I am very sure there is a huge difference between a nurse whose done CNA first and one who hasn't. Even just in basic hands on stuff-- I still feel like I might break someone every time I touch them. Yesterday was day 4. This has been so hugely eye-opening.
I'm considering advocating for patient/staffing ratios. My week has ended much better than it began, but I still feel so heavy in my heart. Is is absolutely not possible to care for 8 (and sometimes more) residents fully. The place I was working does not call someone in if someone called out. They just divvy up the residents so it becomes 10-1. Twice I had residents wheeled away from me when I'd been with them a very long time for feeding. It took them awhile to start eating, but I finally got them to eat, and they were wheeled away.
One of them, the GNA said to me, "it's okay- she's on her way out anyway." it's not okay!!!!
My husband was working opposite me all week Until yesterday, when he was off. Last night I gave the kids video games to play together in their rooms, and hubby and I talked. I just cried for a half hour. I was trying to tell him how important it is that we make living wills now, while we're lucid, so we can plan for situations in case we face the possibility of dependent care. He didn't understand why I felt so strongly about it.
What's harder- he didn't understand why LTC facilities might be a bad choice. It was then that I realized that this isn't something you can just tell someone about and expect them to "get". Seeing it day in and day out is what changes you. Seeing it first hand is what makes you realize how terrible it can be. I have a feeling my sobbing through stories may have made an impact on him. I'm not a cryer in sadness. Not normally, anyway. I'm a happy cryer, generally. This week has touched my heart that deeply. It has left profound sadness.
So my state has CNA and GNA testing separately. I've decided not to get GNA because it's only use would be LTC, and I can't handle LTC. I've been scoping the hospital's listings and I'll probably apply at doctor's offices. It's complicated because I'll be dialing back my hours so much when school starts. This experience has truly been far more eye-opening than I ever imagined. I'm glad for all I've learned, and I can honestly say I have grown through this a lot. (Which sounds crazy when I've only done 4 days of clinical, but it doesn't take much.)
Anyway, if you're still reading this long-winded novel, thank you. It feels good to have a place to share this kind of stuff where people will understand.