Well, I have been thinking lately on a simple truth I learned when I first started in this business more than seven years ago. A good CNA can make a bad night a little smoother. Some nurses seem to have this crazy idea that a CNA knows nothing. How untrue. I have worked with many an aid who has seen more than I have. They may or may not be able to explain the physiology of the problem but when they say something ain't right well something ain't right.
And I will NEVER forget Iris. Iris was the toughest aid we had when I first started. She had been there close to thirty years by this point and easily knew more than this girl. As green as I was even I knew that.
We had a patient on the floor one night who had diarrhea. And I mean the running off the bed to puddle on the floor kind. I don't remember now if I had asked her to help or if she had told me to come along but I remember seeing that mess and thanking the heavens above that we were in it together. I thought to myself that if I had been alone on that one I would have been clueless as to how to start this monumental clean up task. But Iris was here. She would take the lead and I would watch and learn.
Imagine the sheer PANIC that overtook me when this woman (who had been doing this since before my mother had graduated high school) put her hands on her hips, heaved a big sigh, looked at me and said "Well kid, where do we start?" Under her direction though we finished the bath and I have never seen a worse mess since. A few have come close but nothing has topped that night. Of course a few years of my own experience may have helped that too.
And all the nurses on the floor knew that if Iris said to go look at the patient, well you had better go have a look.
Some people today think that help like that just isn't around anymore. I disagree. A while back I was working on the floor with two very good CNAs. I enjoyed working with both of them. My assignment that night was to split the floor with the two of them so that we could match with one RN and do team nursing. Just before I started to tally I&Os on my group one of the RNs became ill and had to leave the floor in a hurry. There was no time for a full report so I had to take her notes and go with it. This was on a team that was entirely different from my own. But rarely does anything in nursing go as planned. I asked one of the other aids (whom I affectionately call 6-7 in reference to his height of six feet seven inches- a full foot and six inches taller than myself) to do my I&Os which he readily agreed to do. I of course promised him a beverage on me as soon as I could access vending. I finished up her meds and turned them over to the next RN at eleven. However one of our docs had come in at eleven to discharge a pt. I was working on this discharge and had even told my RN that midnight vitals would be late. She understood. I underestimated the discharge paper work however and was getting a little frustrated with it. 6'7 saw this and graciously offered to do my vitals for me. Earning him a bag of peanut M&Ms and my undying love and devotion.
So just a reminder for you. Don't piss off the most valuable members of your team. Treat them well and you will forever be grateful.
6 years ago