3rd shift CNA

4 Jun

So, you think being a 3rd shift aide is easy…..

NOT.  While we might not have to be looking after the locations of 10 members while they move about the facility, its not all rest and relaxation, either.

When we get on shift we have to make sure all the members are clean and dry, in bed (unless they are independantly mobile, in that case they are allowed to be off unit), location known, and beds low/alarms on/etc.

Then by midnight, after doing walking rounds with 2nd shift and catching up on floor news (birthdays, deaths, residents on leave, changes to a members routine/schedule, etc) we have to get 16-18 waters passed and 16ish peoples laundry sorted, put in their room and hung up/put away.  A lot of aides will just dump the bundles of laundry (they are done at a state prison 30ish miles away) and not detag, fold/hang, put away.  So, sometimes i’ll pick a room and neaten up their clothes/closets.

Passing waters isn’t easy.  You have to figure out who has thin/honey/nectar thick liquids, who has 2 waters, who has none, who cannot have a straw, etc.  Thankfully we have a “cheat sheet” that has what each member can have on it.  Hand eye-coordination is at its finest/worst when trying to stab lids with straws.  It usually takes me 2-3 tries to get each straw in.  I guess my hand-eye coordination isn’t all that good.  Oops.

Then we have to stock our carts.  Most floors allow you to have a cart with breifs/pullups, washclothes, soaker pads, gowns, soap, and other necessities on it.  they have to be kept neat tho, and thats usually not a problem.  However, if you’re on a floor where they’re not allowed, good luck.  you’ll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off all night, especially if you forget something or your cheatsheet is wrong.

We do walking round and member location checks every 2 hours, unless you’re on a lockdown unit (dementia wards) where it is every hour.  gotta make sure your people are still here and still alive and things.

At 2:30-3 you need to make sure people are still dry.

In between you’re answering call lights, maybe doing some reading, some housekeeping on the floor, cleaning dining room tables, cleaning counter, making sure things are set for the next day.

Around 4:45 you start getting ready for final check and changes and getting your 3 people up.  If you have a shower you may have started earlier, as showers tend to take twice as long as you want them to.  Ugh.

So then you go and you start waking people up, getting them washed up, changed, clothed, and up in their wheelchairs.  Some like to fight you.  Others prefer to swear.  Whatever, i don’t care.  I’ll chart your behaviours, cuz if i don’t, it didn’t happen.

Once you’re done with get ups you make sure all your people are where they’re supposed to be, clean, dry, beds lowered, alarms on, rooms cleaned, no trash/linens in rooms, etc.  Then first shift swarms onto the floor like bees.  buzzing to the rooms to tell you what you did wrong.  Occasionally (rarely, really) will they tell you that you did a good job and everyone’s done “right”.  Its great to get a compliment once in a while, ya know?

Some nights the members are on their call lights ALL THE TIME.  I had one member on his light 3 times in 10 minutes.  Its really hard to keep frustration out of your voice in a time like that.  Sometimes, yu just feel like a maid to the residents.  Other nights your lights are quiet up until 5am and you have no problems and so you’re able to sit and read, knit, watch tv, etc.  Those are the nice nights, however.

And thats what its like to be a 3rd shift CNA.


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