HELP! I DON"T WANT TO GO THROUGH CNA first... - page 13

This is really not to put any profession down but I've dreamed of being a nurse for soooo long, now only to discover that before entering my LVN program, I have to get the CNA title first! I am... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    I've been following this thread since my post way back.

    I still think that if the OP doesn't want to be a CNA first, that is fine. Find a different school that doesn't require it.

    As to being a CNA first making you the best nurse ever or giving everyone a leg up or making you appreciative of CNA's - I am sure that is true of alot of people. However, not everyone MUST be a CNA first to be a good nurse, to appreciate CNA's or to give you a leg up.

    In my school, as I mentioned, we learned total patient care first and that is what we did in clinical. I had NO medical experience. I did fine.

    I also love my co-workers who are CNA's and agree that they bear the brunt of the physical labor. I also treat them as equal co-workers/teammates. When they take the patient to the shower, I change the bedding. I answer call lights when they are busy. I do bedpans, bedside commodes, urinals, bedbaths, etc. This all helps me with my assessment of patients as well as keeps everyone happy about their co-workers.

    As I also mentioned, I personally know a few nurses who were CNA's and hated it and avoid at all costs helping with total patient care assignments, let a call bell ring while finding the CNA, etc. This of course doesn't mean that all nurses who were CNA's first will be so glad not to be a CNA anymore that they refuse to help when they become a nurse. That is just as much a blanket statement as being a CNA first is what makes you a good nurse.

    To make those blanket statements that the only way to be a good nurse is to be a CNA first is not fair to those of us who were not CNAs first and are still good nurses who help our CNA co-workers.

    It all depends on the type of person you are and your ethics.

    To be leery of the more personal types of patient care is not a sin either by the way. No one jumps for joy at feces, urine, phglem, vomit, etc. I remember being afraid of anatomy lab having never been around dead bodies before but I ended up loving dissection theatre.

    Fear of the unknown is normal.

    Cutting the op slack would be nice . . . . steph
  2. by   TazziRN
    Stevie, I agree that not everyone needs to be a CNA first. It's a plus but not necessary. HOWEVER......that isn't the point of the OP....the point was that she said she doesn't want to change poopy diapers. She did change her wording later, but the OP was about dealing with poop.
  3. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from TazziRN
    Stevie, I agree that not everyone needs to be a CNA first. It's a plus but not necessary. HOWEVER......that isn't the point of the OP....the point was that she said she doesn't want to change poopy diapers. She did change her wording later, but the OP was about dealing with poop.
    I know - I was responding to all the others posts about being a CNA first making you a better nurse.

    steph
  4. by   chadash
    Quote from RNinSoCal
    Wow. I disagree with the other posters. I never wanted to be a CNA either. It is many many more pts and a lot of back breaking work to be a CNA. I do not have any problems with diapering and cleaning people, just not 12 people a day over and over!!!! As an RN I have only 4-5 pts on med/surg with no CNA. I do everything myself unless the pt is large and then another nurse helps.
    If at all possible you should look for a school that does not have that requirement. I went straight to RN with no prior experience and had scholarships and loans to get me through school. I don't think every nurse has to be a CNA first.
    Best of luck!!
    I agree. (I am a CNA, and for me, I think it would have been important to be a CNA first. It has helped me develop strengths in my weaker areas.)
    BUT, yes, it is so different than being an RN! They do clean stuff, but not in volume, it is not the 'end-all' of their job. You can do it without this experience.
    I would not stress too much. You just have to get certified, you really don't have to work as a CNA for any period of time. You won't see much.
    I would ask this though, what made you choose nursing as a carreer?
    What part of the job are you looking forward to?
  5. by   jamonit
  6. by   kiki2
    Quote from jellibum
    hi there, it is a small part of the job and the more that you focus on it the more gross it can get. rather than focus on the $hite, focus on the poor embarrassed person you needs help and that your empowering them to get on with their day. $hite comes and goes (pardon the pun) but the kindness of a stranger and one that doesn't get embarrassed themselves is usually never forgotten.
    well put! it is a small part of the job and no one likes doing it but put yourself in the patients place. i'm sure if they could do it themselves they would. if it bugs you that much choose a different profession.
  7. by   lookingforward
    exactly stevielynn!


    i never knew my post would be so popular!
    thanks to everyone, yes everyone, for their feedback.i have truly learned alot in these days alone!
    Last edit by lookingforward on Feb 8, '07
  8. by   nurseofalltrades
    To begin with, I believe starting out as a CNA makes you a more compassionate nurse to the CNAs working under you because you know personally what they are going thru. If you arent able to change grandmas depends and show her the compassion she deserves while in the hospital, why in the heck would I allow you to take care of my sick child? Maybe you should rethink your career choice.
  9. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from nurseofalltrades
    To begin with, I believe starting out as a CNA makes you a more compassionate nurse to the CNAs working under you because you know personally what they are going thru. If you arent able to change grandmas depends and show her the compassion she deserves while in the hospital, why in the heck would I allow you to take care of my sick child? Maybe you should rethink your career choice.

    I know for certain that for me, not being a CNA first has nothing to do with my ability to be compassionate.

    Nurses learn to do all the things CNA's do and nursing students do total patient care in the beginning of nursing school.

    In most hospitals, nurses still do some basic patient care and it is even more so nowadays after the ratio law in California, where some units are losing their CNA help - which is very sad.

    Being a CNA first can be helpful and I have no problem with it except when it comes to saying that being a CNA first guarantees you will be a more compassionate nurse.

    As to having qualms about poop . . . . I think that subject has been covered quite adequately for the OP . . . .

    Lookingforward - what are your plans now?

    steph
  10. by   Balder_LPN
    I once agreed w/ the OP. My advice to her is to "just do it". It will never be pleasent or fun to clean BM's but it is part of the job, and it is NOT nearly so bad or difficult as you think it will be. And beleive it or not; it has great rewards.

    I had thought about getting into nursing many years ago and actually didnt do it for this very reason! Not because I had to actually get my CNA, but because my wife was a nurse I knew you still had to clean butts, even if the CNA's do it more often. I actually thought it was the one thing in the world I would not be capable of!

    Well, I finally decided I could do it, and went ahead and got my prereqs mostly completed, and took my CNA cert last fall. I was very aprehensive about that first clinical day, but guess what, IT WAS AWESOME! Even though I had to change severl pt's diapers that week (and not all of them are old, I had one pt just a few years older than me with adv MS)

    I am now working as a tech (read CNA) in our local ER while I finish school. Even though I still have to clean up poopy messes from time to time, I still have a blast there. And dont ever think that an RN or LPN doesnt have to do it, they just dont do it as often as an aide, but it is still a regular part of the job in the ER, or on the floors in the hospital.

    If you really cant do it than you have to find a different career, sorry.
  11. by   nurse2006rn
    As a new RN (BSN), I am very grateful that they made us do CNA first. What I learned from that few Clinical experiences, especially with the elderly clients was awesome. Compassion is on top of the list and without that one does not belong to Nursing. With many baby boomers heading into retirement, Geriatric care is bound to expand to everywhere you go and not only in the LTC, but hospitals as well. So brace yourself take the class, have an open mind and you will enjoy it. Like previous posts have pointed out, we are all heading in that direction and it is a matter of time. With shortage of Nurses, I pray that I will have Nusring staff that will have the compassion to change my depend when the time comes. Until then, I am glad that it is a requirement for all new admissions into Nursing.
    Welcome to Nursing!!!
  12. by   lookingforward
    hi steph,
    my plans now are still the same. yes i hope that doesn't shock anyone, and even though many of you have written "i sure wouldn't want you to be my nurse..." (without knowing me....(?) ) but i will definately take the generous advice of some of the people in this post. i will have to do cna no matter what, it is part of my schooling and since there's no way to go around it, i will take each day as a learning experience. i forgot where in the post someone wrote something about learning humility through it all and that makes sense to me. i know myself well enough to know that i do not want to stay stuck there or as an lvn either (sorry) because i've always dreamed of being an rn. i do understand that rns have to clean poopy but the multitude of their other duties outweighs the poopy. i really would not mind working with children poopy! and some people wrote you have to work with older folks to know how to deal with the younger ones and i highly disagree...when you're own kids are born they are, uh, babies to my last recollection:selfbonk:. no one ever said, nor is it ever written anywhere that in order to be an outstanding nurse you must enjoy or make being a cna your lifetime profession. for some of us it is extremely difficult be a full time parent/student with limited income to settle for less after completing the challenge of nursing school! (sorry again since i know i've cause a lot of controversy here) so will i change "grandma's depends" ? (as one post put it)...yes, like i said earlier i take any job seriously and if that is required of me as part of my nursing profession (for the meantime) i will have to "suck it up" as i've been told over and over again... this doesn't make you more compassionate though... i know where my heart is, and it is not working with the older folks all day. yes i too will be old one day, this is very apparent, and come that day the people taking care of me will be there because thay want to be there.. and the nurse that doesn't want to be there will be busy in some other department doing what she/he is compassionate about doing! end of story...for now! i found so much information about the peds dept on their forum and you know what? i'll be ok! thanks stevie and best wishes!
    Last edit by lookingforward on Feb 8, '07
  13. by   AfloydRN
    I was also a CNA while in nursing school. I think it helped me organize and prioritize my work. I was always done in clinicals before the people who had no medical experience. They usually asked me to help them. It's just poop- trust me that's not the worst thing you will ever do as an RN.

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