is working two jobs and still in school I do want to be sure I'm being paid appropriately for my work, and I would think someone who has worked to be licensed in anything would want the same.
    The job is minimum wage, and I know there are places where I could do better for myself and the patient. If the patient thinks that they are getting licensed and trained staff, they should, and not someone who is still in school. I may be trained and experienced, but I think this is a path of miscommunication on my employers part and I'm trying to decipher.
    Thanks for the response
  7. by   grace_lorraine87
    I'm not sure what they make, but I was hoping/assuming it was more than minimum wage, which is what this job is. I haven't worked minimum wage in years, and I can't afford it. That's why it concerned me when I found out what would be required of me.
  8. by   Floridayz
    Where I live, completion of a nursing fundamentals course = CNA certification. This may be different for you, I don't know, and I certainly wasn't trying to be mean. However I do believe that the knowledge you have being a nursing student is waaaaaaaaaaaay more than someone who took a weekend CNA course and therefore you are more than qualified for that type of assignment. It doesn't sound clinically *heavy* to take care of one incontinent patient. You state yourself that you CAN do this job, so it's up to you to determine what it's worth. Wages in this area, you would probably make in the $8-9/hour range for this type of work.
  9. by   BrandonLPN
    The only places that legally require CNA certification are facilities licensed as nursing homes. Hospitals, assisted living facilities and home care agencies have no legal obligation that their caregivers be CNAs. They may *choose* to make it a requirement for employment, but they don't have to.
  10. by   BrandonLPN
    I should add that CNAs do NOT hold a license. This is a common misconception.
  11. by   KaylaRN2013
    I am a 2nd year nursing student in an associates program with only 9 months until graduation. I got hired as a nurse extern at the largest hospital in my area..I make a lot less than the CNA's and PCT's at the hospital and I do the same thing as them. You can do the job, I promise.
  12. by   MidwestBetty
    In my state also once you complete fundamentals you can work as a CNA and I am pretty sure CNAs do not go to class for only a weekend to get certification. In my state it takes about a few months.
  13. by   Seas
    You don't have to be a "Certified Nurse Aide" (CNA) in many facilities, to work as an aide. This may be one of those.

    Your job title one on one "caregiver" already sounds like you have to take total care of them where they need anyway. What did you think your job would be with the word "caregiver" in it?
  14. by   lovingtheunloved
    How much do you think CNAs make? It ain't much.