Having spent almost 13 years as a CNA, I have run into many issues; some were run of the mill and others were pretty unusual. Some were downright uncomfortable! (What are you supposed to say when you walk in on two patients having sex?) But, even through all the experiences that I have had with my patients, nothing can really beat the experiences I have had with other CNA’s.
As adults we should be able to work well together and get along. The problem is that not all adults have gotten this memo and sometimes the nursing home can feel like a high school. I have found that working with the other aids requires an understanding of how we are all divided into groups.
The first group is the category that I fall into. These CNA’s are in this field because they honestly enjoy taking care of other people. They go to work each day knowing that even though the work can be tough and frustrating, it is where they want to be. They do their job – with a smile most of the time – and only ask for help when it is needed. They also give help without being crabby about it. This is the best type of CNA to have on the team.
The second group. Next in line is the CNA that is very skilled but is doing their job only because they cannot find work doing something else. This type of worker can be cold with the patients even though they are doing the actual work properly. They get cranky when they are asked to help someone else but have no trouble asking themselves. You will generally find these type of CNA’s in a group together because misery loves company.
The third group is the CNA’s who have very little skill and little to no desire to be there. The main reason that they are is that they need a job. These aides are always running behind and always seem to need the assistance of another aide to do even simple tasks. They may be nice, but it does get annoying to have someone constantly asking for help when everyone has a patient load to take care of.
Hopefully you are in the first group, and assuming that you are, I have some advice for you on how to get through your days without having a breakdown.
- We all need help with a patient sometimes. If the person is too large it may take two to turn them. If the use of a manual Hoyer lift is required than the rules state that two people must be present. Even though you know that the aides on your hall will get snippy with you and you may not like asking, just do it. Keep in your mind that you are doing your job the way you are supposed to and it is never okay to risk you or your patient’s safety just because your coworkers need an attitude adjustment.
- Keep in mind that you are not there to make lasting friendships. Your purpose it to provide quality care for your patients. Getting along is a good idea but you do not have to become best friends.
- Having a bad attitude is not illegal. However, if you ever see any of your coworkers doing something that could be considered verbal or physical abuse (even it if just boarders on abuse) report it immediately. Don’t worry about being unpopular with the staff; worry about doing the right thing for people who can no longer protect themselves.
Expert Contribution by Tanya Glover, CNA
She writes candidly about the things she encounters while working as a CNA. Some of her popular articles include Goldilocks and the Three Nursing Assistants and Nursing Home Personalities 101