CNA Anyone?

  1. I was just curious if there were any CNA's on the board? It not, can someone please tell me what they do? I am condidering talking a 9 week CNA course at my local Adult School.

    It's a really long story, but to make it a little shorter... I couldn't be added to the chem class at the CC I'm going to., so I opted for an all daySaturday Sociology class that I know I will eventually need anyway. Then my boss who had said .. "I'll defenitley work around your school hours".. decided it was just better for me to resign (Ahhh ) so that's what I did. My last day is next Friday... so I can either find another customer service job or take the CNA course, but before I sign up officially.... I wanted to know what they really did and where they are usually employed, i guess monwy isn't the biggest issue, I'm looking at it from the aspect of getting into the medical field while I get my ADN...
    So, any one out there to answer my quetion?
    S
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  2. 39 Comments

  3. by   Gator,SN
    Well, I can tell you what I do, maybe that will help.
    I work on a med/surg floor and I get an assignment in the morning when I get into work (usually 6 or 7 pts, sometimes as many as 10) and I bathe them, make the bed, feed them, ambulate them, get them into the chair etc.. I take vital signs, recond I&O and eventually collect all that. (foleys, NG tubes, chest tubes, IV's colostomy, t-tubes, ) take the pts to the bathroom, and if they don't make it, then we take care of that too!
    We try to keep the pts. rooms tidy if time allows, we fill water pitchers, stock supplies on the floor, replace needle boxes, clean equipment, chase call bells and on the weekends we double as transport for whichever floor we are on. We record some things in the chart, but not much. And anything else that we are asked to do. (which may include helping Physical Therapy, RT, phlabotomy etc)
    Both hospitals and nursing homes in my area are hiring CNA's but I guess it depends on the facility and the unit.
    I'll be honest, I think that this is going to help me as far as being comfortable with the patients, geting used to moving difficult patients and learning many tricks that will save me time and my back. I am learning how to deal with all types of personalities too!

    The best part of the job is when you have a patient that you know you helped and when you work with nurses who appreciate you (most of them do).....that makes everything better!

    hope that helps! Good luck to you!

    Gator
  4. by   Dazedgiggle
    Hi, I'm an RN now, but I was a CNA for about 6 years (loved it, by the way!!). Gator, SN's answer is very accurate, you'll take care of the basic needs of the patient, all I have to add is that SOME facilities also train you to straight catch a patient and take blood sugars also. But I really wanted to add that Gator, SN was absolutely right as far as her CNA career helping her in her nursing career. You do learn how do deal with patients, their families, and the different personalities out there, not to mention time management! I'm not sure how popular my opinion is, but I really believe a six month run of being a CNA, minimum, should be required to become a nurse. Good luck in whatever you plan to do!!
  5. by   nrs2bme
    Thank You both for your answers... I was already leaning towards the course because I feel like "Why should I start another job in a completeley different field?" I'm really excited about Nursing school and really want to get "hands on"... I was waiting for some sort of a "sign" and I think that losing my job was actually not so bad... I feel like it's a whole new beginning for me... my husband has been so great about all of this he says that if I really want to do it... it's fine!
    S
  6. by   colleen10
    Hi nrs2be,

    I would really like to take a CNA course and work as one while going through nursing school, but so far my school schedule hasn't interfered with my work and I make nice so money so, I'm staying put.

    I definately feel that working as a CNA is a good idea for your circumstance. If you need to work while in school and you're going to have to find another job anyway and if the money isn't too much less than what you were making or if money is not too much of a concern I say go for it.

    I would also advise you that if you are taking your CNA course through your CC that you check and find out if there is any program to assist in paying for the course if you are unemployed, etc.

    I only say this because I know in my area there is a great need for CNA's and with the economy being the way it is right now my local CC offers the course for free or at a discount for displaced workers, etc.

    It could be worth checking out.

    Good Luck!

    Col
  7. by   Flo1216
    CNA's straight cathing patients? No way! I check blood sugars but I don't think CNAS should be allowed to perform such an invasive procedure. And I AM a CNA.
  8. by   StrawberryBSN
    i beleive cna's can "collect samples" after being straight cath'd in my state
  9. by   Flo1216
    I don't understand that. If the nurse is straight cathing the pt then why doesn't she get the sample at the same time? I just don't think that CNAS should perform invasive procedures, especially sterile procedures. But that is just me.
  10. by   eak16
    wow. I am a CNA and i cant even do blood sugars! MN says it is the law in this state.
    Anyway., I would recommend doing it. The class was a real drag, but I have lots of experience now that will really helps in my clinicals. One thing though, try to get a job in a hospital , and research local hospitals to see whether they all require experience in a Long Term Care Facility before they will hire. We need good people in long term care, but it is a shock to those of us who beleive that patients come first and have rights. My SIX day clinical in a LTC to become at CNA was utter hell (it didn;'t help that it started on September 11th) , the residents were treated horribly. Anyway, jsut my two cents.
    Also being a CNA helps because you know that if you can handle all the poop and heavy lifting as a CNA you can probably handle nursing!
  11. by   Flo1216
    I can see why CNAS may not be allowed to do blood sugars. They are easy to do and most pts do their own at home but I have seen a lot of CNAS do them wrong and get inaccurate results. That could be dangerous if the pt is receiving insulin. I learned to do them in nursing school, though.
  12. by   mario_ragucci
    I have been a CNA at a cardiac overflow unit (telemetry) and several previous posters have hit it right on. Sometimes its hard when the nurses ar buzy and you have to boost a PT, and you need two people. Or to change a BM of a large person. Another hard part is having a PT beg you for pain meds, or asks you to go smoke, or questions about their conditions. The RN's know that, but CNA's don't.
    The great part about CNA for me is 1. it is right up my alley since I am starting nursing school. I can ask the RNs questions and they speak their golden tounge. 2. everyone thanks you for help. I love to feel needed, and loved, and in a CNA capacity you are in a position to help and assist both PT's and staff.
    Also sometimes I help transport a PT to xray or dialysis, or take specimins to the lab, or pick up a medical record, or gather equipment for the RN's

    CNA is the best job on earth !!!!!! :-)
  13. by   mario_ragucci
    Flo - How can you take an inaccurate CBG? You put a drop of blood and it covers the dot and you stick it in.

    Trivia...How did they check blood sugar before glucometers? They would taste the urine to see if it ws sweet.
  14. by   Mkue
    i'm glad to hear that there are cna's who enjoy their work. i have a few nursing assistants in my nutrition class and they complain constantly about the nurses at their ltc facility. i just want to say..

    stop complaining because you will be a nurse someday and things will look differently to you..

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