EMT or CNA course which teaches most skills?

  1. Help! was just planning my schedule (tentatively of course) through next year and have decided that if i have lag time between the start of my nursing program (assuming i get in of course :chuckle ), that i will probably take the EMT or CNA course or maybe Phlebotomy to get a headstart on the clinical skills for nursing. My question to all of you is which do you think will give me the most exposure to the clinical skill set needed. Phlebotomy is my last choice because it is mainly one skill (or set) from what i gather. CNA seems the most logical but i'm not sure how many procedures they actually learn, i figure i'll catch on to bedbaths and bed making etc.. quickly so i am mainly interested in the extra practice time for skills that i can't practice at home. Which will give me the most diverse (yet needed) skills for the RN program?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   lsyorke
    CNA would give you the most floor type nursing experience. EMT would give you more ER or first aid type training.
  4. by   suzanne4
    Does your school require you to complete a CNA program before beginning? Many of the programs are now requiring this..............
  5. by   smk1
    Quote from suzanne4
    Does your school require you to complete a CNA program before beginning? Many of the programs are now requiring this..............
    no they don't i just figure it seems like a smart idea to get a jumpstart on clinical skills. I am leaning towards EMT because from what i have heard it seems as though the variety in the skills they perform will be great exposure. CNA though might pertain to the first semester of RN course work so i may go this route, who knows if their is enough time i might do both!
  6. by   lunakat
    What state are you in? I am in CA. I am taking the CNA this summer and am completing the EMT class as we speak. In my class there are no clinicals. To get your cert, you have to have 12 hours ride along time. During the ride along you is an observer; the only thing you might help with is Vitals, or CPR. My friend just completed the CNA course and had clinical every week! So of your looking for clinical experience go the CNA route...
  7. by   smk1
    Quote from lunakat
    What state are you in? I am in CA. I am taking the CNA this summer and am completing the EMT class as we speak. In my class there are no clinicals. To get your cert, you have to have 12 hours ride along time. During the ride along you is an observer; the only thing you might help with is Vitals, or CPR. My friend just completed the CNA course and had clinical every week! So of your looking for clinical experience go the CNA route...
    im in washington/oregon (border so i'll go in either state if it comes down to it). I think CNA probably will be what i take then maybe phlebotomy. I am kind of shocked and...kind of scared to be honest,that some EMT courses don't allow you to practice your skills. How would this work? :uhoh21:
  8. by   lunakat
    Quote from smkoepke
    im in washington/oregon (border so i'll go in either state if it comes down to it). I think CNA probably will be what i take then maybe phlebotomy. I am kind of shocked and...kind of scared to be honest,that some EMT courses don't allow you to practice your skills. How would this work? :uhoh21:
    You do get to practice but it's on dummies or your class partners. Mainly it's on the job training. You have to pass a skills test to get your EMT cert. So you have to prove you can do a traction splint or assess a trauma patient. In Ca there is usually and EMT 2 riding with you on a rig which is helpful for inexperinced EMT 1s. But as for any real hands on experience it's usually on a call....
  9. by   debblynn13
    I am an EMT-B and have been for several years. I have also taken the nurses aid course, it was required for the nursing program I am attending.

    The EMT-B course taught me more anatomy and physiology behind things. It also taught me emergency treatment, remember the A,B,C's, stop bleeding, vital signs, transport and some documentation.

    The nurses aid course taught me more daily care of a patient. Transfers, bathing, range of motion, activities of daily living, restraints, laws pertaining to the health field.

    They are two separate fields. EMt more complaint focused, stabilize and transfer. Nurses aid more person focused, comfort, health, long term care.

    I would lean towards the Nurse aid course myself and if you have a chance to actually work as an aid it would help immensely.

    As for the phlebotomy, I have considered this myself. I was advised by my teacher and some other students not to take this class before I do my RN level and iv starting. They say you hold the needle differently in your hand when starting IV's than when you draw blood, and if you learn blood draws first it is hard to retrain yourself. Quite a few places have other people do blood draws anymore,CP1's and phlebotomists. RN's are the IV starters, so I figure I will take their advise and learn the IV techniques first.

    Good luck with whatever you choose,
    debblynn (LPN grad in one week.....Yeaaaaaaaahhhhh)
  10. by   lsyorke
    "I am kind of shocked and...kind of scared to be honest,that some EMT courses don't allow you to practice your skills. How would this work?"

    I have my EMT and my RN. The "skills" portion of the ambulance is pretty much provided by the Paramedics. EMT's do splinting,wound dressing,vital signs,transportation and CPR, while the paramedics do the meds and advanced interventions.
  11. by   smk1
    Quote from lsyorke
    "I am kind of shocked and...kind of scared to be honest,that some EMT courses don't allow you to practice your skills. How would this work?"

    I have my EMT and my RN. The "skills" portion of the ambulance is pretty much provided by the Paramedics. EMT's do splinting,wound dressing,vital signs,transportation and CPR, while the paramedics do the meds and advanced interventions.
    thanks for the info!
  12. by   suzanne4
    Quote from debblynn13
    I am an EMT-B and have been for several years. I have also taken the nurses aid course, it was required for the nursing program I am attending.

    The EMT-B course taught me more anatomy and physiology behind things. It also taught me emergency treatment, remember the A,B,C's, stop bleeding, vital signs, transport and some documentation.

    The nurses aid course taught me more daily care of a patient. Transfers, bathing, range of motion, activities of daily living, restraints, laws pertaining to the health field.

    They are two separate fields. EMt more complaint focused, stabilize and transfer. Nurses aid more person focused, comfort, health, long term care.

    I would lean towards the Nurse aid course myself and if you have a chance to actually work as an aid it would help immensely.

    As for the phlebotomy, I have considered this myself. I was advised by my teacher and some other students not to take this class before I do my RN level and iv starting. They say you hold the needle differently in your hand when starting IV's than when you draw blood, and if you learn blood draws first it is hard to retrain yourself. Quite a few places have other people do blood draws anymore,CP1's and phlebotomists. RN's are the IV starters, so I figure I will take their advise and learn the IV techniques first.

    Good luck with whatever you choose,
    debblynn (LPN grad in one week.....Yeaaaaaaaahhhhh)
    I worked in a lab while I was in nursing school and got trained as a phlebotomist, within two weeks they needed someone to start IVs, this was actually before the nurses were doing it, and I was trained...........Did that for over one year and it never caused any problems. I can still get move IVs in when others can't, and for me it was a benefit having the training. And this is with over 25 yrs of hospital experience to back me up.

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