I am a CNA at my local hospital. I have been just so overwhelmed lately, and I just have to know - am I doing something wrong? Or is this just not for me?
I work on the cardiac/ step down unit, so our patients are usually semi to high acuity, three quarters are alert and oriented, and geriatric. Our patient load is 9-13. I find that I am just run ragged between q4 vitals on everyone, call lights, monitor alarms, and what I do within my scope of practice.
I’m never idle (the amount of time for an automatic bp to finish feels like an hour sometimes), I’m always helping someone. But at the end of the day, I am only one human. And yet I feel like I’m not doing enough. My nurses are busy! They have so much more charting to do than me, administering meds, communicating with doctors, just to name a few. But when I’m helping that confused patient to the bathroom and the call light of the needy person that everyone is tired of, and the nurse is in another room starting an IV - what am I supposed to do? I can’t leave the patient and risk a fall. It's five minutes later, the call light is in overtime, and I go into that room and get yelled at by the patient and family for not being fast enough to help with xyz.
I deal with some variant of this every day, and I’m so sick of it. It makes me feel that I’m not good enough, not fast enough, not something or other enough to be working at a hospital. The nurses are great for the most part, and when I inevitably forget something (like a set of vitals because I’ve gotten too many lights and now it’s two hours overdue and their bp is low, or a call light that I answered once on the phone, said I’d be right there, and had to stop someone falling and now they’ve called again and complained), it makes me feel like I shouldn’t be here if I can’t do everything. What if my failure to do that BP leads to harm?
I understand that people in the hospital are always having a hard time. But when I’m getting talked to because I’ve been overwhelmed and someone is complaining... I hate it. Thinking about going to work gives me anxiety to the point I’ll only have 4-5 hours of sleep before work (on dayshift), and when I’m so overwhelmed that I do not have time to pee or have a drink of water for 9 hours, when I am going so fast that I am panting, when I am almost crying because I can’t do things to satisfaction, while trying to maintain a good face for patients - it makes me want to not even try to start nursing school.
Am I prioritizing things wrong? Like trying to take vitals in between call lights? Is there something else I need to be doing? Am I just not cut out for this? As much as I loathed long term care, I was good at it. Had the routine down and I was the hardest worker on the floor. I’ve only been at the hospital for three months, and working healthcare for two years.
I want to hear from you what you like to see from your CNAs