I want to start out by saying I am very thankful for all the hard work CNAs do, and I am lucky to have worked with some really great aides. But there are a few things all CNAs need to understand:
Some nurses don’t appreciate the work you do, talk down to you, delegate any and all tasks they can. I get that BUT it’s not the majority of nurses so stop acting like it!
Every single healthcare provider feels overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated – and we are.
You work under my license. I am responsible for you and what you do. The responsibility of care is on me. Yes, you can be fined and have your licensed revoked by State but usually a nurse will go down with you.
Education – CNAs coursework is 75 hours, the minimum to be an RN is an associate degree (2 years) these are requirements for the state of Iowa, your state may be different.
Even if you are in nursing school you aren’t a nurse. Yes, I want you to come to me and tell me if you have any concerns about any patient. I don’t even mind if you want to offer an opinion. But you are not the nurse you don’t get to call the shots and do not stand there and try to explain things to me. And by me not wanting you to explain things to me, I don’t mean the person’s condition I mean I don’t want to hear your last lecture from class. Been there, done that, graduated. You have no idea what it’s like to be a nurse until you are one. You will realized how much more you need to learn from being on the job and how irrelevant some of the stuff you learned is. Reading it out of a book vs. doing it in real life can be totally different. I have years of nursing experience on you, let me do my job.
Nurses don’t just ‘sit around’. I hear this one a lot from CNAs, how nurse’s just sit around, how our job is so easy, that CNAs work so much harder than nurses. And I just laugh, every time. To be honest, if you’re not a nurse you have no idea what we do. Many times I have had CNAs that have became nurses or even med aides say they didn’t realize how hard nurses worked until they were there.
Our jobs are not the same; I can do mine and yours, you can’t do mine. I am capable and qualified to answer call lights, give baths, change beds, help people with ADLs, etc. But if I spend all my time doing that, whose going to do my job? Who will pass the pills, do treatments, document, call the doctors/lab/family/etc, transcribe and implement new orders, do assessments, etc? Not the CNA that’s not within your scope of practice.
There is a lot of responsibility as a nurse, so it may seem like we are being ‘bossy’ at times but it’s to ensure the best care for the patient.
We are a team we need to work together, not two teams playing against each other.
Nurses are truly thankful for what you do. Without you it would make for some really long days.
Now, I think it’s important to let you know what type of nurse I am. I have great relationships with most of the CNAs I work with. I don’t act like I’m better than the aides and I listen to what they have to say. I don’t jump all over them 2 minutes after a call light comes on. I don’t constantly tell you what to do or stand over your shoulder. You have a job to do and know how to do it, as do I.