Did becoming a CNA help you with your nursing career? Do you wish you would have been one before you became a nurse, or are you glad that you didn't? What is your experience?
It was very helpful for me. I was able to get comfortable with doing basic care for patients. Confidence around patients is huge, especially for nurses. I learned tricks on how to turn patients/position pillows/make beds effectively, general familiarity with getting specimens and using equipment like lift equipment, how to apply tele/oxygen (christmas trees, humidifiers, etc), workflow of a typical day, how to help prep patients for tests, and how to become comfortable around patients (big for me because I was very shy), how to talk with them, and what their common fears and issues were. I also got to see a typical patient of X/Y/Z diagnosis to gain some familiarity with that as well. I also got to see how nurses reacted to tough situations. I very much enjoyed being a CNA and would have done it much longer had the pay not been far less than my other job.
One of the most important things about becoming a CNA first is that you get your foot in the door for when it comes time to apply for a RN job. It is becoming more competitive to get a RN job, so having patient care experience, or being considered an internal candidate, is huge.
I highly recommend being a CNA for all aspiring nurses. It will give you the basic foundation to make the transition that much smoother
Last edit by Ayvah on Jun 15, '13