A day in the life of.........

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    Hi, I wasn't sure if I should post this in CNA forum or AGENCY forum, thank you for reading.

    I'm almost CNA/PCT(test in April) and I'm already a(n) HHA. I haven't started working yet and was thinking about working for an agency. I've already read the pro's/con's posted throughout this site. I was wondering if anyone out there could possibly give me their version of a typical day or night. CNA's, HHA's, and Nurses are welcome please.
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    I'm a cna and I'm signed up with an agency. I haven't worked for them in a few months due to NS, but its not bad. I usually do sitter cases. I rarely work on the hospital floor. I do love it though ! Its like you pick your own hours. The only thing I won't ever do is work a sitter case 7p-7a, pure torture. Good luck.
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    CNAs with agency also get home heath cases-also nursing homes, home hospice, alzheimers, rehab-everything you name it. My experience has been about half the nursing homes are usualy under staffed-agency staff in generaly gets the heaviest and most difficult patients -although facilities do try to assign rooms keeping the work load in mind so lifting and so forth is evenly distributed. Patients also see you comming when you are new and they will test you. When you are the new-bee -you are unaware of the patients abilities, habits, preferences, clothing gets mixed up and so forth - so it is difficult, but you will catch on quick, once seasoned not much will get by you. When you try your best and work hard - experienced CNAs will show you methods that will help you and nurses are also often great mentors. Every place also have thoose CNAs that disappear all the time knowing you have a patient(s) that requires two people - example: hoyer lift is broken or you need to just change a bed pad and do peri care. Don't sweat it - it will get done and you keep moving. Keep the nurse informed, they usualy know what is going on. If a facility is consistanly-severly understaffed every time you get sent there - you do not have to except the assignment - besure sure to ask the agency when they call you where is the assignment before you say yes I can work XX hours-they will slam you quick with distant places and where everyone else don't want to go. I do refuse certain facilites. Once I was the only CNA on 10p-6a shift-60 patients and one LVN. I refused to do another assignment at that facility again - also beware if you turn down too many assignments, the agency wants to keep their contracts - they will either A-offer you a higher wage or B- You will be the last one on the list they call for assignments to indirectly punish you and/or because the person doing the calling wants to fill the slot as soon as possible and doesn't want to waist time calling a person who they will assume will say no when they call. Always keep your bases covered and know which other agency you can get work at if need be. Morning and afternoon shifts Mon-Sat be prepared to give atleast 3 showers if the facility does not have a shower aide. Good Luck!
  6. 0
    Lil late but figured I'd chime in...

    I've been a CNA since 2004, and did homecare for a year privately before I got hired on with my first agency. I was thrown into a nursing home and i literally had no idea what i was doing or what needed to be done as I hadn't been in a nursing home since my cna training over a year before.. then i was put in a hospital, a small one, dayshift, 12 hr shift... fastward about 2 years.

    I very quickly learned that i could refuse shifts, (i only do nights and occationally evenings), refuse types of facilities (all nursing homes are a no-go for me.. ive worked maybe 5 shifts in em, ever.. and i suck at them lol) and strongly prefer hospitals and psych units (and ONE assisted living place that rocked heh) Didn't take me long at all to decide what i liked and what I didn't. There is one hospital id only work at if i was desparate for money cuz i always got a bad vibe from that place.. but it usually wasnt a big deal. If your willin to help them out every so often for a "oh crap, a shift just came up! help!" shift... and u sorta set the rules and work enough for them, then they'll help you out too.

    Id pick up on things fast... try to figure it out on my own and if i couldnt figure it out, i'd ask someone and theyd usually show me with no problems. I also watched people intently, and listened..to see how the nurses talked to the psych patients to redirect them and calm them down etc.. As i got the hang of the smaller hospitals, and got to know all the staff on nights and requested back... then i was put on the floor of the affiliated larger hospitals, where usually the nurses were eternally greatful to see me as there were 30 patients to a floor, and i was the only CNA on nights.

    i learned how to chart electronically on the fly because at the time, the hospitals didn't have any formal comp training for agency cna's (now they do!) (ha! once i worked a unit i was very familiar with for a 16hr shift cuz of a snow storm and lack of people able to make in to work at 11pm - and the hospital had just launched a bran new charting program the day before... after asking nurses how to put in my vitals and I&O's, and after charting all 16 hrs on my 30 patients over and over, i got the hang of it real quick!).

    Usually im pre-booked with the hospital, but dont know what unit until either a phone call confirming im for sure working 2 hrs before the shift, OR i show up to the hosp and find the staffing office and they tell me where to go..
    then i show up, and if its a new unit And if its a floor-shift instead of sitter one, then I always ask what is their routine for things on that shift, like when/who does vitals, daily weights, i&o's and any other quirks. Then i ask for a brief tour of the unit...so i know linen, dirty utility, med room, supplies etc... and then off I go. =) and write down my nurses names on my census sheet, so i know who to ask for when i have an abnormal blood pressure or whatever.. Ask questions when i need to, but try to figure out stuff so im not annoying. OH! And i keep sticky notes in my pocket to pass on stuff to nurses, and to jot down important things about the unit...like their routines, any special tricks unique to that hosp or floor, and things Like the code to get in the break room for future use, so i wont have to ask again =) keep it all close by so when i go there again in 6 months, i still have it handy =)


    I'm just about done with Nursing school now..and by July will be ending my career as an Agency CNA. (i did end up working at one hosp part time to supplement my income for a yr and 1/2).

    Since March 05' when I was 20, I have worked at 13+ hospitals, 6 psych units including a lock down group home for schizophrenics (which was pretty interesting and they kept offering me a job tho the pay was lower, and I like the variety of agency too much), 1 assisted living facility, etc... Even once I got sent to a tiny 12 bed hospital at a local beach (2 1/2 hrs away). They paid my gas and my hotel.. i did an evening shift, went to bed, then did a 12 hr day shift (special circumstances for me, usually i didn't do days but it sounded fun hah which it was!).

    As a side note...I've learned *SO* much in the last 5 years its amazing... and everything has helped me get through nursing school! My evals always talk about how i can enter a new hospital/unit and figure things out, that I'm very indepdent but ask for help when its appropriate, very comfortable in a hospital, and i get along well with all of the staff, that i dont let it show when im overwhelmed hah "nerves of steal or a very good poker face" my prof told me last wk heh

    I was kickin myself before that i hadn't gotten into school sooner... but now i wouldn't trade it for anything.

    I also really wanna do travel nursing when ive been a nurse long enough. =) can't wait! I also think it'll be REALLY weird to work only at one hospital for a year... cuz even when i worked at one hosp, on one unit... even tho the overtime wouldda been waayy more, I picked agency shifts instead cuz I'd get bored or burnt out goin to the same place all the time hha).

    Anyway..enough blabbing! =) Sorry hah


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