8 C.N.A. Job Frustrations

Caregiverlist has always acknowledged that Certified Nursing Aides have one of the toughest (albeit most rewarding) jobs we know. Providing hands-on assistance to seniors in a variety of settings — nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private homes (through quality home care agencies) and hospitals — comes with a variety of challenges and rewards.

Our friends at Scrubs Magazine asked their C.N.A. Facebook fans to share some of the most uniquely frustrating aspects of their jobs. Here’s what they said:

8 frustrating things about being a CNA

1. “High patient ratios, feeling underappreciated, but most of all, nurses who won’t pay attention when you tell them something is up! As a CNA who is in nursing school, I have learned to recognize when something is not right, but too often the nurse shrugs me off and the patient suffers when it turns out that I was right in the long run.”
—Amelia Garner Shrader

2. “I have been a CNA for 16 years and I love my job! No, I do not want to be an RN or LPN! The most frustrating part of my job is the government telling our corporations how to staff their floors. Do they not understand that by giving us proper staffing, it would allow us to give our residents exceptional care? It would also minimize C.N.A. burnout, abuse (emotional and physical) and work injuries. Since when is the minimum-possible the best way to go?”
—Kim Cugini

3. “I would say the most frustrating part of my job is seeing extremely sick patients, totally paralyzed and living on ventilators, with no family ever around and being a full code. So unfair for those poor people.”
—Cassie Hagglund

4. “The most frustrating thing about being a CNA is working with other CNAs who are merely there for a paycheck…they show it by how they treat even the sweetest person. I understand and know some residents are tough, but some don’t understand what’s going on and some just can’t do a lot about the problem!”
—Melissa Beeman

5. “Trying to be in no less than three places at one time…STAT!”
—Liz Mellendorf Garascia

6. “I’m a CNA, and I am in my second semester of nursing school, so I know both ends. As a CNA, a very frustrating thing is being extremely busy and having a nurse tell you that a call light is going off. In the amount of time the light was going off, the nurse could have easily answered the light to see what the patient needed. So simple. I help everyone with their call lights; there is no reason to not help out because of the letters after your name! Also, being talked down to is a pet peeve.”
—Samantha Barclay

7. “The pay—22 years and $10.80 an hour. And there is no CNA to RN program…why?”
—Liz Johnston

8. “Feeling helpless that you can’t help every patient; getting emotional for the patients who never have family who visit them; when you work hard and try to do your best, but the other staff aren’t helpful and act like they don’t care for the patients or like you’re bothering them when you ask for help. You’re all they have, so that’s probably the hardest part. It is extremely rewarding, though, when you get patients who truly appreciate you—that makes it all worth it.”
—Nicole Martin Buss

How about you? What do you think are some of the more frustrating aspects of being a C.N.A.? And let’s balance it out — feel free to share what makes all the frustrations worth it.

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