What does a CNA REALLY do? - page 2

I'm going to be starting nursing school in August. I have been accepted into a CNA training program that starts next week. I thought it would be good work experience & would be some income to get... Read More

  1. by   sing_anyway
    It is a mixed bag
    on one hand, you get over any timidness in handling people really fast in LTC, you have "no bubble". You also learn to trust your instincts, as in, he just doesn't look right, what's going on?
    On the other hand,
    you have no ability to treat a problem, it depends on the charge nurse you have that day if something is deemed important,
    they tell me the most important part of my job is telling the nurse what I see, yet when I thought someone didn't look right and said so, I was told to stop worrying so much,
    turned out he'd had a stroke.
    I have been Nurse Aid for only 3 weeks,
    so far I"ve done:
    vitals, both manual and auto
    charting "behaviors"...confusion, reduced ability to perform ADL's, attention seeking, refusal of fluids, agressiveness,
    Bed baths for Hospice (God Bless all Hospice workers!)
    Brief changes (aka diapers) in bed
    foley cath care
    bed strips: change the bedding while resident is still in bed
    vomit catching: hold the bucket and pray they don't get you
    BM catching: as in, the patient has a blown rectum, and needs you to position them on the toilet and you need to do this with care, as if you stand in the wrong place:fire in the hole!
    droplet precautionary care for C-diff patient
    airborne precautionary care for MRSA patient
    changed colostomy bag
    warded off personal injury from severly aggressive residdent
    care for wounds...minimal, nurses usually handle most of that while I report how it looks
    feed people who can't chew
    talk to people who can't talk
    dress people that can't bend...
    lift everyone to one degree or another
    had a resident begin to fall on me, saved her from hitting floor while I also grabbed the wheelchair, locked the wheels, and got her into it.

    Now, 3 weeks ago, I was to timid to put a gait belt on someone tight enough to do any good. I was too timid to offer someone a drink if they didn't look friendly, I was too timid to wake someone while doing vitals, couldn't get the cuff on the correctly because I didn't want to bother them....
    So yes, there is value to doing it a while. I hear the best nurses were nurse aids first, and I believe it,
    But yes, it can burn you out,
    I love nursing, love caring, love medicine,
    I planned on going to school for it this year. Not so sure now, not because I am squeemish, just don't know if I have the heart to survive without a broken spirit.
    I would love to be in a hospital, it has it's bad times, but you get to help make people better, not just race to call lights because everyone has to pee at once and you are their only help!

    I wish you could do it just for a couple of weeks though, just to see how important it is to communicate with your nurse aids when you are a nurse.