Dude, You never said if you were a new cna. If you are then I think shadowing is a good thing. Most people are getting into nursing for the job stability. But, what I do is more than combing granny's hair and holding grandpa's hand. It can be disgusting ( vomit, urine, feces, spit, mucus (everywhere, yes..and on you). You will at some point be called names, spit on, have poop flung at you, scratched, hit. All while trying to help an old lady to bed. My job has few perks other than job security and the occasional "thank you for helping me", that happens like once a year. They want to see if you can stomach the smell of a colostomy bag or just a general bout of c-diff (both are distinct odors you wouldn't experience outside of healthcare); they want to know if you are worth hiring. I've oriented new cnas who had no idea what was ..did the class, exam, whole nine yards and just left during shift or never came back. It takes a strong person to care for the elderly..literally..heavy lifting is required. oh and sometimes grannys hitting you while you got her halfway between the wheelchair and the bed..but you cant just drop her. Proper lifting is out the door at that point...at some time in this job you will hurt your body. There is a reason there is job security...not many stick with it because it hurts..emotionally and physically exhausting. I've been at it 13 years and don't bother learning a new cnas name until they have been there 3 months. I totally get why they would have new fresh outta school aides just shadow for a couple days. I had to do the same thing before I started the class years ago; they had to see if I was really into it before they wasted money training me. It's a hard job and not everyone can do it.
If you aren't straight out of class, then I agree with you. Can't understand why they'd need you to shadow someone. If you are thinking they want you to work for free then do exactly what you are supposed to...just watch.