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.