We have seen high turnover for years in Long Term Care; not just CNA’s, but nurses, Administration, housekeepers. The work is brutal and there are few benefits to sticking it out. CNA’s in particular have a very high rate of turnover. It’s not uncommon to hear of aides leaving a facility to go work down the road at another nursing home for a dime more per hour. This is leads into this topic of this article: Giving proper notice.
In most lines of work, across all the various industries, people give 2 week notices. They do this in order to give the employer a chance to replace them. In Long term care facilities, there are often several openings for aides to begin with. When another aide leaves, it just compounds staffing issues even more. If an aide is scheduled to work many shifts but suddenly quits, it leaves ALL those shifts open and often unfilled. Who suffers? The residents, patients, clients fist and foremost. Then the aides left behind to do the extra work. Management has to fill the position and do all the human resource things associated with this: Background checks, abuse registry check, hiring, orientation, mentor-ship if there is any, and on the job training.
I understand the reasons for wage shopping in jobs in this field. Money is tight and people need to make a living. Some people would laugh at a dime an hour increase in pay but when you’re living paycheck to paycheck every dime counts. Still, it is so important to leave on good terms. When an aide or anyone else quits without a notice, they almost always end up on the “No-re-hire” list- which is important if one wants to get a decent reference. Trust me- a bad reference is not a good thing in this work. And very often, the DON of one nursing home is friends with many DON’s of many local nursing homes- they usually have a network. They warn one another about staff who quit without notice as well as staff who are placed on LOA pending an abuse investigation.
Some other reasons for two week notices:
- In the future at another agency, you might end up working with some of the nurses and aides of the facility you left. One of those nurses could be a DON of a nursing home you want to work at, or hospital.
- You may want to come back to this facility in the future. Now you think I’m truly crazy. You’d never want to work for this horrible nursing home again! Well, remember that whole turnover thing? 5 years down the road, the new management of the nursing home may very well increase pay rates and offer better benefits. You would love to go back now. But you can’t because there’s that “No Re-hire” comment attached to your SS number.
- There are financial benefits to giving notice. If you have any vacation time accrued you may lose it if there is a policy about giving two week notices. Also, consider any health insurance facts as well. You will lose coverage.
As well there are some valid reasons to NOT give any notice:
- An employee has been physically abusive.
- A supervisor has sexually harassed you.
- Your mental health is being seriously endangered by job stress.
- You have not been paid the agreed-upon wage or wages have been withheld for an unreasonable length of time.
- You have been asked to do something which is clearly unethical or illegal.
- Personal or family circumstances are such that you need to leave the job.
- A crisis has happened in your life, and there is no way you can continue on the job.
Remember it WILL be the residents who suffer the most when you leave. If you have relationships with them, cutting out without notice will be especially painful for them. It will feel like a death in their family. Only you can decide but it seems to me there are better reasons to give the 2 week notice than there are to just walk off the job.