Were You a Nursing Assistant

  1. before you started nursing school?
    Did it give you a really good idea of what nursing is all about?
    I have heard it both ways. Would like to take a poll to find out
    more info.....
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  2. 56 Comments

  3. by   SteveNNP
    1. Yes

    2. Working as a CNA I didn't get an idea of nursing, but as a patient care tech I did. (Working in the hospital)
  4. by   akcarmean
    1) yes

    2) cna really didn't give me any idea of what nursing school would be like. it did though give me an idea of i was going to be able to deal with BM, vomit, blood, being able to relate to the pt., etc.

    and it helped me pay my bills while I was doing my pre-reqs for LPN acceptance
  5. by   jessiern
    Yes, I was.

    Yes, it helped me to become comfortable with patients and families. And it helped me to learn basic nursing care (baths, transfer techniques, time management, ect).

    Interestingly enough, I found working as a unit sec. helped me more in school though. I was more familiar with labs, meds, ect.
  6. by   PeachyERNurse
    1) I was a nursing assistant (patient care tech) during nursing school. I hated it, and quit after 4 months.

    2) It didn't really give me a great idea of what nursing was all about since I was responsible for up to 20 patients, and I barely had time to do my job let alone observe what actual nursing was about. I'm done with nursing school now, and I love nursing (so far anyway).
  7. by   Woodenpug
    1. Yes, for 5 years before finishing L.V.N. school.
    2. Yes. My circumstances would be impossible to duplicate today. I worked as a CNA on a med/surg/oncology floor at a busy acute care hospital. We had 20 to 25 patients on nights and many of them were total care. I had over three years experience, when I applied to L.V.N. school. Just as in licensed nursing it takes up to a year, working full time, to really become good at the job. It's at that time I began learning stuff that was useful for me as an L.V.N. and at times useful for me today.
    A tech position, as posted earlier, would be of similar benefit today. I believe your interest in nursing school will help you to get a tech position at an acute care facility. Once you finish school, you would probably find it easy to get a position at that hospital.
    An added advantage to working as a tech first is you will be able to check-out the working environment. If you liked the people and management as a tech, you'll probably like them as a licensed nurse.
  8. by   pagandeva2000
    Yes, I was a CNA, Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist and Patient Care Tech.

    I believe that it taught me how to deal with scared and difficult patients, and I got to watch what nurses did, and it did gauge how I performed in the nursing program. I also learned early how nurses dealt with some things, and how they worked around impossible situations. It didn't help with learning about medications, or other skills that the nurse actually does, but, that was why I was in school, right? I'm glad that I was a CNA first.
  9. by   TX_ICU_RN
    I was a nursing assistant my first semester of nursing school on an adult med/surg floor. I almost quit school because I hated it so much. However, my senior year I took a job on a pedi floor. I loved it and was so thankful for the experience when I graduated.
  10. by   angel4gramma
    worked as a cna for 7 yrs before getting my RN. I helped me by showing me I wanted to stay in the medical field. I liked my job but wanted to do "everything" for my pts.
  11. by   SaraO'Hara
    Yes - I'll have been one for two years when I graduate with my LVN.

    It helps in that you're not at sea giving basic care, but there is nothing resembling the nursing process going on there. If you recognise a change in your patient - plan A and plan B are to tell the nurse.

    Sooner or later, though.... you ARE the nurse! :uhoh21:
  12. by   Chaya
    Yes, it helped me immeasurably in terms of repeated exposure to the most common medical conditions plus helped me get skills such as blood pressures and glucometers down solid. Our clinicals were about 10 hours of patient contact/ wk X about 10 weeks-I just needed more exposure.
  13. by   ChristineN
    I was/am a PCT throughout nursing school and will have 21months experience as a PCT when I begin working as a GN in Aug. Do I think it helped? Absolutely. I feel very comfortable with time management, because I'm used to taking care of 12-20 (or more!) pts as a PCT, so in school I never seem to have a problem managing my time for 1-2 pts. I also think working as a PCT helps because it allows you to get more comfortable with direct pt care skills. You may say that as an RN you won't have to do them, but you never know. The number one way that I believe working as a PCT has helped me is that it has allowed me to see things from the aides perspective. It allows me to truly appreciate all the hard work that aides do. As a nurse, I have no intention of labeling certain tasks "aide jobs" that are beneath my doing. If I'm in the room and it needs done, the aide needs help, etc. that's what I'm here for. It's my pt. too.
  14. by   EarthChild1130
    I was not a CNA...I did work as a behavioral aide in a psychiatric evaluation unit while I was in school.

    As for med/surg skills, obviously it didn't help there...but I feel that it helped tremendously to prepare me for my career in psych nursing.

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