Student Nurse/NO Experience

  1. I start my clinicals in the fall (actually I do one this summer but its in a lab on campus). I have never had any healthcare experience at all. Is this going to be a disadvantage for me in school and when I graduate and look for a job? I just dont have room in my schedule to work while in school (I take 18 hours a semester most of the time), plus i am married and have to keep up with the house. Can I be just as competitive without the experience? After a few semesters i would like to try to get an intern or externship in an area of interest but even that is not a guaranteed.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Most sudents don't have any experience when they start school and usually don't even attempt to get any until their last year. I wouldn't worry about it right now. Just take one day at a time and get the best grades that you can.
    Remember that a nursing license is a nursing license....you will get a complete orientation when you graduate..

    Good luck...............
  4. by   skanded
    I was pretty much in the same boat, although I worked for an oral surgeon as an assistant so I had that experience. I am married with a 20 month old so I now how precious your time is.

    First semester clinicals were tough, I hated it. I felt like I had NO IDEA what to do or what to say to the pts or how to interact. Second semester was a little better. Over break between 2nd and 3rd semester, I took a CNA II position at the hospital in the float pool. I worked over break and now I usually work 8- 12 hours a month. It has made a BIG difference this semester (3rd). I feel totally comfortable dealing with people. I learned more in 1 day working than I did in both semester clinicals previously.

    I would encourage you to check into float pool, you can give your hours you can work and if they need you fine and if not fine too. THe experience will really help you, but I do not think it will greatly hender you if you don't have it.

    GOOD LUCK!
  5. by   scrubs70
    I have 6 months to go and had no experience. I have a wife with cerebral palsey, who requires full time care, and 3 girls under 8 to look after at the same time as I have been studying. You will do fine, just take each day as it comes.
    Last edit by scrubs70 on Apr 11, '04
  6. by   orrnlori
    This is just my opinon. I think working as a CNA prior to becoming a nurse is way overblown. What it WILL do though is get you used to touching and handling patients. I was a banker for 20 years before becoming a nurse and the only touching I did was to shake hands with people. I worked as a CNA between the first and second years of nursing school, I was the handmaiden for the nurses. I hated it but it taught me how to physically handle patients. Other than that, and finding out I didn't want to work in a private hospital because of the way the doctor's treated the nurses, it was not of much use to me when I became a nurse, working as a teaching assistant in the Anatomy and Physiology department taught me much much more while I was in school. It may help on your resume. I have real mixed feelings about telling any nursing student they should do it, especially when you need to be concentrating on school.
  7. by   skanded
    Quote from orrnlori
    This is just my opinon. I think working as a CNA prior to becoming a nurse is way overblown. What it WILL do though is get you used to touching and handling patients. I was a banker for 20 years before becoming a nurse and the only touching I did was to shake hands with people. I worked as a CNA between the first and second years of nursing school, I was the handmaiden for the nurses. I hated it but it taught me how to physically handle patients. Other than that, and finding out I didn't want to work in a private hospital because of the way the doctor's treated the nurses, it was not of much use to me when I became a nurse, working as a teaching assistant in the Anatomy and Physiology department taught me much much more while I was in school. It may help on your resume. I have real mixed feelings about telling any nursing student they should do it, especially when you need to be concentrating on school.
    Ha! We have lots of similiarities! I was in banking for 7 years and I also love Scotties!

    I agree the main reason I feel being a CNA is helpful is I learned how to interact with the patient. Before in clinical if they were sleeping I didn't want to wake them, I didn't know what to say how to make small talk, etc. But as an aide when I had to get stuff done I learned to just go in do my stuff and the conversation just came naturally. Also, during my 6 hour clinical days once (now twice) a week, I didn't get to do alot with my 1 patient, where as working and having several patients, I can easily do foleys and other things.
  8. by   orrnlori
    Hey Susan - Glad to meet another ex-banker, there are several of us on this site and several devoted Scottie lovers as well! Good luck with school!
  9. by   gij1
    My first 2 semesters i had a difficult time in clinicals. Just did not feel comfortable. There never seemed enough actual practice time in the lab compared to the real world of the hospital. Then i got a job as a home health aid for the summer. I was a different person after that, much more confident. Also got my LPN before my RN which helped me gain confidence working as a nurse. My school does not recommend getting LPN first but i disagree. The actual nursing experience is just too valuable.
  10. by   Betty_SPN_KS
    The coordinator of my program said don't worry if you hadn't been a CNA first. "We want to teach you our way. You won't have to unlearn bad habits."

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