It’s early evening, you wake up and have the biggest urge to urinate. You hit your call light for help. It’s your 1st week at the local rehab facility, you’ve had surgery, you can’t walk to well on your own, you already spent way too long in the hospital before coming here and you just want to get back to the comfort of your own home.
Now imagine you’re a CNA, two people have called out so the floor is short, lights are going off left and right, you’re helping out your fellow CNAs and every room you go into they need something extra before you go. You don’t mind of course but you’re running ragged. You ask the nurse if she minds answering one of the lights while you tend to a gentleman across the hall. She looks at you and says “that’s my not job” and walks away.
Now all this patient needed was to helped to the toilet, no changing, no bedpan, just to make sure she got there without falling. By the time another CNA gets there she’s wet herself. So embarrassed to have someone seeing her in this shape, she’s a fairly young lady, never needed anyone’s help until now.
Patient Care Is Your Job
I remember my hospital stays after giving labor to my three children, and I have to say I encountered some amazing nurses. During my first stay I had an embarrassing accident, I just couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time, still woozy from the medication. My nurse helped me clean myself up and cleaned my bed up.
There is no reason we as nurses should think helping someone to the bathroom, getting ice, wiping up water off the floor, etc is not our job. Always put yourself in your patients shoes. How would you want to be treated. Put yourself in your NAs shoes also. A majority of the time they are doing back breaking work and severely short staffed, especially if it’s a LTC or Rehab environment. Going to nursing school and having LPN, RN, or BSN behind your name does not exclude you from these things. There is no reason you should walk over a puddle in a room and call your NA to come wipe it up (excluding emergencies of course!)
“We’ll I’m not doing their job for them” there’s a huge difference between doing someone’s job and being a team player. I’ve heard nurses say “I can’t believe that doctor came out here and told me that patient needed their water pitcher when he was right in there!” Well you’re doing the same exact thing when you go in a room, give a medication, they ask for a remote or a extra blanket and you hit the light or walk and go find a NA to do it.
Taking care of our patients is a team effort. Don’t let your title make you a inadequate team player!