Anyone near 60 starting as a CNA?

  1. I've been teaching for 30 years and have always wanted to be a nurse in a hospital. I think being a CNA will allow me the patient contact I'm looking. I've loved teaching but would like to work part-time during the summers as a CNA. As many of my coworkers are thinking of retiring I'm ready for a career change. So am I crazy or is there anyone else out there starting in their very late 50's?
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    About Cathylady

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 381; Likes: 163


  3. by   csoultz
    I started out as a CNA when I was 17. I am now a LPN working on my RN. I can say that CNA work is the most back breaking hardest work I have ever done and Im so so glad I don't ever have to do it again!
  4. by   cherry_blossom
    Quote from Cathylady
    I've been teaching for 30 years and have always wanted to be a nurse in a hospital. I think being a CNA will allow me the patient contact I'm looking. I've loved teaching but would like to work part-time during the summers as a CNA. As many of my coworkers are thinking of retiring I'm ready for a career change. So am I crazy or is there anyone else out there starting in their very late 50's?
    CNA work is very tough...ugh...if your wanting somewhat of a career change.....maybe try home health aide? Its EASY. I did that while I got my AA. No booty cleaning for the most part and you get to work at your own pace. You also get to sit down...for more than 5 minutes in a 12 hr period. Lol I worked for a DD facility.

    But hey if your wanting to do CNA work, do it! After a very long, hard day of is rewarding. Hehe. Good luck
  5. by   csoultz
    I agree with the HHA or if your wanting something with some schooling behind you, get your LPN. You can find some programs that take only a year usually May to May or what not.
  6. by   bprlal13
    CNA is very physically demanding / I would second scoultz and try LPN
  7. by   Cathylady
    What are the responsibilities of a Home Health Aid?

    I went back to school for my Master's Degree when I was 49 (ten years ago) and that pretty much cured me of wanting to go to school anymore so the LPN/RN is out of the question. I'm 59.

    I never really thought about the back-breaking part of CNA responsibilities. I'm physically fit, still a runner at my age but now you all have me wondering if I could actually be a CNA in a hospital. I volunteer in a hospital presently and was hoping that would help me get a summer part-time job there once I finish my training.

    Is there anyone out there still doing CNA work and is my age or close to it?

    Thank you all for your input, it has certainly given me something to think about.
  8. by   cherry_blossom
    The only difference between home health aide and LPN......lpn takes a year to complete and home health aide is on the job training that's available stat. HHA requires CPR and FA and that's about it.
  9. by   sixela21
    Getting your CNA could open up many doors for you. Alot of people are recommending home health--in many cases, you would still need certification (as a CNA, Patient Care Tech, etc. and in CPR/First Aid) to go that route as well. You can do more than just typical Nursing Home work with a CNA. Depending on where you live, there are many hospital jobs for CNAs (usually for those with experience where I live--in the South-- however, a friend of mine got hired as a hospital CNA right out of training with no previous experience, up North. Depends on the situation and where you live). The hospital jobs, are usually much less demanding as far as lifting/moving patients, etc. (from what I've heard from people who have this experience).

    I have my CNA license and currently have two offers--home health and Assisted Living. Home health usually pays more for less work, so it is a win win. However, if you later want to move up the career ladder, you will find it very difficult to land a job in some hospitals/facilities without experience. Many hospitals in my area do not accept home health as valid experience to work in their facilities (it sucks, I know!) Assisted Living, Rehabilitation Centers, and Retirement homes are usually much less work. Many of my class mates in my CNA class were working these types of jobs, and they simply reminded patients to take medications, cleaned, and served them food, washed their clothes, etc. They did no lifting or "butt cleaning" as other members so eloquently put it =). I am in Nursing school, so I am using this as an opportunity to gain experience in the field.

    In my CNA class, there was a good mix of people. At 22, I was the youngest! The two ladies that sat next to me were 40 and 60 years old. Both with children and one with Grandchildren. The ladies that sat behind me were two women in their late twenties, married with children, and a 50 year old with a husband, grown children, and grandchildren. The other two students were 27 and about 55, so everyone in my class was pushing 30 or middle-aged! Do not feel weird for wanting to make a career change. It is never too late. My mother is in her forties and about to join me in Nursing school. Do what is right for you, and do not allow others to dictate your life (I know you don't need to be told this by a 22 year old, but it helps to know you're not alone!) Just do your research and understand the challenges you will be facing. We are here for you in the allnurses community if you need us! Good luck! =D
  10. by   i_love_patient_care
    It depends on how physically fit you are. I'm not an Olympian, but I started this type of work in my mid-20s. I would come home from day shift and feel like I needed to lay down for 3 hours after taking care of just 8 Residents. This was in a skilled nursing facility, mostly older folks. In the hospital, the nurses help out more, but in most areas, especially in this economy, they're going to want experience. The only way to get experience is in skilled nursing or a nursing home. I changed my career to home health recently and am loving it. Way more down time, and not so difficult on my back/shoulders/neck.
  11. by   Cathylady
    That's good to hear about the age differentials in the CNA class, thank you Sixela21. I'm not sure what I'm planning on doing would be considered career switching. I am a teacher and will continue to teach for a few more years; I thought about being a nurse but decided to get my Master's Degree instead 10 years ago. In retrospect I wish I had gone into nursing school instead of getting the Masters but that is education under the bridge so now rather than go to school again to be an RN or a LPN I thought this would get the patient care while working at a hospital desire out of my system. Hopefully I can get a part-time CNA job in the summers when I'm not teaching. I volunteer at the hospital where I'd like to work.
    That's my story.
    Thank you so much for your valuable input, it is greatly appreciated.
  12. by   itsmejuli
    Being a home health aid would be much easier than being an aid in a hospital.

    Do you like working with seniors?

    Or you could also look into being an activity aid, these are the people who run activities in senior's care centers.
  13. by   Cathylady
    I have this desire to work in the hospital setting not in a LTC. I volunteer at St. Francis hospital and I love the atmosphere and that's where I'd like to work.
    I'm hoping my volunteer hours will some how exempt me from having to have experience. Not that volunteering give me much patient contact but it does show some commitment to the hospital.
    The clinicals for the Red Cross CNA program that I've registered for are done at the Veteran's hospital in Richmond; 40 hours required.
    I guess I have to trust God in this endeavor because I really only want to work part time in the summers and my heart is to work at the Catholic hospital where I volunteer.
    Thanks so much for your input.
  14. by   quietstorm212
    I work as a home health aide for 4 years it has its ups n downs. I do Live in so the money is decent however I do want to upgrade to medical assisting or patient care tech but in order to get to patient care tech id have to take my cna first. I hear cna is very hard back breaking work from a rn who used to work as one as well as students in my sisters lpn class. Home health aide u deal with one patient n cna u have to help multiple patients its a lot.