Is anyone out there a CNA?

  1. Hello everyone.
    I am about to accept a position as a CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) at a long-term care facility this summer and I'd really like to know what I'm getting myself into.
    Are any of you currently CNA's?
    If so, do you enjoy your job?
    The pay is pretty decent and I know it will give me an edge for nursing school so those are positive.
    I just want to make sure I won't be unbearably miserable.
    Any help or advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

    Shel
    •  
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   alk3rainbow
    Well I got certified, but I'm not currently working as one. As for ltc, everyone is different so you might love working there. I absolutely hated my cna clinicals and I would never work in ltc. Its all up to you, good luck in what you decide. I mean it can't hurt.
  4. by   Aneroo
    Former CNA...I let my cert. run out, never wanted to get it back. Kinda kicking myself in the butt now b/c I cannot get my CNA II, but it's alright. In a year, I'll be a RN! Personally, I got so burnt out, I said screw it. I worked in a horrible rest home. See my post under nursing activism about CNA/pt ratio laws, or the lack of. My instructors in nursing school weren't impressed with those who had experience. They said they didn't care, they needed to look at each student the same, and teach us all the same material. However, it does make things go with ease in regards to turning, feeding, bathing...not as afraid I guess. Good luck-Andrea
  5. by   StacyC417
    I work as a CNA in home health. I still do LTC per-diem, but it's been a couple of months. I think that whether your experience is good or bad will have a lot to do with how well staffed the facility is. I don't mind LTC with a pt. ratio of 10 to 1 or better, but anything over that is a nightmare. I would definately find out their numbers before making any commitments. Good luck, and congrats on your new job!

    Stacy
  6. by   Love4Me
    I currently work in a LTC as a CNA. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. It all depends on how well you interact with the elderly, the patient/CNA ratio, and working with decent nurses. I personally only work 2 days a week, much more than that and I think I would burn out. I work the midnight shift. There is no feeding or showers. However, there is a lot of vitals, turning, changing briefs, toileting, and getting people cleaned and dressed for the morning shift.

    The ratio at our facility is supposed to be 10:1 or better. However, I haven't worked fully staffed in over 4 months. Over those 4 months, each time I've worked I've had no less than 18 residents (which is extremely overbearing).

    I will be starting the nursing program this fall. I think that being a CNA first really helps with getting familiarized with some of the things you will be dealing with. I believe that it will also help with your confiedence level. A couple of the CNAs were going into the nursing program, but after a couple of months of working as CNAs, they decided this was not the field for them.

    All in all, I would say it is worth a shot. If you don't like it, you could always find something else.
  7. by   studentnurse74
    I was also a cna, but stopped doing it. I think it will help me in nursing school, at least that first semester. I personally didn't enjoy ltc at all. I worked in a hospital. It specialized in orthopedic surgery, so I quit after a few years of backaches that I'm still paying for.
  8. by   tattooednursie
    I have been a CNA for nearly 2 years. It will either make you or break you in this field. It has its pro's and cons.

    The good thing about being a CNA is you get to work directly with the patients.
    The pay is usually more than minimum wage.
    Its a very rewarding job.

    of course, as in any job, there is the downside.

    You have to be able to be on your feet for pretty much the whole darn shift.
    There are alot of cranky burnt out people in this field, who might take out their frustrations on the newer staff.
    Some nurses do not respect CNA's as much as they should.

    In case you don't know all the duties of a cna you should know that you'll have to:
    Give showers and baths
    Do peri care (cleaning of the genital area) on men and women, often.
    You'll have to deal with combative and mentally challenged people (which was something that I came into the job not expecting)
    cleaning up poop, pee, vomit, blood, and also assist nurses with people with necrotic tissues (peeeeuuuuuuey).

    You'll know when your a "true" CNA, when you can clean up a river of liquid stool, then go to lunch and have mashed potatoes with very brown gravy, without even cringing.

    If you want to know more about it PM me.
  9. by   brinaa
    i did not like cna did it for five years and you are underpaid and you are not appreciated by family and facility and sorry to say but (some) nurses to.
  10. by   EmeraldNYL
    I was a CNA at a LTC facility for several years in college while working on my BS in biology. I am now an RN in an ICU. I think the pay was pretty decent for a college student, however you are often overworked and underappreciated. Some of the residents in the facility were very appreciative however which made it all worth it. My favorite patients were the Alzheimer's patients-- these were also the most challenging. I do feel that there should be minimum staffing laws for both nurses and CNAs in all facilities-- hospitals and LTC facilities both. Most nursing homes are in the business of making a profit-- sometimes residents can get substandard care. You will feel pulled in many directions when you have 15 residents to get bathed and out of bed before lunch-- you want to give them the best care possible but sometimes this is very difficult. On a positive note, when you do start nursing school, you will have an advantage over your classmates in that you will already be comfortable caring for patients. You will not be afraid to touch people, and you will not be grossed out by bodily fluids. Use it as a learning experience, observe the nurses closely, and ask lots of questions.
  11. by   shel_wny
    Wow! Thanks for all the responses.
    I'm going to give the place a call and inquire about the CNA to patient ratio. They said that there is always overtime available but they don't make it mandatory so that makes me think that mayyyybe they might just be a bit understaffed.
    I think I'm ok with bodily fluids and stuff though but we'll have to see about liquid poop. Never had the pleasure of dealing with that before. :uhoh21: As long as I'm wearing gloves and breathing through my mouth let's hope it goes ok.
    As I am just finishing up my requirements for nursing school, this seems like a good time to do this to see if it's something I really want to do as an RN.
    If anyone else has some more tips, advice, or words of encouragement/discouragement, please keep them coming!

    Shel
  12. by   mandykal
    Last edit by mandykal on May 30, '04
  13. by   studentnurse74
    Quote from shel_wny
    Wow! Thanks for all the responses.
    I'm going to give the place a call and inquire about the CNA to patient ratio. They said that there is always overtime available but they don't make it mandatory so that makes me think that mayyyybe they might just be a bit understaffed.
    I think I'm ok with bodily fluids and stuff though but we'll have to see about liquid poop. Never had the pleasure of dealing with that before. :uhoh21: As long as I'm wearing gloves and breathing through my mouth let's hope it goes ok.
    As I am just finishing up my requirements for nursing school, this seems like a good time to do this to see if it's something I really want to do as an RN.
    If anyone else has some more tips, advice, or words of encouragement/discouragement, please keep them coming!

    Shel
    One more thing, if you don't like being a CNA, don't assume that you don't want to be an RN. Voice your concerns with some nurses on these boards if there are any doubts. I'm sure they'll help.
  14. by   shel_wny
    Quote from studentnurse74
    One more thing, if you don't like being a CNA, don't assume that you don't want to be an RN. Voice your concerns with some nurses on these boards if there are any doubts. I'm sure they'll help.
    Alright! I've heard RN is a lot of paperwork and CNA is a lot of grunt work.
    Also, someone today told me my personality would make a great nursing home CNA cause I could cheer them up a bit and brighten their day.
    That was encouraging.

    Shel

close