During and after CNA training, you will hear a lot about your resident’s rights. You will learn that your patients have the right to care, they must be treated with dignity, their privacy must be respected, and they a right to be safe. While much your CNA training will focus on the rights of your patients, you should be aware that you, as a nursing assistant, have rights as well.
Your Rights After CNA Training
After CNA training, you will have several different rights, here are just a few.
- The Right to Safety– Have you ever walked into work and had this feeling creep over you that today was just going to be a bad day? Over the course of your shift, you may have had to deal with a virtual battering ram of verbal, physical, and emotional abuse from your patients or co-workers. While it may seem like an every-day occurrence for you, it doesn’t have to be. As a CNA training graduate, you have the right to safety in the workplace. If patients or co-workers are abusing you, it is important to report it to your superior. Steps can be taken to help. Many nursing homes and hospitals even have a code word that can be used if you are ever placed in an abusive situation you can’t get out of.
- The Right to Payment– As a CNA training graduate, what if you don’t receive a full break, your lunch gets cut short, or you end up staying an extra hour after you are supposed to be off the clock waiting for your replacement to arrive. While you may be familiar with that frustrated feeling, you may not be aware that many facilities will trick you into not receiving payment for overtime. They will often claim that they didn’t realize you were still working on the clock and assume you were volunteering your time. Other facilities have been known to take overtime hours off of a CNA training graduate’s work week and pass the hours to the next week, paid at regular rate instead of overtime. Make sure to keep track of your hours and check each paycheck to ensure you are being paid the correct amount. As a CNA training graduate, you have a right to overtime.
- The Right to Professionalism– The right to professionalism is simple to understand. You have the right to respectful treatment by your fellow CNA training graduates and your superiors. If you are uncomfortable with any situation, you have the right to report it to your supervisor (or their supervisor if necessary) and he or she must take steps to assist you with your problem.
Alternatively, the right to professionalism also means you must act as a professional yourself. You must not do anything that could make your patients or co-workers uncomfortable. You may also not accept gifts from patients without speaking to your supervisor first to see if it is allowed and documenting the gift. Many times, if you accept a gift from a patient, the family will find out and cry foul. This will land you in a lot of trouble, and you may even lose your job.
Many of those who have completed CNA training don’t think of themselves when they walk into work. While this is an admirable trait, it is important for CNAs to realize they have rights, just like the patients. They do not have to put up with being taken advantage of or abused.