Am I turning into too much of a cold hearted snob?

  1. Latley my facility has been so short staffed that it has been a three (or more) ringed circus! It has been hard on the ones including me who have been coming to work. Some of the CNA's schedualed have not even been calling when they are not going to come, while others call in repeatedly! I have had to pull the work load of 2 or 3 people over this past week. I mean, I'm only one person!

    These past few days I have been irritable with the call bell ringers. Like for example . . . I had 4 showers scedualed to me, and I have a hard enough time getting all of my stuff done if I only have 1 shower. Every time I was getting ready to shower a resident, do my many vital signs, get some people up they would ring every 5 minutes, and if these 2 paticualr ones didnt get their light answered RIGHT NOW!!!!!! they would yell "NURSE! NURSE! I NEED SOME HELP!!!
    after about 10 times of this it was getting old. I went in there and told them as nicely as I could " Please stop this, you do not have your own private staff, I am only 1 person and I cannot be at 32 peoples beckoning call. I wish that you would lay off the light!"
    they rang again, and another aide answered it and the patient was saying "That Amanda gal is getting really gruff, I think she needs to quit her job and find one where she doesn't have to deal with people."

    Tonight was a simalar situation. On PM shift, I have a curfew because of the child slave labor laws I have to leave at 10 instead of 11! I explained that to one of my perpetual call bell ringers, and asked her if she needed anything at 9:30. She said no, so I was getting ready to leave at like 2 minutes til 10, because at 10:00 I need to leave. Her light goes off, so I run in to answer it. She needed to get up, which is always a big deal with her. It takes forever. everyone else was busy and I was the only CNA on the floor, so I said "I guess so, I need to get going home, it is illegal for me to be here at the time it is now that is why I asked you if you needed to me to do anything just a little while ago." and this resident and I usually get along great, but she said to me "Amanda, you are a really selfish person, this is the job you signed on for, and you don't sound like you really care about me anymore." and I have also gotten "Are you drunk? this is not the Amanda I remember!" and "You are stupid, I'd rather die than have you as an aide again." (that was from a grochy all the time person anyways).

    I feel so horrible, and I tried to be as kind and professional as possible. I am sobbing as I write this. I know a few of you will say I am being a nasty mean person, but I am just overworked and irritable. I hurt everywhere, I'm getting depressed, and I really do need words of encouragement at this time.
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    About tattooednursie

    Joined: Oct '02; Posts: 1,403; Likes: 126
    LVN in a LTC facility.; from US
    Specialty: Mostly LTC, some acute and some ER,


  3. by   nurseman
    Write up incident reports anytime staffing levels become unsafe.

    If you stay past 10 for even a minute document it! It's not like you can leave the floor unattended and it is the facilities responsibility to provide the staff to replace you.

    Prioritize your care and document document document if something could not be completed.

    Keep in mind that the residents are feeling the effects of the staff shortage too. They are at home so they do not get the luxury of leaving and relaxing after work. Do not take your frustrations out on them. This is the absolute must.

    Do not compromise your safety or a resident's so that you can write down that you took q weekly vitals. As you said you are just one person

    Hope this helps. Unfortunately it's the end of my night shift so interpersonal skills are not something my brain can relate to at the moment. Lots of preachy long term advice though.
    Close your eyes, breath deep and feel the good vibes coming your way.
  4. by   renerian
    Gosh Mandi doesn't your facility use agency when they are short? I agree document the unsafety of it so you are notifying the chain of command. If no one complains probably nothing will be done to rectify it.

    Keep us posted,

  5. by   Tweety
    You are not a mean person. You are overworked and stressed.

    Try, try, try not to let the patients/residents know how stressed they are making you. "You're not my only patient! I'm only one person!" just makes for a bad shift.

    I ask my coworkers to b*tch, moan, complain all they want to in the nurses lounge, but don't take it into the patients room.

    Every day we have CNA's no show in our facility. What's up with that?

    Kudos to you for showing up every day and giving more than 100%. But don't be a martyr, complain to the higher ups.
  6. by   New CCU RN
    Absolutely agree with the above posters..... documentation is key here...your facility needs to have a back up plan with call ins..... it shouldnt all fall on the dedicated employees who do show up for work.....

    You are not mean or snobby....just overworked!!!! And you can't do it all...and shouldnt be expected to.... it is not safe for you or the residents...

    Good luck with this....
  7. by   shunda
    Document and go through chain of command and then if that fails maybe you need to leave this particular facility and find another place that is not so short staffed. It is not worth you making your self sick and getting into a depressed state yourself. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and let us know how things work out.
  8. by   Sleepyeyes
    We've all been in the same boat--overstressed and overwhelmed at work with too much to do and too little time.

    Please understand that if this experience teaches you anything, it's to learn how to prioritize and work efficiently. When you're short, suck it up, do your work as quickly and efficiently as possible, and get out on time.

    Please don't even waste time explaining to the residents. That 3 minute speech can be better put to use.

    Try to figure out the fastest way to get it done. Yes, quality time suffers, but you can at least get the residents fairly comfortable physically before you leave.

    This is why the residents pay for 24-hour care.
  9. by   semstr
    You are a very healthy, sane woman!
    You just need a vacation or / and another job!
  10. by   JonRN
    You are only 17! No wonder you are stressed to the breaking point. I worry about you because I have a grand daughter who is 17. I think you are trying to grow up way too fast. Bravo for trying to make the best out of a bad situation, but please pay attention to the people on here. They, like me, are just trying to help you. I joined the army when I was 17 to get away from an impossible situation at home with my sperm donor. I know what it is like to grow up too fast, believe me.
  11. by   nurs4kids
    I am really concerned about you. You are TRYING to grow up too fast. You should be concerned with school and hangin' with your friends. The above shouldn't even be a concern for you. I'm also concerned about you working until 10pm, even if the child labor laws permit. That is much too late for you to be leaving a leaves no time to prepare for school the next day or for leaves little time for "Mandi". You are under waay too much stress for a 17 yr old. Enjoy being young, you'll never get it back, kiddo!
  12. by   mario_ragucci
    Mandy! Arnchew doing your best with what you have? Be assured of yourself, even though you may be in an unsure environment. Take a break, but hold on. :-) This kind of stuff happens to us all. Yule be all right. Keep your self care up, which includes rest and diet. No one really cares, but it's easy to forget yourself - don't. Make sure your hydrated and eatting okay - sleep :-)
  13. by   New CCU RN
    Sucking it up when there are unsafe conditions is not the answer!!!!!!! It is management's responsibilty to find adequate staff and it is not safe or fair to these residents who are paying for their 24 hr nursing attention or the staff who are forced to do more than one person;s job at a time.

    If there is anything you can learn from this.... it is to speak up for yourself and let people know you cannot work in these conditions!!!! In the end... you're the one to blame if you suck up unsafe conditions!!!!!

    Good luck hun... this is a lot for a 17 year old to handle!!! But just know it's not you.... it's the conditions you are being put in... you are a wonderful CNA I'm sure and will make a great nurse one day
  14. by   BadBird

    Some people are just never satisfied no matter how hard you work. At your tender age, you should not be over worked like that, let the charge nurse know that you simply can not handle that type of assignment. Have you considered cutting your hours or working someplace else? Do you have to work while you are in school? Remember it is not your fault that the facility is short staffed, let the administration worry about getting more staff, do not do more than you can handle,it isn't safe for you or the residents.