1. Respect them. It will go a long way
2. Discuss the plan for the day with them
3. Ask their opinion on things. See # 1
4. Help them with patient care – and not just when it’s time to pull the patient up. Nurses may be busy, but this is the most basic thing we can do for our patients, and doubles as a complete assessment. Plus it saves both your backs when it’s two of you, instead of one
5. Share your knowledge with them
6. Learn from them – many nursing aids have been doing this a very long time, and have see things that will make your draw drop. Plus they can spot a patient deteriorating faster than most.
7. Don’t interrupt them while they are doing patient care on one patient, to ask them to put a bedpan under another patient. In the time you took to ask this, your patient probably already wet the bed.
8. If you’re a charge nurse, have regular meetings with them – understand their concerns, and follow through with what you can improve upon.
9. Remember that nobody is enthusiastic about cleaning patients whom are covered in filth, and they may have to do this up to 14 times a day, perhaps more on incontinent patients. Understanding of their job shows sympathy and empathy.
10. Respect them. See # 1. This bears repeating. You’re expecting them to respect you, so why would you not respect them? Holding a Bachelors, or Masters degree doesn’t necessarily earn respect. How we treat others matters more.
“The people to fear are not those who disagree with you; but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know”
- Napoleon Bonaparte
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“When we are debating an issue, loyalty means giving me your honest opinion, whether you think I’ll like it or not. Disagreement, at this stage, stimulates me. But once a decision has been made, the debate ends. From that point on, loyalty means executing the decision as if it were your own.”
- Colin Powell
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“It’s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by other people. That doesn’t give you the right to deny any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs just because you don’t like what they are saying. Learn to recognize good writing when you read it, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable.”
- Ashly Lorenzana
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“I don’t have to agree with you to like you, or respect you.”
- Anthony Bourdain
Why precisely does bullying happen? Why do some nurses look down on others? Is it exclusive to new nurse hazing? Or perhaps relevant to individuals who have taken it upon themselves to go against the very essence of being a nurse; practicing caring and compassion for others, never mind basic human kindness.
Brand new nurses are overwhelmed with adjusting into a new role, we’ve all been there, it wasn’t fun. However there is now also the fear that they will receive the “worst assignments.” Admit it, you’ve seen it. Heck, you may have even been relieved to see a new nurse on the floor that will ease your shift if they are assigned the difficult cases. This is also mislabeled as, “Well, she needs experience” while they sit back and watch the new nurse flounder without helping. Yes, experience is certainly imperative, and a well rounded view of what to expect, although the actions of the one who does little to help speaks more, and does not facilitate mentoring the future of nursing.
Experienced nurses are not without drama, often grouping in cliques and gossiping about the quiet nurses who just go about their workday, choosing not to be a part of gossip. - yet they find themselves at the very epicenter, ridiculed for their technique , chastised for their lack of speed and often criticized for shortcuts that everyone else takes and seems to momentarily forget during their mean tirade.
And then there’s those who meander in and out of gossip, watching the hurtful actions of others, and do nothing.
Remember, bullying is not always about the physical; words and lack of action can be just as hurtful.
What can we do ?
As a new nurse we can be mindful that this sort of treatment doesn’t occur everywhere, nurses with caring hearts do exist, and to be observant of the supportive ones that will go out of their way to help.
As a competent mid level nurse, we can be observant, and stand up for those who haven’t yet developed their voice. It is not easy to be brave, but remember someone may have done this for you when you were new, without you even knowing it.
As an experienced nurse we need to constantly remind ourselves that we too were once a brand new nurse, to practice compassion, and be the mentoring example to our peers.
It is probably unrealistic to expect that each day will be abundant with sunshine and skipping, given that our jobs as nurses mostly involves high levels of anxiety and stress.
It is NOT unrealistic to expect that small acts of kindness towards one another each day can create large impacts, and that we can all make a difference….
…After all, if this is how we treat the people that we are meant to respect, then what does it say about how we treat our patients?
(Great article on respecting your CNA/Collaborative team work)
BY: Sean Dent
Any nurse worth their weight in water knows, understand, values and appreciates the function and role every CNA plays in the delivery of our patient care. And yet, I still see RN’s treating their CNA team member horribly.
Here is the best piece of advice I can give to any RN out there when delegating to their CNA team members:
Never delegate out of sheer personal convenience
Too many times I have seen/heard/witnessed an RN/LPN delegate a task to a CNA simply because it was inconvenient for them. We all know the stories and the urban legends of CNAs always doing the dirty work (bed baths & bedpans to name a few), while the RN/LPN walks away. I have seen them answer a call bell, learn that they need to get their hands dirty. They walk back out of the room and call/delegate the task. There are actually individuals out there that believe that once they are licensed, they don’t need to get their hands dirty???
I’m here to publicly apologize to any CNA reading this. Contrary to popular belief, this is not the norm, nor is it acceptable to most of us currently practicing! I still strongly believe that the most important assessment skills can be learned from getting my hands dirty. I learned that from a CNA!
The professional rapport you have with your CNA can make or break your career. I make it a point to strengthen that relationship, because when the going gets tough and the you-know-what hits the fan, my fellow CNAs are often times the ones that keep me afloat.
What goes around comes around folks. If you cannot make the time to get your hands dirty, the CNA will not have the time to keep you from ‘drowning’ in your time of need. It really is that simply. It’s called teamwork.
A nurses’ aide (Certified Nurses Aid – CNA) is the unsung hero of the nursing world. When someone asks what you do, never simply say “I’m just the aide”. When we speak of bedside care and we refer to the ‘team effort’ this part of the team is probably the most under-appreciated, yet most needed team member. They are the silent majority. When they are doing what they do best, you sometimes (more often than we like to admit) forget they are there. But, when they are absent it turns your whole world upside down. Thank you for all that you do!
Source - Scrubs Magazine