I have just completed my 3rd week of 4 in CNA school. Today, was our first day of 3 days in an LTC facility where they allow us to come in and put to use everything we've been learning.
Although I have never stepped foot in a facility like this, I knew I would have to deal with "unpleasant" things, but I didn't realize how much, and they didn't prepare us. BM's were everywhere since it was first thing in the morning. But since I was new at assisting the CNA's, I was slow, gentle, nervous, and clumsy and the aides probably thought I couldn't hack it. But I was afraid of hurting someonw. Regarding the BM's, I did everything I could not to gag for fear of embarrassing the resident, so I thought of flowers and walking into a house at Thanksgiving smelling the great food cooking. I'm positive I'll get used to it and be more careful not to step in it in the shower, get it on my pants, etc. I'll go again tomorrow and try to do better.
Everything I'm learning in the program has a focus/basis for dignity. I didn't see a lot of that at this facility. They don't cover them good for privacy or warmth, because they are low on towels, they are wiping them fast and harsh, many residents would wimper a little because the CNA might have been hurting them a bit, they don't talk to them while showering or while doing anything, really; they say things out loud to me or to their coworkers with no regard that the resident can hear and has feelings, while I was showering a lady who had right side weakness, I asked her a few times if she was ok, and the CNA said, I can tell you're new, later, you'll just know that they are ok. I thought to myself "why would I EVER stop asking them if they were ok???!?!?!?"
So here's my question --
Do all or most CNA's become so complacent that they forget to be courteous or respectful? Or is it that they are just too busy? (These CNA's had 7-9 residents each - not sure if that's a lot or a little) Maybe it's just that they are with these residents every day and they know them so well, and I just saw too little to really know.
I just know that I am entering the healthcare field to make a difference in people's lives (first CNA, then LPN, then RN) and I don't ever want to become so complacent that I lose site of a patient's, resident's, or client's, dignity or feelings. Am I delusional? Maybe after my first day there, it's too soon to judge.
I would welcome and appreciate an insite to what it's like day in and day out, but also it would be good to hear other's first day impressions.