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Let me start by saying I love working in the nursing field. I love helping others and making someone's day just a little brighter. I've been a CNA (Certified Nurse's Aide) roughly about 8 years. I also have also had my CMA (Certified Medication Aide) license for about 3 years. I've worked quite a few different aspects of nursing home care. Long term, skilled, memory care and assisted living. I've also worked for agencies, who send you to different facilities to work. I now work in a hospital and I truly love what I do. The last 2 nursing homes I worked are what almost made me quit the nursing field.
I'm sure I can come up with more than 7 reasons I'll never work in a nursing home again, but this will give just a few as to why.
Even as a CMA I never made over $12.00 an hour. Facilities want the work, but don't want to give you the pay. You get what you pay for sometimes.
Facilities will sometimes hold the minimal staff required in the building. State law requires that a given amount of staff members have to be present to be compliant. The issue is the facility will count those who provide no patient care what-so-ever. While there may be 15 staff members per 80 residents, in reality only 3-5 who are providing patient care.
CNA'S have a huge responsibility to residents in their care, approximately 10-20 residents at any given time. They are responsible for getting them dressed, providing oral care, feeding, toileting, bathing, skin assessments, watching for physical and emotional changes, charting and a slew of other things. Don't think that nurse sitting behind the desk doing absolutely nothing is going to take anyone to the bathroom, either. They'll spend more time looking for you to do it, when it would've taken less time to have done it themselves.
Management seems to be clueless when it comes to showing their staff how much they are appreciated. They are more worried about making that bonus money for themselves rather than making sure their staff is being taken care of. Richard Branson said, "If you take care of your employees, the employees will take care of the customers."
Or lack thereof.
No one is held accountable for their actions. Especially management. You could already be working short and someone decides to leave during the middle of the shift or call-in. Leaving those responsible enough to come to work and actually WORK to have to do it 10 times harder. They'll be at work the next day with no repercussions. They are allowed because management doesn't want to spend the time hiring responsible employees. It takes money to hire new employees and it takes their bonus money to do so.
They are like food nazis. They get upset if they have to make extra trays to be taken down the hall, hence why most residents are up at the crack of dawn for breakfast. They get upset when a resident would like extra food or something different. It's a crime against humanity for a CNA to say so and so would like whatever. If looks could kill. Remember to sit in the same spot. Every day. For all meals.
Administrator, HR, DON and ADON. They will tell you anything you want to hear to get what they want out of you at that moment. Next thing you know you're working the floor, doing the work of 3 people, getting the pay of one and being told to be a "team player" . All the time they are at home, enjoying their paid holiday off or sitting in their air conditioned office with the blinds down so they can't see the sweat bead down your face. Nursing staff do most of the work while management gets all the credit.
I'm not saying all nursing homes are like this. Not all nurses are lazy. This is just has been my experience. Maybe I'm just bad at picking jobs, lower my standards or not expect so much. We are blessed with providing end of life care for residents and making the best of what life they have left. CNA'S are the first line of care for the elderly and they are most likely the ones holding their hands as they take their last breath. Those who love what they do, don't treat it as just another job. We grow to care and love these residents as our family. We cry when they pass. We comfort when they haven't seen their kids in months. We get frustrated when no one is listening. Sure CNA'S may come a dime a dozen.Yes, I've heard this from management. Good ones never do.
I'm so grateful to have finally found my place in the nursing world.