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Thinking about quitting my first CNA job


Hello all.

Im a brand spankin new CNA who got a job literally 3 weeks ago. I've only worked 4 shifts (one online training day, the other 3 on floor training. And my facility does 12 hour shifts 3 days a week incase anyone wonders why I haven't worked many days.) and now I'm doing tonight off of orientation floor training after 3 days and I'm expected to know all 21 of my residents routines and needs already.

The LTC I work at is super understaffed and usually only has 2 night aides from what I'm told. Everyone complains about how much they hate working there and how much they want to quit but tell me that I better stay and work there. Also I haven't met my unit manager yet, I don't know even know her name or what she looks like. I was already told management has already lied to me about majority of what they do to help out to how many aides usually help out because of how badly they need people. Everyone there seems to be in a clique and doesn't even associate themselves with me unless they want me to do their work or to talk down to me like I'm an idiot.

Im already stressed out and feel like crying just thinking of going back to that place. The only thing holding me back is that 1.) I hate quitting jobs, especially after only a few weeks even tho I've never felt the urge to quit a job as badly as I've wanted to quit this one. And 2.) I'm scared quitting will show that I'm a bad CNA. I already love what I do, I just don't want to put myself in a hostile environment that'll make me completely burn out from being a CNA. I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't be working in LTC and switch over to the hospital/restorative/assisted living route, but I absolutely love my schedule at my current LTC job. I'm just conflicted and don't know what to do or how to handle this... I just feel like I'm whining and need to build a bridge and get over it.

Thank you for your time.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

y current LTC job. I'm just conflicted and don't know what to do or how to handle this... I just feel like I'm whining and need to build a bridge and get over it.

I think you should give it a couple more weeks before deciding. Stay open-minded. A lot of what you seem to be thinking comes from what you have heard other people say - bad things about management, staffing, etc. -- and not based on things you have personally experienced.

Also, it's not realistic to expect everyone to "make friends" with you immediately. A lot of new nurses (and I am guessing new CNA's) expect people to be all friendly and stuff immediately. In some cultures, they hold back a little emotionally from strangers until they get used to you -- and have seen that you are going to stay in the job and be a good team member.

So keep an open mind about the management and be flexible about the social aspects of the job. Give everyone a chance to get used to you ... and give yourself a chance to learn to "fit in" to the new job. 4 days of work is not long enough to make friends and know people well enough to make judgments. Give it at least a month, maybe two. Give yourself a chance to get to know them -- and give them a chance to get comfortable with you.

No workplace is perfect -- and if you keep running away after only 4 days (all of it training), you'll never be in one place long enough to make a place for yourself. "Good fits" are MADE, they just don't fall out of the sky on top of you.

So sorry Halie! I was a CNA for years and hated it. I trained at a retirement home but I was lucky enough to work at a hospital. My sister is a CNA too, and still works as one. Her first job was at the ICU unit and she cried for the first couple of weeks.

I would follow ilg's advice. This is the time when you will learn grit and hardwork, you will learn how to resolve conflict. If you were a single mom dependent on this income, you would have no choice. But either way, you'll come out of this stronger AND with work experience.

Ditto; hang in there and give it a chance, as others have said....If I had quit every nursing job that was fairly miserable as of day four, I don't think I would have ever held down a single job. Lol. As far as the social thing goes, that will probably improve drastically over time. Hope it works out.

The problem with quitting the job, either now, or at an appropriate time in the future, is that almost all LTC facilities have the same type of atmosphere to differing degrees. Until you find a situation that is significantly different and/or better, if you quit these types of places, eventually you will find yourself unemployed. Best to stick it out while you decide what your next career move is: school for a new position, or a new type of employment? After some caregiving experience, you will be qualified to try out one on one caregiving in the home. Consider taking a home health aide course if offered in your area. Working with only one patient can be much more rewarding in the short run.