Does it help being a CNA in Nursing School?

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    Hi. Just call me TKD for short. Male Nursing Student. (Females can do TKD too.)
    I have just finished the first quarter. In our state we can apply for CNA licensure. My question is: Will it help my skills or even help me in any way in the upcoming quarters? Thanks.
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    It can, because then you're getting people skill practice, exposed to procedures, hear about meds, etc.

    For example, in my Nursing Skills class, we talked about Jackson-Pratt and Hemovac drainage systems. Three hours later, i'm at work and saw BOTH kinds of drains 'in action'. It definately helped in my learning process to be able to see things happen as i learned about them.
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    Yes... ah no ..... err maybe


    I've been asked this same question recently in RL. (I did work as a CNA before and during nursing school) What I recommended was to work as a float in different departments and on different shifts. I learned tons of stuff being a CNA but as a CNA you get a very limited perspective on nursing. On some floors and shifts all you'll do is run from room to room handling code browns. On others you'll sit around all day and on some you'll learn a ton.

    It really depends on the who, what, when, why and how of the situation as to how much you learn. Some nurses will treat you like trash other will take you under their wing some will try to talk you out of nursing and others will make you talk your self out of nursing.

    So you can learn allot but keep in mind that nursing is much more then you'll be exposed to in your role as a CNA. So use it as a learning experience but don't allow it to turn you off to nursing. Nursing is one career that is truly what you make of it. There are so many choices and opportunities if you find you don't like one floor/shift/hospital/LTC...... you can always find another that you will. I've seen many people leave nursing school after having worked as a CNA and thats sad.
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    I was a CNA for 10 years, 3 of them while I was in nssg school and it was a big help. It was obvious to me and my instructors that my experience was an asset. When you work a floor and your assignment is 10 pt's. it is nothing to have a clinical assignment of 1 or 2 pt's. ALSO, I had no trouble at all walking into a room and taking control and doing what needed to be done. i was very comfortable doing the talking. My fellow students did not have anywhere near the comfort level I did.
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    Just went to my nursing orientation last night for my 1st year of nursing school. My biggest question after all this... how in the world do you work and do nursing school at the same time?? Even my husband (who went to orientation with me) came away from it going, "geez, there's no way you'd have time to work and take on all that at the same time.." I'm just in awe, I don't know how people do it.
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    If you have to work & go to school anyway, you might as well be a CNA (assuming you can get comparable pay to whatever job you have now). I think the experience would be good & also you will have a level of empathy when you're a nurse working with CNA's.
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    Thanks for all your replies. And Dayray actually answered my next question which was what floor/ward. But knowing how it is here (they'll hire medical assistants over CNA in some floors/wards because they can perform more tasks with only a dollar pay more), it will probably be hard for me to rotate.

    Thanks again. It's great getting advice from people that have been there and done that.
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    Quote from mariedoreen
    Just went to my nursing orientation last night for my 1st year of nursing school. My biggest question after all this... how in the world do you work and do nursing school at the same time?? Even my husband (who went to orientation with me) came away from it going, "geez, there's no way you'd have time to work and take on all that at the same time.." I'm just in awe, I don't know how people do it.
    I don't want to be negative here, but I don't believe it's a good idea to work and go to school. Summers, yes. Holiday PRN, yes, but generally, part of the expense of going to nursing school is the lost wages during that period. People who do, often don't pass semesters. People who do often don't get good grades, and you need those grades because the represent knowledge you've gained. Take out a loan. Live at a lower standard, but the only advice I would ever give anyone is that until you can live off your spouses income, or loans, or whatever, you're probably not ready for nursing school--even if you are smart enough. I hope this doesn't bring you down to much.

    Acosmic
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    Quote from TaeKwonDoRN
    Hi. Just call me TKD for short. Male Nursing Student. (Females can do TKD too.)
    I have just finished the first quarter. In our state we can apply for CNA licensure. My question is: Will it help my skills or even help me in any way in the upcoming quarters? Thanks.
    Working as a CNA on holidays, summers, PRN will give you depth of knowledge. One person said that there is a lot more to nursing than code browns; true. But there is a lot more to nursing than just annotations in a chart and a stethescope over bowel quadrants. I was working with a nurse today who had no clue how to transfer a patient from a bed to a chair. I have to believe that an RN should be better at that sort of thing than any CNA, tech or LPN. I know many nurses who were never techs or CNAs. But I am a tech, and have been for a year, on the very floor I've been hired to start the internship as soon as I pass NCLEX. I have to believe that it will give me an advantage in learning. We'll see.

    Acosmic
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    Quote from AcosmicRN
    I don't want to be negative here, but I don't believe it's a good idea to work and go to school. Summers, yes. Holiday PRN, yes, but generally, part of the expense of going to nursing school is the lost wages during that period. People who do, often don't pass semesters. People who do often don't get good grades, and you need those grades because the represent knowledge you've gained. Take out a loan. Live at a lower standard, but the only advice I would ever give anyone is that until you can live off your spouses income, or loans, or whatever, you're probably not ready for nursing school--even if you are smart enough. I hope this doesn't bring you down to much.

    Acosmic
    I strongly disagree with this advice. I haven't decided, myself, whether to move from escort to CNA, but I definitely think some health care background is helpful.
    My classmates who are CNA's and LPN's definitely have a leg up. If I had it to do over, I would definitely have taken my hospital's employee development program before starting nursing school.
    It is hard to balance work and school. Sometimes I neglect work and family for school, sometimes I neglect school and family for work, and I'm averaging 4-5 hours sleep a night. My grades have slipped a little--got a B in Pharm--but from what I've seen, a big part of nursing is setting priorities. That B was triage--I was having a pretty easy time in Pharm and Micro and the theory part of nursing, but straight A's weren't going to matter if I didn't learn to do an acceptable care plan in clinicals, so that got most of my attention.
    Mainly, though, it just seems to me that if you wait until conditions are ideal, you'll never do it.
    That, and do try to have an understanding family.

    I appear to have fallen in love with the word "definitely." That's rather odd.
    It's definitely time to go to bed.
    Last edit by nursemike? on Jun 5, '04


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