CNA new job help

  1. Hi everyone,
    I am trying to apply for a CNA position and i'm just not sure where to go. Ive narrowed it to the ER, Telemetry, or Rotary Rehab. Which of these would you all recommend for someone new? What does each job entail, I mean do you have to clean up vomit or blood or diapers? Which one is the least yucky Thanks so much everybody!
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   shadchan
    I think at some point you will have to clean up vomit or diapers no matter what.

    The ER, well, you need an acute care license for that, so make sure you have that ready. From what I hear, be prepared to take vital signs...constantly. LOL

    Telemetry, I am not sure of.

    I work in a rehab unit of a LTC here in California and I like it very much. It's very busy, but after 4 months on the job I have learned to come to terms with this! Yes, I've had to clean up some of the messiest diapers you could imagine; yes, I've had to deal with constant vomiters; yes, I've had to clean up small amounts of blood here and there from incisions that open up or people who rip out their IVs, stuff like that. I still have to feed people occasionally, but it's not every day and it's almost always just one person.

    Remember: Any CNA job is going to be yucky. Period. I used to have a horrible gag reflex at the mere sound and sight of vomiting and would have to leave the immediate vicinity if I heard a puker. I also had a gag reflex when I caught whiff of some of the messier/smellier diapers I had to change. I've since gotten over both those things. Don't be afraid of mess, it gets easier.

    If you REALLY despise mess, I would honestly suggest applying at an assisted living facility. The pay is much lower, and the work is more like that of a home health aide, but there are very few messes. I've worked a double shift sometimes on the assisted living side of our facility and not once have I had to so much as wipe somebody's butt. I'll take a wet Depends and give them a fresh one, but that's it.
  4. by   casi
    Though watch what kind of Assisted Living you apply for! The one I work for takes on a lot of heavier cares. I've cleaned up bathrooms that look like murder scenes from blood splattered everywhere (I never knew that much blood could come from one person's nose! :uhoh21 I've also cleaned up my fair share of bathrooms covered in BM (ermmm how'd that get on the shower curtain?!?!)

    I probably deal with a lot less than hospital/nursing home, but I do my fair share.

    Honestly I don't think there are any CNA jobs that don't have some aspect of yucky.
  5. by   ChristineN
    The floor I work on is part telemetry. Our telemtry patients aren't any different than our gen med except they're on heart monitors. For me as an na my duties are the same, regardless.
  6. by   DesertRain
    I was trying to think about which I thought was "yucky"er and was like...hmmm they really aren't so bad anymore....and I've just started training. Funny how things change after exposure.
  7. by   RNfaster
    Today was my first clinical class day at a nursing home. I had thought it would be hard to deal with the smell of feces and urine, but I didn't realize that I would gag so much. By the end of the shift, I was able to take it much better. Now that I am home, I feel like I can still smell it. I am glad to read (and hear from others that I worked with today) your comments saying that it gets easier.

    I wasn't prepared to see as many people as I did just lying in their own excrement... The first guy I saw had it all over him. I had to clean it out from under his fingernails. The whole day was wrenching emotionally. I felt sad to see the people there... Some were very sharp mentally, but physically disabled. Others were sad and depressed. Some were young, but had had a stroke or some other debilitating event. I felt heartened by seeing how one of my classmates (who is experienced --she's been working as a caregiver for a number of years) connect with the people and so capably help them. A CNA at the facility also provided a great example for me. Seeing how they handled things so well, gracefully, and with such strength was inspiring. I want to try to be like them. I have more work to do.

    I am a little scared...I am hoping the gagging reflex goes away. It feels like my body is betraying me. I know it is impolite to gag, and it makes it really hard - impossible even - for me to be truly effective.
    I am wondering if some hospital units have more diaper requirements than others. I feel a little childish asking about that.

    ...I guess in time you get used to it.
    I am really glad this forum is here. Thank you...
  8. by   shadchan
    Sonoran - the gagging reflex, oh man, I had that for the longest time!

    I think it reached a breaking point when I had a bedbound pt that invariably reached back and went spelunking in her rectum for feces with her bare fingers whenever I had to change her. I almost vomited at that. (She would later be seen shoving her fingers up her nose...it would not occur to her to clean off her hands; we would constantly have to wash them)

    In any case, after that, I learned how to turn my head away from the pt as I was working and breathe to get some "fresh" air; how to sort of press my tongue against the roof of my mouth to stave off the gag reflex...you will find the things that work for you.

    But please, remember....you are not alone! It will take time but it gets easier. I think this is something we all have to come to terms with eventually. Best of luck to you!!

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