It is very common that the lower ranked employees face harassment.  It’s especially true for new workers. A new CNA can find that he/she is the victim of various injustices. Usually, the problems are the results of competition among CAN’s. While it may be mild and therefore, insignificant at times, the problems faced by the certified nursing assistant might possibly force them to quit.


There are different kinds of obstacles that a CAN might face:

Vertical Harassment: Second problem faced by a CAN  is vertical harassment. This refers to unjustified behavior from higher levels of the organization hierarchy. Nurses might subject the nurse aide to political maneuvering, backstabbing and even verbal abuse.

Horizontal Harassment: happens when a new and inexperienced nurse assitant finds that the other CAN’s give him/her the most unpleasant jobs. When time passes, as he gains the trust and respect of his fellow employees, this harassment will disappear.

Helplessness: If the CNA reports the problem to higher ranks about the abuse, they might ignore the problem and ‘advise’ the certified nursing assistant to “toughen up”. The helplessness that follows usually can affects the work of the CNA, deteriorating his position in the workplace.

Dealing with the Problem

The best way to deal with the problem is to remain friendly and in good terms with the nurse and the nurse aides staff. Over time, the other CNAs will also become friendlier. If the problem does get worse to a confrontation, it is important to calm down and firmly put forth the problems before the authorities.

Rather than shutting down, good communication will often help in closing the gaps between coworkers. Communication, after all, is among the most important skills that a CNA must possess.


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