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TurtleCat specializes in Geriatrics.

Love being a CNA, love working with the elderly. Love life :)

TurtleCat's Latest Activity

  1. TurtleCat

    Should I just stop?

    I am a CNA/med tech at a group home for the elderly, a residential care home... it's different from the typical nursing home in that we care for only a few patients at a time, up to 6. And also, it's only one employee at a time caring for them, a CNA who does everything -- the typical CNA duties, plus passing meds, monitoring their condition, housekeeping, cooking meals, activities, etc... Don't get me wrong, most days I love my job and prefer working in it to the typical facility. But an incident came up fairly recently. We have bath aides that come in during the week to give a patient a bath -- the rest of the time, it's just us CNAs caring for them (and doing other things for them, including bathing on the days the bath aides aren't scheduled to come) Well, there is this one client, let's call her V to avoid any breach of confidentiality. V has a bath aide that comes in for her twice a week. This particular day the bath aide was scheduled to come in... I had checked V @ 6 am in the morning, to make sure she was clean and dry. She was dry as a bone, no urine or feces. My shift ends at 7am... so I figured that was sufficient enough time to make sure she was good for the oncoming day shift. And usually it is. But this is what happened. The bath aide came at around 6:15. The bath aide bathed and dressed her. And then, afterward, the bath aide called me into the room. The bath aide asked me when was the last time I checked her, and I reported the truth, which was that I checked her at 6 am and she was dry. The bath aide proceeds to basically accuse me of lying. She says her brief was soaking wet, that it appeared she hadn't been checked for hours, and that she's reporting it to my supervisor. I told the bath aide "for her information" that I check my patients every 2 hours, like clockwork, and that the last time I checked her, she was clean and dry. She accuses me of being "unprofessional" by saying "for your information" (?) and that she is reporting all this to my supervisor as soon as she comes in. Ok... I mean, all I have to say to this situation, is the truth -- that I checked this client at 6 am, 15 minutes before, and she was dry. It appeared she wet again since I last checked her, and you could say maybe I should have double-checked her before the bath aide came in to make sure... but at the same time, I don't think I did anything horrible, nor that I wasn't doing my job... I feel it's important to note that this particular client urinates in high volumes sometimes, in that, sometimes she'll be dry for hours, and then a whole bunch of urine will come out at once. Like she retains fluids and then it all comes out at once. So on that note, like I said before... I think my only error lies in not double-checking her right before the aide actually arrived. Regardless, I didn't feel it was right for this bath aide, someone who isn't even an employee there and only comes in for 20 minutes a week, to come in and antagonize me like that. She came off as really rude and unpleasant, not to mention, how is it her right to come in and accuse me like that? She is not my supervisor, she is not a family member of the client or anything like that... So when my supervisor comes in, the bath aide actually takes the wet brief, and practically runs to my supervisor with it... and is explaining how I must have left her wet for hours, etc etc... and at this point, and I ADMIT this was wrong of me, but it was an emotional and impulsive reaction... I'm just like "screw this, I'm not coming back" and walk out the door. And my supervisor is calling me up afterward begging me to come back. I'm just really hurt, upset and frustrated by this situation. I don't hurt, mistreat or neglect my clients... and yet this bath aide acts like I was. It was honestly just an honest mistake, where she urinated after I last checked her and I didn't catch it. But for whatever reason, the bath aide didn't and refused to see it that way, even after I explained to her what happened... I went home and I cried. I'm not going to lie. I tried to kill myself. I took a big bottle of pills and my roommate forced me to spit it out. I'm just tired. Most days I am just sick of life and force myself to keep living... my job and my clients are one of the few things that keep me going. I have a documented case of mental illness and psychiatric issues and stuff like this just adds fuel to the fire. Makes me want to give up entirely. I'm tired of coming in and working up to 20 hours taking care of my clients, I'm tired of constantly buying gloves, briefs, wet wipes, lotion, powder, food... all things for them, because I care about them and want to make their lives better... just to be accused of something I didn't do and would NEVER do, which is neglect a client and leave them wet for hours. I love my clients to death, they are my babies, don't get me wrong... but this is ********. That someone should be allowed to just come in and accuse me like that. I don't want to lose my job, because the patients need SOMEONE to care for them, and I still want to be there for them... but I don't think it's right for this bath aide to come in and accuse me like that. I just want to know, what I should do about this situation. When the supervisor called me, she said that I was not in trouble, that I was not going to be fired... she claimed "they" (she and the administrators) had my side, but I still don't believe it. This place has gone through so many employees... people who work a few weeks only to do a no-call no-show, or be fired because they just didn't care, and yet I'm the only one who stuck it out, have been there for 2 years now, because I loved and cared for my clients, and wanted to make their lives better. I just couldn't believe someone coming in and accusing me like that.
  2. TurtleCat

    Am I doing the wrong thing?

    This is making me kind of angry. I just got a call from my supervisor stating that the family members are complaining because the clients are going through too many briefs and they are having to replace them too quickly. She is telling me not to change a client's brief from now on unless they have feces or are super soaking wet. She tells me that otherwise, they are going to start taking count of how many briefs are used during a shift. Am I the only one who feels like there's something really wrong with this? I will be honest here, I do change a person's brief even if they are only a "little" wet. I am trying to prevent odors, skin breakdown, etc. from occurring. And I *really* do not feel like I am doing the wrong thing by doing this. Whenever I relieve other shifts, I often find the clients in a soaking wet and/or soiled brief and they stink to high heaven. I never complained or said anything about it because I'm not that type of person, I don't like causing trouble. A lot of the clients have skin breakdown and one even has a gaping pressure sore and has had one for months now, and even though I have no way to prove this, I highly suspect that this is because other shifts aren't changing them as they should. This really bothers me because I can't help but to feel as if I'm being penalized for doing the right thing. I go into work every day, I give everything my 110%, I try to always do the right thing, I pick up extra shifts constantly even when I'm completely exhausted and run-down, just because I want to be there for my residents, and yet it still seems like it's not good enough. They have to pick on me for some little thing, like, going through too many briefs during a shift. It's ridiculous.
  3. I think systoly is right on the ball. There's nothing wrong with being uncomfortable about performing peri-care. Not everyone can do it. But it does mean that maybe CNA is not the best job field for you. The healthcare field in general involves a lot of contact with the human body, both male and female. If you wish to work in healthcare but don't want any contact with female genitalia, maybe it'd be better for you to find a more clerical position instead of a hands-on one. There are a lot of options in healthcare that don't involve direct patient contact.
  4. I'm a CNA at a geriatric group home that houses up to 6 residents and I work the night shift. When I first started, there was only 2 clients and we had a lot of downtime. I would actually spend some shifts reading almost the whole night, because there wasn't much else to do. It was really laidback. Since then, though, we've gotten in more clients, their needs have become more intensive, and we have a lot more housekeeping duties assigned to us, so things are a bit busier. I find I'm still almost always able to sit down and take my 30-minute break, though, something I wasn't always able to do in he nursing home. As far as sleeping goes, I don't know the official company policy but I tend to avoid sleeping because of the fact that I'm the only one there and if a client tried to get out of bed and fell when I was on duty, I wouldn't know if it I was asleep. That, and I just feel it looks bad to sleep on a job. So group homes are an option if you're looking for a quieter, more laidback pace and atmoshere than a nursing home, but again, I have had some shifts that were fairly hectic so don't always expect to sit around all night. I think it can be challenging in a different way than the nursing home. You don't have the ridiculous staffing ratios that are typical to LTC, but you do have to learn how to balance doing housekeeping and laundry w/ giving quality patient care, and for the day shift, also cooking meals and doing activities. And I'm also actually kind of glad it's busier than when I first started. When I first started, it was slow to the point where I had A LOT of trouble keeping myself awake and alert at night; I'd resort to doing things like, pacing back and forth aimlessly or splashing my face with cold water just to try and stay up. Now I don't really have that problem because there's more to do.
  5. TurtleCat

    Resident of AFH as "Visitor"

    I work at a place kind of like the one you described, it's a geriatric group home that houses up to 6 elderly residents. Anyway, we had a resident receiving care in the manner you described for a while, basically just daycare. Since all our rooms were full, she was there for the daytime only -- her family would bring her in for the aides to watch over during the day, and then they'd come and bring her back home before nighttime.
  6. TurtleCat

    16-hr shifts?

    I was wondering if anyone else out there regularly works 16 hr shifts. I usually have to work them once a week and while it is good money they can be BRUTAL. It's funny, I can do a 12-hr shift no problem, but something about those extra 4 hrs really drains the life out of me. I am sometimes so conked out by the end of these shifts, that I pass out on the couch as soon I get home and sleep all day and night. I like staying over and cooking breakfast for the clients where I work, but it is hard after working all night. I remember when I was at the nursing home, I had to work a 16-hr shift or time or two too, when they didn't have enough help for the night shift.
  7. TurtleCat

    Two CNA jobs?

    I was curious if anyone works, or has worked, two CNA jobs and what their experience was/is, how they balanced everything, etc. Currently, I'm working two jobs -- I work as a CNA in a group home, and I also work at McDonald's. However, lately I've been thinking more and more about giving my notice to McDonald's and looking for another job in the CNA field, possibly in a nursing home, for several reasons. I need the money and experience, and I really like working as a CNA and feel it's my calling. The management treats me well and values me at McDonald's which is why I've stuck around there for so long, but fact of the matter is McDonald's doesn't pay much of anything and I'd make a lot more money working 2 CNA jobs, than a CNA job and McDonald's. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to balance everything out if I did get another CNA job. Like I said, I'd have to give notice to McDonald's because 3 jobs is way too much. I tried that once, never again. And also, figuring out my schedule... I work 3 nights a week at the group home, so I figure that's 4 evenings/nights I could work at a nursing home. Seems like a part-time or PRN position would be optimal in that case.
  8. Also, I feel it's important to add that the thing about the group home isn't really true. Speaking from personal experience... I'm a CNA working in a group home and we're expected to care for both male and female residents. I'm pretty sure if we weren't doing cares on both, we'd be out of a job.
  9. Not trying to be mean, but I agree with the others who say that you might want to look into a different career path if you absolutely can't handle the possibility of having to clean female genitalia. There's nothing wrong if you can't handle it, not everyone can, but it does mean that CNA might not be the best field for you. There is really nothing sexual about doing peri-care, it's all just part of the job, and one way to deal with it that I've found helps a lot is to think of it in terms of the patient and what you're doing for them. You're doing a necessary deed that they can't do for themselves, you're helping maintain their dignity and comfort, and good peri-care helps prevent skin breakdown, odors, infections, etc. I find focusing on that along with the task at hand makes the whole "ick" or discomfort factor go away pretty quickly.
  10. TurtleCat

    CNA/Patient Ratio

    See, I don't even understand how it's even possible to give adequate care with ratios like 1-40, at least not without cutting dangerous corners that endanger the health and safety of the patient. Doing the math... let's saying you're doing your 2 hour rounds on everyone, as you're supposed to. Let's say it takes no more than 5 minutes to resposition and change a resident... not including variables like if a patient is being difficult and uncooperative, if they're exceptionally messy and require a whole bed change, etc... that's 200 minutes for a whole round, which is over 3 hours... That's not even enough time to get to everyone. And that's assuming this is a night shift, which wouldn't even include baths, getting everyone to and from meals, feeding, etc. all things that take up a lot of time in and of them itself. 40-1 on a day or evening shift seems nigh impossible. So basically what I'm asking is... how do you even do it with ratios like that? There's only so much you can do in an 8hr-shift, you're not superhuman. So am I just incompetent or is 40-1 an impossible number.
  11. TurtleCat

    CNA work

    I work in a kind of unique environment for a CNA, I work at a geriatric group home that houses 6 elderly residents, most with dementia. I work the overnight shift (7p-7a) and my duties are getting the residents ready and dressed for bed, monitoring them during the night, changing and turning them as needed, toileting, and then bathing, dressing and getting them up in the morning. I also do housekeeping and laundry. Day shift does activities and cooks meals. I worked in LTC for a few months but I like this a lot better. Less stressful and a better fit for me.
  12. TurtleCat

    Group homes/ residential care homes

    I was curious if anyone else worked in this type of environment as a CNA, and what their experiences were and what they thought of it. Also, what kind of clients you work/worked with.
  13. TurtleCat

    Are nursing homes the only option?

    While nursing homes may be the most common and easiest place to find CNA employment, they certainly aren't the only ones. One of the great things about being a CNA is that you have a variety of places to work in and CNAs are always in high demand. You can work in hospitals, home care, hospice, psychiatric facilities, group homes, etc. Right now I work at a geriatric group home where I work by myself caring for 5 clients, and love it. Much less stressful than a nursing home and more one-on-one time with the clients. However, you may find it necessary to gain experience in a nursing home before other places'll consider you. Even if they may not be your preferred option, nursing homes can be a great way to build up essential healthcare experience.
  14. TurtleCat

    Has a resident/patient ever complained about you?

    A little off-topic, but at the nursing home I was at, they were having aides who had only been there for a month or 2 training new employees... granted, that was a hellhole that I wouldn't have put my dog in, but... As for the OP's question: Yes, I have had residents complain about me. It can be hard not to take personally sometimes, but there are ways of dealing with it. Usually the residents in question were known as complainers and trouble-makers anyway, so of course that was always taken into account. Also, I find it helps tremendously to try and maybe view things from the patient's perspective. Think about what they're going through -- they're often crippled, bedridden, ill, suffering, and are dependent on others for their every need. Understandably, they're very frustrated at their situation and loss of independence, and maybe as a result of poor coping mechanisms or not knowing of any other way to deal with it, they handle it by taking it out on others. That still doesn't make it right, but it does help you to be a bit more understanding and realize it may not necessarily be your fault or anything you did. Of course you always want to CYA, just in case. Make sure higher-ups know about it and the circumstances involved. Also keep in mind, difficult people are everywhere and you'll undoubtedly encounter them from time to time. It helps to learn techniques and ways of dealing with them, instead of letting it bring you down. However, I think this reason may be why I prefer working with dementia patients... even though they too can be difficult at times, at least with them I know they don't mean what they say or do and there's no intent or malice behind it. Not always the case with people in their right mind...
  15. TurtleCat

    CNA's: Please Read

    ~ Do CNA's have the option of working nights? Yup! CNA schedules tend to be very flexible, and many nursing homes need help filling an 11-7 shift. At the place I'm currently at, I work a 7p-7a, overnight, shift. I find I like working nights, they can be slower-paced, quieter and less stressful. Also, you may get more quality time to spend with patients. ~ How many hours/days a week do you generally work? Depends on how short-staffed they are and if they need me to come in and fill a shift... but generally, 36 hours a week, 3 12's. ~ What was school/training like? Easy peasy! I breezed through the class and training. Now the job is another story... the job can be hard at times. But worth it! ~ Do you have to be really strong? I keep reading that you need to possess physical strength. I'm a petite woman... Hrm, not strong per se, although that does help, but it is important that you know how to use proper body mechanics and when to seek help. For reference, I'm a 5'1, petite woman with no muscle to speak of, and I'm a CNA. ~ Do you enjoy what you do? Yup! Love working with the elderly. Find it very fulfilling.
  16. TurtleCat

    Can CNA work with children?

    While the most common CNA jobs are found in geriatric facilities, CNA jobs working with children aren't unheard of. One field you may want to look into is working with developmentally disabled children, and facilities for such. I've heard that's one area that is in need of CNAs.