CNA vs. EMT

  1. 0
    I need your input and opinion on both occupations,I was thinking of becoming certified as a CNA then doing a EMT course . I want to get an idea of a nurse career path and paramedic ..... do you think this is wise to do ? I am on the fence about being a nurse , a paramedic career just recently caught my attention the occupation seems to be more direct patient contact vs. bedside nursing.....



    need your opinion
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Well I talked my husband into "thinking" about getting into nursing. I told him before he started to try EMT (to me more exciting) to see if he likes it. He just passed his state test. He contacted NC nurse aid registry and can just take the test instead of going through the whole program to get his CNA. Just something to think about.
  4. 0
    Quote from Pocahontas98_21
    Well I talked my husband into "thinking" about getting into nursing. I told him before he started to try EMT (to me more exciting) to see if he likes it. He just passed his state test. He contacted NC nurse aid registry and can just take the test instead of going through the whole program to get his CNA. Just something to think about.
    so what your saying is that I take an EMT course and become certified ..then challenge the CNA certification test they would allow that without the training. I live in California and the standards might be different from yours where ever you live. I'll check with states standards but that would be great if that is the case here........
  5. 0
    Yes that's exactly what I'm saying. Yes, call your nurse aid registry and verify that's what you can do in your state. I think doing both will help you find out if you will like nursing. CNA will help with ADL's and bedside manner and EMT will help with emergency type things. Also, I worked as a CNA in a emergency room for 4 years and learned things like venipunture, apply splints, EKG's and catherization. Hope all goes well.
  6. 0
    Thank you for the advice I just heard all this stuff about being a CNA the whole scenario of working with geriatrics, the smells, baths , poop/ diapers. To be honest not very appealing to me I would be able to handle it but if I had a choice I would avoid it . Sounds conceded I guess but thats just how I feel. EMT route seems less poopy daipers and more action and stimulus.

    And thanks again for the advice!!!!!!!
  7. 0
    Quote from hotmama2be
    Thank you for the advice I just heard all this stuff about being a CNA the whole scenario of working with geriatrics, the smells, baths , poop/ diapers. To be honest not very appealing to me I would be able to handle it but if I had a choice I would avoid it . Sounds conceded I guess but thats just how I feel. EMT route seems less poopy daipers and more action and stimulus.

    And thanks again for the advice!!!!!!!
    Eh, the quicker you get used to those things the better IMO. If you're going for nursing you're going to encounter those things all the time.

    Aside from that, there are benefits to either. EMT teaches you some valuable technical skills that you will continue to use while working as a nurse, such as intubation and whatnot. CNA teaches you the personable skills side of the job, in being able to relate to the patient, get to know them, etc.

    Although from my understanding it is much harder to get a job as an EMT than it is as a CNA.
  8. 1
    I just got certified as a C.N.A. in January and an E.M.T. today! I'm also in California and want to become an RN. While waiting to be accepted to a program I figured I might as well get trained in everything that I could.

    I feel that both will be beneficial for nursing, however the training for each was very different. I don't think you can challenge the C.N.A. exam in CA with an E.M.T. cert. California is very strict on the nbr of hours you need in both class and clinical. In fact it was about 10x as many clinical hours to be a C.N.A. than an E.M.T. which was surprising to me. The C.N.A. has helped me with Pt contact, basic assessments and vitals. That all came in helpful with the E.M.T. class and I could focus more on learning about the Medical/Trauma assessments, c-spine immobilization, and managing life threats.

    I think the testing process in a RN program might be easier for me now after having some classes where I've been tested on skills. It's a little nerve wracking at first, but I'm starting to get use to it. I think you should pick which ever one sounds more interesting to you right now and when your finished look into doing the other one. :wink2: Good luck to you!
    hotmama2be likes this.
  9. 1
    Let me fill you all in a bit on Emergency Services.

    I started many MANY years ago as an NA (this was before we were certified), then got my CNA, EMT-I, and Paramedic (EMT-P). Now I am in Nursing school at the ripe old age of 45.

    First, you have to understand that being an EMT is NOT what you think. "Exciting" is far from the adjective I would be using here. "Deathly boring" would be a more apt phrase.

    As an EMT (IF you can find a job that is), you will spend 90% of your time sitting around waiting to be dispatched.

    Also, you will most likely be assigned to a BLS (Basic Life Support) Rig, or as we not-so-jokingly used to refer to as "The Big Red School Bus", since the majority of the time we were tagged as "transport", i.e. transporting a geriatric patient from an LTC facility to the hospital (and back again), or from the home to the hospital, ad nauseum.

    ASL rigs (Advanced Life Support), at least in my part of the world, are mostly Fire Dept. guys, with only a few private Ambulance companies running them nowadays. Also, if you think you are going to be pushing meds as an EMT, think again. You'll need a Paramedic's license to push meds (and then only when the doc says.)

    Exciting balls-to-the-wall, lights and sirens, adrenaline-filled, screaming rides down the roadways are far and few between, and after the first 3 or 4 of those it becomes old hat.

    Most EMT's make about as much as you would working at Taco Bell. Dismiss whatever you saw on television. So NOT the real thing!!

    Go for your nursing degree.

    Bypass EMT, CMA, and CNA.

    You'll kick yourself for spending time getting the intro-level certifications when you could have spent that time in a nursing program.

    Just from one who's been that route and wished he could go back and do it right the FIRST time!

    Good Luck.

    Michael


    Quote from Pocahontas98_21
    Well I talked my husband into "thinking" about getting into nursing. I told him before he started to try EMT (to me more exciting) to see if he likes it. He just passed his state test. He contacted NC nurse aid registry and can just take the test instead of going through the whole program to get his CNA. Just something to think about.
    Last edit by asoonernurse on May 20, '08
    hotmama2be likes this.
  10. 2
    I agree with unitek- ignore what you've seen on TV about EMS (Emergency Medical Services). If you work for a private ambulance service as an EMT-Basic (or is it EMT-1 in CA?) you'll WILL be doing mostly non-emergency transfers. Your profile says that you're 20 years old, so you have more time to reach your end-goal (whatever that may be) than someone who's already middle-aged. I'd say start taking the pre-requisites for nursing and (IF you have time) take an EMT class followed by a CNA class. That way, you may be able to work as a CNA or tech in an ER, a job that might pay more and will be a LOT more beneficial to you in terms of learning and recommendations. Moreover, if you work as an EMT and/or CNA, you'll have somewhat of a "leg up" on your fellow students when it comes to basic pt care/interaction. I worked as an ER tech for a while before applying (and enrolling in) nursing school and I: 1)made $2-$3/hr more than I ever did working on "the truck;" 2)was surrounded by MD's and RN's who truly cared about their patients and were goldmines of info when asked; and 3)since I worked hard and did a good job, I got some great recommendations from the staff when I applied to nursing school. Working in a hospital alongside RN's and MD's made me realize how much MORE there is to know and how much I DON'T know. I'm not trying to knock EMT's and medics- I was an active one for several years (and am still certified as one), and will always appreciate the difference they make in prehospital care. However, there's so much more to patient assessment and treatment than what is taught in an EMT (or even a medic course). On the flipside, however, I think RN's don't learn a whole lot about emergency care (at least not in school), and need to appreciate EMTs and medics more for what they bring to the continuum of care. Thus, the education/training received in a nursing degree program complements prehospital care training very well.
    hotmama2be and asoonernurse like this.
  11. 0
    thank you for all your responses I am enrolled for a CNA program this summer... so I figured it would be a good stepping stone and it is part of my pre req for the LVN program !!!!!!!! then I am going to bridge into the RN accelerated program.....thanks again


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors
Top