Should I work as an aid this summer???

  1. I am a nursing student that has one more year to go. During this summer a lot of other students are working as nursing interns. I signed up for one but recently found out that they had to cancel the program at the hospital b/c of money problems. Now it is too late for me to get in on another one. I have called the hospitals in the area and they are now full.

    But one hospital wants me to come in as an aid to work. Is this a good tool for learning to become an RN? They have been very persistent with me and I am a little hesitent b/c a lot of other people have said that this will not help me for my senior year. One of my clincial instructors said that she thought just studying and reading at home would be great for starting my senior year.

    I am a mom of 4 and need to spend my time wisely this summer. I have one nursing class and Micro to take this summer. I want to keep up with my experience this summer and not fall behind.

    I am still not sure where to go with this. From any of your experiences what do you think is best for me to do this summer in regards to keeping up with the others?? Should I take the job as an aid or stay home with my kids and enjoy the summer and just keep reading my notes??? If I take the job it will be only part time. I have had a lot of good experience on clinicals, I have done 16 weeks or med surg, geriatrics, peds and ob and delivery.

    Thanks
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   Renee' Y-Y
    TAKE THE AID POSITION...AT THIS POINT IT IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF...+ THE OTHER STUFF TOO. Even as an aid, you will be picking up unit routine, lingo, practice, interactions with patients...let the nurses know that you are a nursing student...if you are helpful to them, they will help you back by showing & teaching you stuff.
  4. by   angel337
    it is very important that you get as much experience as possible before you become a nurse. i personally think that working/volunteering as a cna or patient care tech should be a requirement for nursing school. even if you only do it 3 times a month it will expose you to the nursing profession. too often nursing students get an idealistic view of what nursing is and then when they get out there it is a shock to them. why don't you tell the hospital that want to hire you that you will work as needed or one day a week. do it for the exposure only. you won't miss much as far as the summer goes and you will be one step ahead of yourself when you go back to school in the fall.
  5. by   RNKPCE
    The experience working with patients several days a week is invaluable. It will increase your self confidence. I was much more at ease at clinicals the semesters after I worked as a nurse aide.

    However I was a single 21 years old without the other responsibities you have.

    I think you have to look at how you are doing in nursing school so far and would working as a nurses aide help you in school next fall, bring up grades, make you more familiar with medical terminolgy etc.

    Good luck.
  6. by   llg
    As with a lot of life's questions, I think the answer is "it depends."

    If you are reasonably sure that the experience as an aide will be a pleasant one, and that you can handle the work load in addition to your classes, then it is probably a wise move to take the aide position.

    However, if the aide position is on a unit that is understaffed and/or does not treat its aides well, then the experience gained might not be worth the stress and turmoil it will add to your already full life. So ... what is your impression of the work environment?

    Remember that many nursing students (probably most students) do NOT work as aides, or externs, or interns, etc. during their scholing. Their first job after graduation is their first job in a hospital -- and they do just fine. Yes, those that have had some POSITIVE experiences as an aide usually have an easier time in their first few months on the job -- but those who have NEGATIVE experiences sometimes begin their nursing careers already a bit burned out and/or having developed negative attitudes and negative work habits that need to be "un-learned" if they are going to be successful and happy as a nurse.

    So ...
    1. What is your impression of the work environment for the aide position? Will you be happy there and have a positive experience? Is it the type of place you think you will want to work in after graduation? (If yes, that supports the decision to work as an aide. If no, then I'd advise against it.)
    2. Will you and your family be able to handle the workload/stress of you trying to be a good mom and a student and an aide? Can you handle all that at the same time? (Again, if yes, then maybe the aide job is right for you. If no, then I would advise against it.)

    Take care. Good luck.
    llg
  7. by   Tweety
    Echo what has been said. It's a great experience that I recommend. It helped me quite a bit.
  8. by   orrnlori
    Quote from llg
    As with a lot of life's questions, I think the answer is "it depends."

    If you are reasonably sure that the experience as an aide will be a pleasant one, and that you can handle the work load in addition to your classes, then it is probably a wise move to take the aide position.

    However, if the aide position is on a unit that is understaffed and/or does not treat its aides well, then the experience gained might not be worth the stress and turmoil it will add to your already full life. So ... what is your impression of the work environment?

    Remember that many nursing students (probably most students) do NOT work as aides, or externs, or interns, etc. during their scholing. Their first job after graduation is their first job in a hospital -- and they do just fine. Yes, those that have had some POSITIVE experiences as an aide usually have an easier time in their first few months on the job -- but those who have NEGATIVE experiences sometimes begin their nursing careers already a bit burned out and/or having developed negative attitudes and negative work habits that need to be "un-learned" if they are going to be successful and happy as a nurse.

    So ...
    1. What is your impression of the work environment for the aide position? Will you be happy there and have a positive experience? Is it the type of place you think you will want to work in after graduation? (If yes, that supports the decision to work as an aide. If no, then I'd advise against it.)
    2. Will you and your family be able to handle the workload/stress of you trying to be a good mom and a student and an aide? Can you handle all that at the same time? (Again, if yes, then maybe the aide job is right for you. If no, then I would advise against it.)

    Take care. Good luck.
    llg
    This is an excellent and thoughtful response.
  9. by   Sadie04
    I would absolutely work as an aid, even if it's one day a week. The experience is invaluable.
    Good luck!
  10. by   wonderbee
    There's only one way to find out if it's right for you and that is to take the position on a trial basis. If it starts to become a bummer, you can always say thanks but no thanks. Bear in mind that some floors are more tedious than others. In the facility where I work, telemetry is known as the nether world where no one wants to be floated to. You do get a picture of real world nursing. You also gain a comfort with hospitals and hospital routine and learn to work as part of a team. For the most part, I like my job as a PCT but I sure wouldn't want to do it forever.
  11. by   colleen10
    Contrary to most responses here I would say no, don't take the aid job if your children are small.

    True, you would have an opportunity to be exposed to a hospital environment but since you are the mom of 4 I imagine you haven't been able to spend as much time with your children this past year (first year of nursing school) as you would have liked to. Also, at my school at least, Micro is a pretty hard/time consuming class, especially when it is condensed into a summer schedule.

    I would say that while working as an aid will give you more experience it isn't worth the trade-off of missing time with your kids this summer when you will have to be in class and studying for Micro and this other nursing class.

    If your children are teenagers and pretend like they don't know who you are, like most teenagers do, then I would say it would be ok to take the aid job.
  12. by   nurseRNtobe
    Thank you all for the great responses.


    My kids are small 13, 11, 6, 3. And what a handfull.

    I am soooo sooo torn about what to do. Some of our teachers tell us that we should work over the summer and some say not to.

    I am going to go on the interview and atleast see what they say.

    Thanks
  13. by   llg
    It can't hurt to go to the interview. Even if you decide not to take the job, the process of interviewing for it and evaluating the job will be a good learning experience.

    Being torn is natural. We have all felt that way at times. Back in the dark ages, when I was a student ... I was accepted for the "perfect" externship for me. However, I also got a scholarship to study political science in England. As the Dean of my nursing school told me, I had the rest of my life to learn how to be a nurse. My scholarship was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I went to England. I sometimes wonder "what if ...," but I have never reqreted that decision. Yes, I was a bit behind some of my classmates who had done externships, but I survived.

    Let us know how your interview goes.
    llg
  14. by   kellilou3
    I was thinking of doing this once I'm finally able to start my nursing classes. What are the duties of a patient care tech or aide?

    nurseRN2B, I wish you the best of luck in your decision. I can understand how you would be torn, but to me the best advice seems to be to go on the interview and take the job on a trial basis or for only a few days a month so that it doesn't adversely affect your family.

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