So here's the deal. I'm a new grad RN, 22y.o. often mistaken for 17y.o. and even 12y.o. by one patient. The CNA is probably in her 60's and has worked on the unit for a very long time.
When I first met her, I too, thought she was a nurse, I don't know why, it's just the way she presents herself. Then when I started working with her, some patients thought she was their nurse and I was the CNA or nursing student. I would always correct the patient, and assumed their mistake was because I look so young, and she so old. But then one day I walked in while the CNA (who's name will be changed) was introducing herself to a patient and she said "Good morning. My name is Martha, I'm one of your nurses today." Mystery solved!
So some time passed, and I've been brushing it off my shoulder and just correcting people because I figured she was otherwise harmless... until this recent event:
I work on the surgical unit, and my patient had a hysterectomy. Martha comes up to me and says "so you're patients peripad was saturated so I changed it." I asked her if she saved it so I can see it. And she said "oh it was just a moderate amount of serosanguinous fluid." I thought to myself, I hate she did that because now I can't document it. But I didn't let it bother me, I figured I'd chart that the CNA disposed of it and so on. As I go to chart I see that she's already charted HER ASSESSMENT. Then there was a new order to ambulate the patient. It would be her first time up since post-op, I always prefer to be with the patient first time. But Martha comes up to me an hour later and says "I walked the patient, and she started feeling dizzy and nauseated so I returned her to bed" (Great, another assessment, I missed). Those offenses were almost excusable, but the next one absolutely is not. The same patient tells me that "the doctor told the nurse that he wants her to change my dressing." :angryfire As politely as I could, I told the patient "Martha is not your nurse, she is your nurse's aid. I am your nurse, and I will be doing your dressing change." That was my last straw with her. There is NO reason why she should be talking to the doctor about patient treatment. And I finally decided to confront her.
I told her I had a few things I was concerned about. #1 the peripad and documentation to which she said "the other nurses don't mind that I do that" and I told her, well for me, my preference is that I see it and I document it.
#2 ambulating the patient to which she had the nerve to say "I don't have time to wait around for the nurse to come around and ambulate the patient." I was speechless to that one. So I moved on to #3 and said "you spoke to the doctor..." to which she cut me off and said "no, the doctor spoke to me, and I told him to write it all down. I've been here so long, all the doctors think I'm a nurse here." I said fine, then what did the doctor say, and she ran down a list of orders. Which by the way I still find strange, that a Doctor would tell a nurse's aid a list of orders... unless she introduced herself as the nurse. It's also strange that she didn't tell me she spoke to the doctor, that I only found out through the patient. Anyway, I go to the chart, and the doctor forgot to write an order to change the dressing, and I spend the rest of the day trying to get a hold of the doctor so I can get a telephone order. In the meantime, the patient's all mad at me for the hold up. And all I can think is, if the doctor told me instead of Martha, I could have written a verbal order.
Am I crazy? would all of this get you angry? Are nurse's aids aloud to document? I thought ASSESSMENT is a nurse's job. Any similar events out there? Please give me your opinion, I'm too new on the field to know if I'm overreacting or if she's oversteping her boundaries.