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CoffeemateCNA's Latest Activity

  1. CoffeemateCNA

    Your Work Environment

    I had totally forgotten this website existed until I got an email letting me know there were responses to this thread! I have since left long-term care and now work in a non-patient care position in acute care. Much less stressful, no back issues, and significantly better pay. I do sometimes miss getting to develop a relationship with patients and their families (the good ones, not the bad ones) and I don't always feel like I make very much of a difference, but to me, the trade-off was well worth it.
  2. CoffeemateCNA

    How to change resident with broken leg or ostomy bag?

    Changing a brief with an ostomy is no different than someone without an ostomy, just remember to make a slit/rip in the top front of the brief where the stoma is so that the ostomy bag is not trapped under the brief. A trapped ostomy bag can cause skin breakdown and has the potential to cause fungal infections.
  3. CoffeemateCNA

    Your pet peeve of the week

    I know it's been mentioned about 8,734,816,349,817,818,273,664 times on this forum already, but family members that stand in the doorway or go stand at the nurse's station instead of encouraging the patient to put on the call light IRK ME TO NO END. I want to purposely run down the hall with a Hoyer or med cart and "accidently" smash their feet or knock them over on the way past. I wish they understood that rather than prompting me to take care of mom/dad/husband/wife's needs more quickly, it makes me ignore them longer. I WILL answer every other call light before I come to you. So... TURN YOURSELF AROUND AND GET BACK IN THE ROOM. Most of the time, it was something stupid that they could have done themselves anyway. Can't win for losing.
  4. CoffeemateCNA

    New CNA, not too well at taking insults.

    When people cuss at me or call me names, I usually bust up laughing, even double over (depending on how funny it was). Don't take everything that people say so seriously. This job is hard enough as it is. Some people think this is rude, but really, I couldn't survive the mountainous crapload of insults without laughing. I highly doubt your supervisor knows exactly how his/her parent is actually treating you. There have been numerous occasions where I have taken care of a supervisor or coworker's parent, and they have always been very prompt at stopping unreasonable behavior before it got out of hand (i.e., "Mom, STOP with this call light business; the aides have better things to do than come in here every 5 minutes"). Next time the parent was being unreasonable, I wouldn't hesitate to say something like "You know, I don't think that your son/daughter [insert supervisor name here] would be very happy to know that you were treating me and friends this way. You need to stop [insert behavior here] or I will let [son/daughter's name] know how you have been acting." I would even walk out of the room and let them know I would come back when they were ready to be respectful to me. When you see your supervisor, let them know how their loved one has been acting and ask them to speak with them. I've never had a "royal" resident's family get upset with me for letting them know these things. After all, they've been around these people their whole lives and have a pretty good idea how they act. In fact, I've found that families from a nursing background and more prone to tell their mom/dad to "knock it off" since they know exactly what it's like to be on the receiving end of bad behavior. Boss's family member or not, don't take crap from people. Stick up for yourself.
  5. CoffeemateCNA

    PCT/Clinical Question: How often should you empty drains?

    As far as JPs go, the more fluid they collect, the lesser the suction that is applied to the wound. So a full JP will not be pulling very much fluid, while a freshly emptied JP will be pulling a lot more fluid from the wound. If the drains in question are filling up fairly quickly, the nurses may be having you empty them frequently to ensure suction is applied at a more constant rate. Emptying more often also allows you to assess the rate of drainage. Otherwise, there really isn't much of a need to empty drains any more often than once a shift.
  6. CoffeemateCNA

    New CNA soon

    I went around and told everyone that would listen how I was "going to be taking my *STATE* boards" like it would be imparting to me some special government clearance or something. Instead, all I got was a trip to a nursing home and a generic certificate printed on crappy paper with my name handwritten in. Can anyone say "sucky?"
  7. CoffeemateCNA

    How should I deal with a nurse who's bullying me?

    Sounds like a total b****. She is obviously insecure about herself and asserts her authority upon everyone else to make herself feel better. I have worked with several of them over the past few years. All of the crap they say are really just empty words/threats. I guess your personality type makes a big difference with how you deal with the situation. I am the type of person that really doesn't care what other people think and have no problem walking away from and ignoring people like that. It sounds like she really bothers you, though. The tactics you listed sound good. Keep supporting your coworkers, and it will make it so much easier. As verbally abusive as she is to you, it doesn't sound as if you are in any danger of being disciplined or terminated. Management usually has a pretty good idea exactly which staff members are crazy like that. In your case, even though your DON is friends with this nurse, I'm sure the DON knows that they really can't do much with the empty accusations of one person. If you were truly a bad employee, other staff members would be complaining about you as well, which isn't the case. How long has this been going on, and how long has this nurse worked there? If she has worked there for a long time, and you are new-ish, then you may not have much ground to stand on with the administrator. A letter from one person isn't likely to do much good, either. In fact, it usually just makes people sound like complainers with no backbones. However, encourage your coworkers to keep DETAILED statements of these occurrences (dates, times, what was said by both parties, maybe some background information from each situation) and then visit the administrator as a GROUP to present your findings. You are more likely to have better results this way.
  8. CoffeemateCNA

    Rejection Letter and New Interview-Sitter?

    Let me put this nicely: SITTING SUCKS. However, if it will lead to a PCT position down the road, then I say go for it. If the facility allows sitters to do patient care, it's usually just minimal stuff: quick bath and bed change, oral care, toileting. . . Stuff that won't take up much time for the shift. Be sure you bring plenty of things to keep yourself occupied. Books, crossword puzzles, phone (don't forget charger!), laptop, whatever. Also bring cushion or something if the room has crappy chairs. Sitting in a plastic chair for 8-12 hours kills your back. Basically, if you are in school, sitting is a godsend because you can study while you make money. But if you don't have much to do, sitting can be very rough. Shouldn't be to bad for you, though, since it's just part time and only 3 months long.
  9. CoffeemateCNA

    Ideas on ways to remember to sign out narcotics

    It depends on the number of narcs the resident will be receiving as to when I punch them out. If the person only receives one or two, I'll do them in the order they appear on the MAR. If the person has a BUNCH of them, I save all narcs for last. It's too much of a pain to punch a few regular meds, unlock the narc drawer, find what you need, pop it out, sign it out, put it back, punch more regular meds, unlock the drawer again, etc. Just takes too much time. Regardless, I always sign them out in the book as I go. I know a lot of med aides that are able to keep track of everything in their heads and reconcile the numbers at the end of the shift, but I just can't do that. I know of one that just writes vitals and narcs in a small notebook and copies them into the MAR and narc count sheets 1-2x a shift. What works best for me, though, is to just do it as soon as I punch them. As for being nervous for the narc count, I always do a quick comparison of the count sheet and all the narcs in the drawer a few minutes before the next shift comes on. Better to realize you forgot to sign something out when you're by yourself rather than counting with the next shift, especially if the other person is paranoid. EVERYBODY forgets to sign stuff out at one time or another.
  10. CoffeemateCNA

    Getting faster on the med cart & my stupid sore thumb!

    Is 0900 considered your "heavy" a.m. pass? If it only took you 3 1/2 hours to pass a.m. meds to 29 people, you are doing phenomenally. I wouldn't be any faster myself. I always take my time, especially with the a.m. pass since there is SO MUCH to give. I really don't care if I'm "late" with meds, because, in my opinion, 90% of the meds given in LTC facilities are completely unnecessary. I will never understand why we are giving, for instance, calcium and vitamin D TID to end of life residents to prevent fractures, or why blood pressure meds need to be split up into 3-4 daily doses. Doctors don't usually prescribe such frequent regimens to people at "home," so why in the world do they bother to do this to LTC residents in the place that has become their home? I think they just want it to look like we are really trying to "cure" all of the resident's ailments to make families happy (who don't want to face the fact their loved ones will not be getting better). Why is it such a big deal if you are 30 minutes late with something? People at home don't flip out or face loss of life or limb if they don't take their meds at 0900 on the dot. Why is LTC any different? Nobody will die if they have to wait a few extra minutes for their Tums or Lasix. It's LTC, for goodness sake, not an ICU! And if they do face that imminent danger, then they obviously have no business being in LTC and need to be shipped to the nearest acute care facility STAT! As far as flagging goes, what are your MARs put into? Every LTC facility I have been to uses 3-ring binders. If this is the case in your facility, I would just pop open the rings, and move the paper off to one side, so that it will be sticking out the top/bottom, and only two of the metal rings will be holding it into the binder. You have to come up with your own system as to what to flag versus how to flag it. For instance, flagging the individual resident tab divider if you haven't given them any of the meds for the resident that pass, or flagging individual pages for PRN reassessments, breathing treatments, etc. Post-its are also great for flagging as they are abundant and inexpensive. I hate popping meds out of the bubble packs, too. I still get callused thumbs from it. Medication storage seems to be a no-win situation: bubble packs are difficult (and painful) to manipulate, and bottles make it difficult to find quickly or easily get the correct number of pills out. Ahhh. I'm glad you became a med aide. It's nice to have someone else on here that does this too!
  11. CoffeemateCNA

    Any tips for the Med Aide state exam?

    Wow, I guess you are fortunate!! I had to pass meds in front of a state examiner after my written portion, and they constantly quizzed me with things like "Which of these can you crush?" or "If the resident doesn't want to take all of them right now, what would you do?" I went home with a splitting headache but a big sense of relief that it was over.
  12. CoffeemateCNA

    Any tips for the Med Aide state exam?

    Remember your three MAR checks. When I took the test I did about 20 each time because I was so nervous. I wasn't actually "checking" but merely gathering my thoughts. Even if you are testing at the facility you work at and know every resident by heart, still ask them their name (I often ask date of birth too). The examiner doesn't know that you know them, so you don't want to appear unsafe. Remember to document in the MAR AFTER you give them meds. I always sign before I give (and come back and change if the refuse), but the examiners will probably be on the lookout for this ("Never chart before you do something" yadayadayada). Get any assessment data you need (HR, BP, pain level) before you start prepping the meds. Nothing is worse than spending forever prepping meds, then once you get to the table/room the resident asks for a pain pill. Do you know how many people you will be passing to? I did 5 (I think) and I scheduled myself later in the day so I wouldn't have to do the awful a.m. pass.
  13. CoffeemateCNA

    What do you do when the workload is just not doable?

    Partners are best, but when we used to have just 3 aides, we came up with a system. At the beginning of the shift, 2 buddied up and got everyone up for dinner, while the third person passed all waters, did the vitals (which were due by 1630), and answered call lights. Halfway through dinner, 1 would start taking residents back to their rooms one at a time as they finished eating and put their gowns on and do quick oral care (other 2 would continue feeding) and perhaps put a few super-easy people to bed, time permitting. When everyone was finished, the other 2 would buddy up and put everyone in bed, do a quick brief change, and move on, while the first would continue getting people out of the dining room, getting gowns on and doing oral care as well as answering call lights (basically going around and telling the residents that they will be put to bed shortly just as they are every single night and to stop putting their stupid bloody lights on every 5 minutes). There were just way too many people to do any p.m. washing up except for face and hands (plus we had bath aides during day, so we didn't do showers except for "emergencies"). We had time to do basics only. System worked very well. We came up with a schedule and rotated who did what job. You'd have 2 days "on" with doing most of the transfers, but then have 1 day "off" with the easier tasks. Of course our exact system probably wouldn't work for you, especially in a dementia unit, but perhaps you could come up with your own to suit your shift's needs?
  14. CoffeemateCNA

    FED UP CNAS!!!!

    Fed up with the nurses that think that all CNAs are lazy wicked communists that are secretly planning to overthrow the nurse(s)' power so that we can rule the floor ourselves. Fed up with the ones that think we break every rule on purpose and that we don't care, especially the ones that have never truly worked the floor (in our role) a day in their lives. Sure, you can do the skills, but you can't do the job. Get that straight. Oh, and 4 months as a nurse intern does not make you a CNA expert. Those of us that have done this job for years are insulted by that insinuation. P.S. I throw linens on the floor.
  15. CoffeemateCNA

    FED UP CNAS!!!!

    To the lady in OT: WHAT IN THE WORLD do you mean you gave a full bed bath to a resident (as part of their rehab), but skipped over their lower legs and feet and saved them for me to do? Yes, I appreciate you helping get someone's bath out of the way (well, PART of it), but really, would it have been THAT hard to spend an extra 45 seconds cleaning their legs and feet before putting their TED hose on, dressing them, and putting them in their chair? Thanks to you, I will have to transfer this obese person back into the bed, undress them, run a whole basin of new bath water and soap, and waste yet another precious washcloth and towel, not to mention 5-10 more minutes of my time (which I do NOT have to spare). Thanks for the consideration. Really. I hope they have a nice big loose BM waiting for you when it's time again for therapy.
  16. CoffeemateCNA

    Same assignment/residents

    I hate having the same people to take care of all the time. Float me around, and I'm happy. If I have the same residents all the time, I tend to get a lot more frustrated with them over the smallest of things and get burnt out quickly. One of the good things about permanent assignments, though, is that you get to know your residents and their routines VERY well, which makes things easier in that aspect. If I get new people (or at least a different assignment) each day, it keeps me on my feet and makes things more "fresh." I like variety. Our management often prefers permanent assignments because it "provides for better continuity of care," but I think that's a big fat load of BS. I think certain people just want to be lazy and have less scheduling to deal with. People get tired of permanent assignments (especially the more difficult ones) and call in more often, necessitating frequent replacements. So in trying to minimize the number of caregivers that work each assignment, they end up creating more than there was to begin with. Total crap.

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