Hi everyone, I want to become a CNA and wanted to know how do I become one? How long will it take? I have read that CNA's have to change bed pans alot. I have a very weak stomach and to me this sounds pretty bad and don't know if I can handle doing this. Was wondering if any CNA's wear a mask when cleaning stool?
Apr 1, '01
I'm not certified as a CNA, so I can't tell you how to become one. But I do work in the same capacity as a CNA while I'm in nursing school. CNAs are responsible for doing basic patient care, and yes, alot of the time it includes cleaning up pts who have been incontinent. It's something that you just get used to. Patients are embarassed to need help with bathing, toileting, etc., and I'm much more concerned with making the patient comfortable than I am with smells, stools, etc. Helping to maintain the pt's dignity is so important--imagine if you were in their shoes and needed help, would you want someone coming in with a face mask? That would just add to the humiliation.
CNA's are often the ones who have the most contact with patients and although a hard job, this can be very rewarding. Good luck!
Apr 3, '01
In many States, long-term care facilities offer training programs for CNA's. The programs are usually OJT and involve classroom as well as clinical. I was a CNA for four years before becoming an RN. I was trained (with pay) in a long-term care facility, and, required board testing at completion of the training. Being a CNA is hard work, but, rewarding. Personal care of the patients is your primary duty, ie.: bathing, feeding, transporting, and, yes, cleaning up accidents from incontinent patients (it's no easier on the patient than it is on you). Should you choose to do this, you will find yourself faced with many opportunities for learning. I found that treating my patients with the respect and dignity that I would wish to be treated with worked for me. I chose to go on with my education for many reasons. One problem CNA's frequently face is understaffing. I often had 25-30 patients (total care). That pretty much breaks down to endless rounds of clean-up with little time for interaction. The facility policies and nurses you work with can make a difference, so choose well. I often worked with RN's who wouldn't turn a hand to help in any way. I bring these experiences with me now as an RN. I consider nursing a team approach from housekeeping to the doctors and everyone in between. I treat everyone with respect and expect (and sometimes get!) the same in return. Good luck to you.