Embarrassing question reguarding CNA classes...

  1. 0
    I've been interested the past few weeks about taking some CNA training classes to help find a new job, but I've watched some videos and read about it and noticed that when you learn to brush the patient's teeth, that class members seem to partner up or something and you eventually have to get your teeth brushed by one of the students. It sounds weird but I am very self conscious about my teeth. I've been paying for everything on my own since I've been about 13 or 14 (I'm 23 now), so I've always had a lot of things to pay for myself and bills and never had any money to see a dentist, and currently I'm looking for a new job/have no money/have no insurance, and really really don't want to have anyone brushing my teeth/looking at them anymore than they have to. I mean, my teeth aren't HORRENDOUS...when looking at them they just look a little bit crooked, but if someone were to have to get up close and brush them, they'll see that they're a bit worse. I'm immensely humiliated by my teeth and hate them. Sadly this is deterring me from wanting to go to these classes... Do you think my teacher would be okay if I asked not to have to be the "volunteer" for this?
  2. 23 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    There are many dental and technical schools that will clean and repair your teeth for a reduced fee or free. The health of your teeth and gums is very important which is why they teach you how to correctly brush someone else's teeth in a CNA class.

    otessa
    CLoGreenEyes and PurpleLVN like this.
  4. 14
    I am sure if you tell the instructor you have a problem with this, or that you are in the middle of dental work, and have a temporary filling, or whatever (white lie) ;-) you will be excused from this.

    But the bigger question is, don't you think the patients you will be caring for have those same feelings? One of the reasons we work on each other in class, it to get over some of our own anxieties. You will be seeing and caring for people while they are the most vulnerable. we treat them with dignity and try to protect their feelings. that is something you share and learn in class.
    5ummer, SlaveHeart, PurpleLVN, and 11 others like this.
  5. 2
    Your local health department usually provides free dental cleanings. Anyway, nobody is perfect. I had to let my some of my classmates auscultate my abdomen in nursing school which I hated because I have a fat stomach. Sometimes in the healthcare field you have to do things that you're really not comfortable with so this will be a good test for you.

    (That wasn't very "therapeutic" was it nurses?)
    Otessa and skittlebear like this.
  6. 4
    Anyone that is going to judge you based off your teeth isn't someone worth knowing anyways.

    I'm sure there's a lot more to you than your teeth
    KYMOM1981, RNROSER2011, skittlebear, and 1 other like this.
  7. 2
    1. I taught CNA for classes for several years and never had the students brush each others teeth. Maybe this won't happen in your class either.

    2. If it does, I would fake a horrible toothache that day and insist your mouth needs left alone because of it.

    3. Don't let something this minor stop you from going for your dream.
    Paws2people and skittlebear like this.
  8. 3
    Not only did we have to brush classmates teeth but we also feed classmates baby food, and gave each other bed baths (wearing tank tops and shorts)
    Our teacher wanted to let us having the feeling of being the pt and being totally dependent on someone else. If you are really having issues just talk to your teacher and explain the situation if the problem arises.
    PurpleLVN, Otessa, and netglow like this.
  9. 2
    Quote from CathyLew
    I am sure if you tell the instructor you have a problem with this, or that you are in the middle of dental work, and have a temporary filling, or whatever (white lie) ;-) you will be excused from this.

    But the bigger question is, don't you think the patients you will be caring for have those same feelings? One of the reasons we work on each other in class, it to get over some of our own anxieties. You will be seeing and caring for people while they are the most vulnerable. we treat them with dignity and try to protect their feelings. that is something you share and learn in class.
    I think most of these posts summed it up pretty well, but especially CathyLew's. It is true. We are caring for pts daily who depend on us (Nurses, CNA's, etc) for their care. Some may have the same issues with their body image as you, whether it be their teeth, breast, or whatever. Nontheless, they are still dependent on our care. As much as this embarrases you, I think it would be very wise to try and participate anyway. There is a reason why you are subjected to feel completely helpless while another classmate gives you care. You are experiencing what your potential pts may feel.
    PurpleLVN and GN Dave like this.
  10. 1
    When I taught a CNA class many years ago, my students did very few things to each other - vital signs, including BP, fake bed bath, making an occupied bed.
    But I think doing more to each other is a good idea; it may make you more empathetic to the helpless.
    Truly, no one really cares how your teeth look, and they may not brush each others' teeth in your particular class. Talk to your instructor, and don't let this stop you.
    PurpleLVN likes this.
  11. 1
    IMO, if you're basing your decision to do the course based on whether or not you're willing to allow someone else to brush/assess your teeth as part of your training... then you don't want the training enough. Your CNA training will require certain skills to be learned/checked off on. Your course may or may not require you to have your teeth brushed/assessed by a classmate. Is it ok for you to ask your instructor to beg off having that done if required? IMO, no.
    CLoGreenEyes likes this.


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