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The Negative Effects Of Working As A CNA

You know you are a CNA if you are undermined, understaffed, and emotionally and physically drained.

I write this not as a way to deter people from wanting to be a CNA or to demean the job, but in order to outline the negatives, since some only outline the positives. With a job comes responsibility, and it is like that in any area or field. We have the good and we also have the bad. I am in a field where not many people like their job and they don't care who knows it. Others enjoy it and make the best of it. It is like that with any career. There are always both sides.

I write this after coming home from a meeting that we have to attend every week for 13 weeks straight. These meetings are preparing us for a new unit in our building, and they offer education so that we have the knowledge to communicate and take care of our residents. I like these meetings because I enjoy learning more in my field, however, others see it as a burden and a waste of their time. There are people who will bring in workplace drama, those that will do the bare minimum, and those that just don't care and will call in when they know their shift is short.

As a Certified Nurse Assistant, you help your residents, and you try to give them the best care that you can provide. That is the number one rule. If anything, that is the golden rule in nursing. When you step in on that floor, you are expected to give your full effort in giving the residents the care they need. Meanwhile, others step in and couldn't give a damn.

What upset me the most after the meeting was that we had to talk about abuse. We had to discuss what abuse was and why we need to treat our patients with dignity, respect, and kindness. As a CNA that is my work. I was saddened that something like this occurred, and that someone would demean a resident in a way that no one should be treated.

I'm furious, upset, and confused. The people that work in this field are there because they care, and they want to help those that cannot help themselves. So, why would they do such a thing?

It made me think of all the other negatives that I encounter in my field. The lack of appreciation from other staff and the constant undermining is tough. Nurses telling you that you are not doing your job right, or management becoming picky when you cannot chart between your residents is difficult. There is always something that you are doing wrong in someone else's eyes, and there is never a thank you when you leave your shift and everyone is clean and taken care of. There is no one to pat your back other than yourself, and you have to be your own cheerleader for a place that only looks at you as the lowest of the totem pole.

There are never enough of you. I say that because there is always a demand for CNAs, and no matter how many you have in a facility, there will never be enough. You will be short one shift or another, and you will have to scramble to reach everyone to make sure they are taken care of properly.

You come home and you have to go right back to bed because you took extra shifts. You are exhausted, and yet you still come in and put all your energy into work because you think of the residents. You consider what it would be like to not have anyone to care for you. You put them before yourself.

No one tells you any negatives as you are getting trained and go through clinicals. They only tell you that you are going into a profession that will help those that cannot help themselves, and that you should be proud of your job. It is not incorrect, but it is not fully true.

You will get called names, cursed at, abused, and you will get over-worked. No one will tell you thank you, and no one will baby you through your shift. You are a CNA. You take care of those that cannot take care of themselves. You are there to help and give care. Yes, there are negatives and you will want to quit like I've wanted to do multiple times. I will admit it. You will get upset and frustrated. This is not an easy job, and it was not intended to be, but you will get through it if you keep your heart open and honest. Do your work diligently, and do what you can to make others' lives better. That is the only reward you need to overcome the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: TravelNursesSource.com

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To Anyone Who Feels Overwhelmed

It's ok to say when you need help, or need to take a step back.


Life is challenging and hard. It's easy to get caught up in it and feel like you are alone. It's easy to think that you cannot ever tell anyone about the slightest possibility that you are not okay. I have noticed this personally in my life. I have a habit of piling things up one by one and overloading myself to the point of wanting to break down. However, I usually do not tell anyone about how stressed or overwhelmed I am; until it's too much. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people like this, which is why this is for you. Whatever it is stressing you out, you shouldn't go through it alone.

First thing first, admit to yourself that it's too much. I personally know that my pride gets in the way of me admitting that I can't handle something. However, that is the first step. You won't be able to relax or feel better if you're in denial of there even being something wrong. You need to realize that sometimes you can't do it all; and that is completely okay. The worst thing is to work yourself up too much over something just because you said you could do it. It's okay to say you can't do something and it's okay to say no. Knowing your limits and when you have had enough is the first thing that can help you.

Talk to someone, tell them that you can't do this alone. I know you feel weak when you tell someone that you can't do something on your own, but believe me it's crucial that you do. Never keep your feelings and stress bottled up, it's the most unhealthy thing you can do. If you do that you can become a closed off person, and sometimes a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Talk to someone the second you feel overwhelmed from anything. Whether it is your parent, friend, cousin, teacher, mentor, sibling, etc. Just talk to someone, it doesn't matter who it is. As long as you talk to someone you know you can trust completely then that's all that matters. I promise it'll help to get it off your chest.

Also just take care of yourself. Take time for yourself to recharge. Take a nap, have a bubble bath, go to the gym, watch Netflix/a movie, treat yourself, and just be good to yourself. Just have some time for you to relax and calm down. It'll be okay, you'll be okay. Remember your value isn't degraded if you admit that something is wrong, you are more than any problem you're facing. I promise you can get through it.

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