Nursing Student HATES Nursing Assistant Job

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    Before I started nursing school I was really freaked out because I've never worked in a hospital and I wasn't sure what to expect when we started clinicals. So, I decided to get a job as a PCT on a med-surg ortho floor (also known as CNA or nursing assistant) to gain some experience. Well, I HATE my job. The nurses treat me like crap (I don't even bother telling some of them I'm a nursing student because most of them sterotype PCT's as being stupid and uneducated), and the unit secretary is a pain in my a$$. She's always following me around telling me to go do this and that. She'll even call me (on the intercom thingy) while I'm in a patient's room to tell me to go do something else when she can clearly see that I'm busy. I hate doing Q4 vitals on 15-20 patients, I hate passing 15-20 trays, I hate being called every 5 seconds to "go do this, or go do that", I hate everything about nursing that I've experience thus far. Thing is, I only work once a week, and each week I find myself becoming physically ill at the thought of having to endure 8 hours of their crap. I'm starting to wonder, if I can't even hadle being a PCT, how the heck am I gonna be able to handle being a nurse? Sorry for the long rant. I just needed to vent.
  2. 57 Comments so far...

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    Quote from futurnurse
    Before I started nursing school I was really freaked out because I've never worked in a hospital and I wasn't sure what to expect when we started clinicals. So, I decided to get a job as a PCT on a med-surg ortho floor (also known as CNA or nursing assistant) to gain some experience. Well, I HATE my job. The nurses treat me like crap (I don't even bother telling some of them I'm a nursing student because most of them sterotype PCT's as being stupid and uneducated), and the unit secretary is a pain in my a$$. She's always following me around telling me to go do this and that. She'll even call me (on the intercom thingy) while I'm in a patient's room to tell me to go do something else when she can clearly see that I'm busy. I hate doing Q4 vitals on 15-20 patients, I hate passing 15-20 trays, I hate being called every 5 seconds to "go do this, or go do that", I hate everything about nursing that I've experience thus far. Thing is, I only work once a week, and each week I find myself becoming physically ill at the thought of having to endure 8 hours of their crap. I'm starting to wonder, if I can't even hadle being a PCT, how the heck am I gonna be able to handle being a nurse? Sorry for the long rant. I just needed to vent.
    Have you started clinicals at your school yet? I can assure you not even nursing students get treated like that. Maybe the hospital where you work has a shorting of CNAs and you have to work so hard and they constantly call you to do things.
    I recently finished nursing school, and at most clinical sites, even the busiest floors..the nurses may have had a top workload of 6-7 patients the most that I've seen. But most of the time, in critical floors they have less patients per nurse. I don't think any nurse would have to take care of 15-20 patients, that would be impossible and unsafe. So what you are doing isn't really exactly like nursing and it's more 'routine' tasks which you may find boring or tedious, and they are giving you too many patients to take care of at once.
    Also, RNs are mostly autonomous and aren't called to do things every 5 -10 minutes, not even by nursing manager.
    So don't feel so worried that nursing will be like what you are doing now.
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    Try to get a nurse externship on ANOTHER floor this summer, where the nurses can recognize your knowledge and floor smarts while working with you in the role of an RN. Then transfer to that floor as a PCT after the externship is over! That's what I did....
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    RN and CNA are different . . .which is why I've never recommended becoming a CNA first.

    I love my CNA's but would not want to do their job. It is hard physically and pays less than nothing.

    Don't judge the RN's role by what you are doing as a CNA. And please don't judge all RN's by the folks you work with.

    We love our CNA's. In fact, we are short two CNA's right now . . one for nights and one for days and so some shifts the nurses have to do total patient care and do vital signs and give the patients showers and feed the patients who cannot feed themselves, etc. All the honorable but hard work you are doing now.

    steph
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    I could have written your post!

    I got a job as a nurse aid on the float pool at a hospital and omg I HATED every SINGLE SECOND of it and just up and quit. If I knew that I had to work one 8 hour shift it would ruin my whole week just dreading that day! I mean it was that bad.

    I was floated all on the med/surg type floors as an aid (med/surg, oncology, neuro, etc). It was probably the worse job I've had in my life....and this is an excellent hospital! The only good experience I got out of that job was knowing I would never be a floor nurse on a med/surg or likewise floor and knowing that CNAs work their asses off.

    I'm just finishing up my first year of nursing school and I can tell you that working as a CNA is nothing at all like an RN. I wouldn't recommend the job of CNA and I don't think it is necessary at all for future RNs. I do have to say god bless CNAs because it is a hard job and it takes a special person--I absolutly admire them, the good ones that is.

    I always had 10-15 patients and it was just a nightmare and most of the other CNA were unhelpful.

    So please don't judge your job as a nurse aid against nursing school....it is totally different and you may just also dislike floor nursing, I prefer critical care areas and have a job now as a nurse partner in the PICU where the RNs have 1 patient each and there is always an MD on the floor as well as a resident and a pharmacist....a world of difference. Every single RN on that floor goes on and on about how much they love their job and it is well known in the hospital for being such a supportive place to work.
    Last edit by marilynmom on Apr 22, '07
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    It sounds like the place where you work is the problem. I hated my CNA job when I was pre-nursing - mostly related to recurring issues and stress with my coworkers. I found much more hospitable environments in other places, and realized that nursing didn't have to suck when I had the right people to work with!
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    I briefly worked as a CNA (PCT) at a hospital on the rehab floor before moving on to Assisted Living. My experience at the hospital working with the nurses and other staff was HORRENDOUS! I was treated like complete crap, told I wasnt doing enough (I was fully busy at all times) and looked down upon. I was treated even WORSE when they found out I was a nursing student. I was called into the nurse managers office and she told me that the nurses were complaining about me thinking I was better than the other CNA's because I was a student. That was the farthest thing from the truth! God forbid I actually take a personal interest in my patients and their care and am interested in observing some procedures when I had the chance. I have never met more bitter, uncaring nurses before than those I worked with. They really give a bad name to the profession and I cross my fingers that I do not have to fight off woman like that when I hit the floor as a RN.
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    Quote from VistaGirl
    I was treated even WORSE when they found out I was a nursing student. .
    Ya, I made the mistake once of telling them I was in a nursing program myself....that ended up being a bad idea.
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    Your post is precisely the reason I avoided getting a CNA or PCT job before starting school. I was petrified of having exactly the experience you mention. We have a number of students in our class who works in hospitals, and it seems to be working out great for them. Most of them have been doing it for several years however.

    I am going to be starting an internship this summer as a student nurse, and I am excited and interested to see how that pans out. I have been told I will get a ton of experience doing skills we have learned over the last 2 semesters and then have the opportunity to stay on prn after it's over. I will make a decision on whether to stick around based on this experience over the summer and how I perceive the treatment from the staff overall. There are a number of us who will be working different floors at this facility, so it will be interesting to see how we are treated on the whole.

    If you think you are still interested in being a nurse, you may want to consider doing something else while you are in school. A job that makes you physically sick is definitely not worth it!
    Divalish918 likes this.
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    I was a PCT the last six months of nursing school prior to becoming a an RN and highly recommend it. I also needed a full-time job to pay my bills and it paid more than I was getting at Pizza Hut at the time.

    It got me used to hands on and made me more confident with the patients. It was horribly busy and demanding. I enjoyed the one-on-one with patients while I was taking their vitals, passing their meals and performing ADLs without having to worry about critical thinking.

    If you hate it that much and don't need the money to pay the bills, and don't think that quitting will burn bridges at a place you might want to work, if it's not advancing your knowledge and learning experience, then please by all means quit. Life is way to short to be this miserable.

    Being a CNA is not the same. So as was said above, don't judge that this is how nursing is going to be.

    Also, don't shoot the messenger when you're busy and you get a message to do something else. That's one you you'd better get used to now because that's one thing that isn't going to change. You're going to be knee deep in a sterile dressing change and the intercom is going to come on for pain medicine in the room next door and it's not the secretary's fault for giving you the message.

    There's a day in every new grads life when you think "gee I wish I was a CNA without all this responsiblity". LOL
    Last edit by Tweety on Apr 22, '07


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