Hi. I'm in serious need of a reality check I guess. I'm 2 days away from finishing my CNA course. The first part was classroom stuff - learning skills, lectures and tests. I went in to clinicals with a 98% average.
I knew going into the actual site and working with real residents/patients was going to be completely different than working with my classmates pretending to be patients. I consider myself very patient, I feel as if I talk slowly and use a kind tone of voice.
We went to 2 different clinical sites. One for four days, then the next for four days. The first site we went to our instructor was a woman who taught the class the whole time. The next site was an instructor that we met the last day of class before heading to clinical. When we got to the first place, we were thrown in. After signing the HIPPA statement, our instructor gave us our resident we would be providing complete and total care for, and then we were supposed to just jump right in. If one of the CNA's who actually worked there came in, our instructor would say "don't worry they'll take care of her/him today, we got this". For my first resident (sweetest lady) my instructor said she wore dentures. I went in the room, introduced myself and then started to find everything I would need (toothbrush, her brief, clothes, etc). Only found the top dentures that were absolutely disgusting and looked like they hadn't been washed. I cleaned them, and looked for the polygrip. Nothing. I wasted time looking. As I was searching, one of the staff CNA's came in so I asked where the polygrip was. Her reply "She wears dentures?" WHAT?! I said "They're in her drawer" SHE says "oh, well she doesnt wear them". Ok done wasting my time. Jump to bed bath, change the brief, get her dressed, take vitals, etc.
HOW DO YOU WORKING CNA's DO morning care for 9+ people??! Second day I had the same person. Went MUCH more smoothly and faster. We changed up from then on out and I thought I was getting better.
Apparently not! Moving to the next site - assigned to a man who was not all there (as many aren't..) but it was the first time when someone just refused to have stuff done! He was sleeping and when I tried to get started on the day he wouldn't respond to me or would yell "I SAID LATER". This new instructor pops her head in and tells me "just get it done". I try my best to coax him into waking up, brushing his teeth, making conversation. NOTHING. I went into his bathroom and just started crying. Why was I even taking this class? I already have a bachelor's degree; I should just be trying to find a job in that field. But no, I want to go to nursing school and this is a requirement. Finally I give up on the teeth for now and start undressing him to start a bed bath. He FINALLY "wakes up" and his actually cooperative. Instructor pops her head in again "HE NEEDS OUT OF THIS ROOM in 20 min!" (I know, all you working CNA's are prob like wth can you be taking so long getting him ready? right!?) The only male cna student comes in asking if I need help and I said I was about to put a new brief on, etc, and wouldn't mind help turning him to his side. GUY CNA gets resident to do everything he asks of him!? INCLUDING BRUSHING HIS OWN TEETH after I attempted once the bed bath was done. Resident refused to brush his teeth or let me do it. By the time I got him out of his room it was our lunch time and I was one of the first in the room! the way the instructor kept popping in yelling that i needed to hurry and get him out i thought was the last one still working! No, I was one of the first ones done.
The next resident I get couldn't form what she wanted to say and would try to hit people all the time. She wouldn't let me take her pulse and would scream and try to hit me. I remained patient and tried different approaches to get her to allow me to do it. Nothing. Another student comes over and all she says is "can I take your pulse to give to the nurse?" SURE THING! She gets it.
At the first site, cups were on the housekeeping cart. At this site...I always had extra cups already in the room. On the last day of clinical there were no cups in the room so I go out in the hall and first person I see is mrs. instructor, who gives me an outrageous look like why would I dare be out of the room if the resident was not yet ready. So I asked her "are cups on the housekeeping cart?" You would have thought I had 10 heads. NURSING CART, DUH. Then she asks me "is your room ready to get out of bed?" I said "Shes been sleeping while I've been doing everything and I need to do mouth care" Instructor says "you can do mouthcare when shes out of bed in her wheelchair" So I said ok. She says "so is your room ready to get up?" I said "well then yes, shes dressed and all that". Mind you, the mechanical lift pad was in this residents room the day before when I had her so when the instructor said "ok, go get the lift" I did not get a pad. Instructor wants at least 2 students doing the patient transfer so another girl goes in and starts raising the bed - instructor comes in and starts screaming "wheres the pad??? you can't lift without the pad!" DUH - I OBVIOUSLY wouldn't try to hook her up to nothing and try to lift her?! I didn't even get a chance to say "hey wait, pads not in here". So resident is in her wheelchair (still sleeping!!) and instructor says "take her to the activity room, she needs to get to the activity room!". Now I'm thinking, wait-I had already said I still needed to do mouthcare, so I say to her "do you want me to do mouthcare?!" She looks at me and practically rolls her eyes.
So in the end...instructor says to me "you can't even take care of one patient on your own when other classmates were doing 2". I said, well I was helping so-and-so (another classmate who had a resident in the same room as me) and then she says "well its the last day of clinical and you asked if mouthcare needed to be done - thats a given, were here to provide care". I wanted to SCREAM! I KNOW mouthcare needs to be done, when I said that I was really just TRYING to remind your IMPATIENT, PANICKING self that I still needed to do it! and THEN she says "and I can't believe you didn't know where the cups were!" I said "well they're usually in the room" she says "NO. they are never kept in the room" and I said "well i've always had extra in the room, i never had to go looking for them" (at least at this site). and then she tells me "and you CERTAINLY shouldn't ask your INSTRUCTOR on the last day where things are!"
then she told me "do I think you could go do this job tomorrow? probably not."
the end. I feel so defeated.
I feel slow, I feel like I can't get residents to respond to me no matter how nice and patient I am.
My instructors act like I shouldn't wait for them to be "ready" to start their day - JUST GET IT DONE. I know if this was for real I would have way too many residents to wait around for everyone to be ready - but I wasn't aware you just shove a toothbrush/food in their mouth or just start stripping them of their clothes to get started!
It seemed like I could get every other resident to smile and talk to me but my residents -the ones the instructors were watching me with - nothing. Its like I couldn't take care of them. I feel like I would just be awful at this job and an awful nurse.
Sorry this is so long. I hope someone reads it and lets me know "yes you should look elsewhere" or "its ok".