My class was easy, especially for me. Before I enrolled, I already had almost a year of caregiving experience with one old lady in her home. She had home health aides and nurses come several times a week and they taught me a ton of stuff. So I knew what I was getting into. Even so, I thought my clinicals kind of sucked. We were in a nursing home and I disappointed that I didn't get to practice like, every skill in the book
. They separated each student into pairs and gave each pair 2 CNAs to follow, so you and your partner never knew where both your CNAs were at the same time. AND they gave each individual student like 2 different residents to take care of... and the residents they gave you were not necessarily in the group that was assigned to either of the CNAs you were supposed to be following. It was a mess! In addition to that, CNA work is very fast-paced. The CNAs did not have time to babysit us and it seemed like every time I turned around, they were gone and I couldn't find someone. SOOOO, if, for instance, I was dying to give someone a shower, it was extremely difficult to actually coordinate that. By the time I figured out if one of "my" residents was supposed to be getting a shower that night, it had already been done. I hate to say it, but I did a lot of whining about this. I thought that if there was a skill I wanted to practice, then people should have bent to accommodate me. But in the end, it doesn't matter if you do EVERYTHING at clinical... what you do there doesn't make you or break you for when you get a job. When I started working on my own I actually wished that I had spent less time chasing skills to practice on and more time figuring out what the routine was, because that's what I had the most trouble with... washing someone up before bed isn't rocket science, but figuring out how to do that for 12 people in 5 hours, while keeping them all dry and repositioned, is pretty hard!
Our skills test was actually judged by one of the instructors, so I don't think we had the same level of anxiety as a lot of people who get tested by someone they've never met before. We were still nervous, but the instructor had already seen us in action before and knew who was competent.
Overall, the class was fun. There were several students in there whose stupidity amazed me, lol. And one person who had to turn every little snippet of information we learned into a long story about her dead grandmother! But there were also a lot of cool people. Getting a job, however, was not fun. Then again, I work in a very b*tchy, cliquey facility where people cannibalize each other... and now I have a very thick skin!