Please help guide me


I really need help figuring out what to do. I'm working 3 16 hour shifts a week and I'm physically burnt out. I love my residents and I don't want to leave but I am afraid I will end up hurting someone from being so tired.

My whole life I have dreamt of being in the health field and I just started a job at a LTC facility over a month ago. I am a CNA and this facility paid for me to my license..I either owe them $700 or 6 months of my time. This is my first CNA job and I came into it bright eyed and bushy tailed, happy and excited.... There are three wings. A,B and C. A wing is residents who cannot physically help themselves, most of them are overweight. It's the hardest floor of all three. It's mentally and physically exhausting. b wing is rehabilitation and some physically handicapped. It's a slow paced , easy going floor. Last but not least there's C wing. That is Alzheimer's and Dementia. I love C wing and that's my permanent floor. I love my residents. They are precious in so many ways. I work 3-11 usually 4 times a week, 8 hour shifts.

But recently we've had people fired for failing drug tests and people quitting so now we have to work more. But instead of our scheduler having us work 12s we have to work 16s. And after a 16 (mine is 3p-7a) you better be back into work 8 hours later (3p). I thought it was a once a month thing but now I have been scheduled 3 16hr shifts in a week.... I am absolutely miserable. I cried my entire shift on A wing the other night because I was so physically and mentally exhausted.

They put me on the hardest wing BY MYSELF and they know that I barely know these residents. I have had to have my boyfriend or my mom pick me up because I am so tired I can't drive. I have fell asleep while driving home from a 16 before and almost wrecked.

Don't get me wrong the pay is great and I love my residents but I am so torn from the pay/love for my residents and quitting so I can finally get the rest I need....I can't run on less than 8 hours of sleep. I work 45-50 hours a week....In my CNA class we learned about taking care of ourselves and being well rested to give the best care to our residents.... I feel like a quitter/failure and I am questioning if I should even go to be a RN because I can't even be a CNA.

Please help me and guide me to what I should do.... I listed this into the patient safety because I can't preform my job right the way I am supposed to because I am so tired. It's not just hurting me it's hurting my residents because I've become more agitated with them and BECAUSE I am so tired it's hard to do things for them physically. They mean no harm especially in the Alzheimer's wing... The things they say make my day. I have been nonstop crying on my day off today because I am lost as to what I should do... I try to get the other girls to help me but they "encourage" me to do it by myself. I feel taken advantage of and so disrespected.

I truely am miserable...... It's not my residents, it's not the work, it's the amount of work and the hours of the work. My mother has been a nurse for 30 years and she never would encourage quitting but she told me today that they are overworking me and I need to get out of there so I won't hurt someone or myself. Thank you for reading and I would appreciate feedback from anyone... I don't mean to make it into a "sob" story but I need someone else's opinion.


2 Posts

I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I have worked 12 shifts overnight in nursing homes and I found that physically and mentally exhausting.. I can't imagine how 16 must feel.

Have you talked to your supervisor and let them know what a toll 16 hour shifts are taking on you? I can't imagine they would want to lose a compassionate and reliable CNA, especially since they are so incredibly understaffed. You don't have anything to lose by talking to your manager or Human Resources and explaining how the 16 shifts are negatively impacting your health and wellbeing. If they refuse or make excuses, you can still quit.

I wish I could offer more advice -- I graduated my program in April so I'm still new to the field. I just hope you don't give up on being a CNA, because you really do care for your residents/patients and that is so incredibly valuable.


203 Posts

Specializes in Home Health, Mental/Behavioral Health. Has 4 years experience.

I'm so sorry you are feeling all this. How are things right now? I know it's been almost a week since you posted. I wish I would have seen this earlier!

Has 1 years experience.

My goodness! Of course you are exhausted! When I still had my LTC position, I worked the heavy medical side 4-5, 8 hour evening shifts in a week. Later requesting 12 hour, day shifts so I'd only be working 3-4 days a week. Those days were looooong!

Just as one of the other posters suggested, you need to take this to management. Its reasonable that they may need you to float to other wings in a time of shortage, but their current request are unreasonable. If they are smart, they will let you cut back your hours.

To be honest, this is a beautiful reflection of you and your work ethic. If you didn't care about the residents safety, you wouldn't care this much. Taking care of yourself allows you to better care for them. They are lucky to have you. Please, do the right thing and care for yourself and protect those precious residents.

Specializes in CNA 8 yrs LPN 6 geri, chemical dependency. Has 14 years experience.

Talk to the director of nursing or human resources. I'm even venturing you could bring up that you working that much is as dangerous as the people who were working high being there. I know it sounds extreme, but think about it.