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.
Apr 21, '07
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
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