Problem getting a job in hospital as a new grad? - page 3

by cathleenmermaid47 8,551 Views | 28 Comments

My niece is graduating in 20 days as a RN she is told that it is almost impossible to get a job in a hospital as a new grad, is this the norm? She really need to work so she says she will go to ltc even though it is not her... Read More


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    Up here in central maine and in the Bangor area I don't believe that it is very difficult to find a job. When I graduated 5 yrs ago, everyone got a job in the place they wanted. I work with a lot of new grads that come here for the experience and don't want to work in a bigger hospital. The rural hospital I work at is always looking for per diem and usually have openings in all departments. Atleast you get your foot in the door until a full time position opens up. You get some experience this way also. As the instructor said earlier in a post, you can't be picky at first. Worry about getting the experience then you can be pickier as time goes on, to what position you want. The problem about Maine is that some times people don't want to work in the rural smaller hospitals because they don't feel they will get a lot of "action". We do get our share, stabilize them, then send the pt. off to Bangor.
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    Quote from jbeau
    I am actually taking it right now!
    Hey JBeau -

    I'm going to be taking the MMC CNA course starting on March 17th! I just got my letter! I'm really excited - MMC is where I hope to work after graduation, so being able to work there during clinicals will be a great!

    Tell me about the CNA program - what did you like, what's not so great, how to prepare, what do I need, how much time to allow for studying/homework, where did you get to do your practical work, etc. I want to know everything!

    Also, I'm interested to know your feelings about the companion program. They are strongly encouraging everyone to do it, so I'd be interested to know your experience.

    Thanks! Good Luck at USM!
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    The CNA program is ok. I love the instructor. She's so nice and really understanding and really made the course work. I really like the skills lab during class. However, I found that the class moved waaaaaay too slow for my tastes (I already have a BA). The book is kinda common sense stuff too. I didn't find any of the material very challenging and I have yet to study for anything other than just reading the chapter once and doing the homework and I am passing just fine.

    Our clinicals actually start tomorrow. I'm doing mine in nephrology. From what I've heard, they change them each class though. Our clinicals are on R3, R4, R5 and R9. You do 10 clinical days.

    As far as the companion program goes, I am doing that full time, 36 hours a week, 12 hour shifts on third shift during the weekend. I love it, and it's great experience. I have noticed I am miles ahead of other classmates when it comes to interacting with patients and going into rooms. I've also gotten to see so many nursing procedures because they know I am starting school in May so I am getting exposed to things my classmates aren't. I'd definitely urge you to do it as much as possible.

    You also can apply for jobs before the CNA class is over. I've actually been hired on SCU and I start March 17th. SCU is the ICU at Maine Med. I'm really excited and I'm the first one from my class to get a job. I got it at the interview, they didn't even bother interviewing other classmates for the job

    Any other questions just ask
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Feb 11, '08 : Reason: removing Instructor's name
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    Great info! I'm excited to hear that you've been working full time in the companion program. I'm going to have to leave my current job when the CNA program starts, so being able to earn some $$$ during the training will be a huge help. What I don't exactly understand is what you do as a companion. Can you fill me in on that?

    Congratulations on the SCU job! I love that you can apply and interview before the program is even finished. Will you stay on nights? I enjoy nights, and night shifts never conflict with my class schedule!

    Thanks so much for all the inside scoop!
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    I am going to be rotating days/nights on SCU until August. You can plan what days you want to work there so you schedule yourself. Once classes start full swing in September for me I'll need to switch to nights. That being said, MANY units will snatch you up quick if you want to work only nights ESPECIALLY if you have EMT experience. I'd play that up, and if you have a BA or any previous degree play it up in your interview and how it will help you be a better nurse: they love it.

    Also if you're in school, they are incredibly flexible in your scheduling because they want you to come back and work for them after you get your RN!

    The companion program is interesting because it changes every shift. I've sat with extremely agitated patients to those that are just confused. I have not felt unsafe ever and it has been rewarding. Most of the patients I've personally sat with have been Alzheimer's patients or hallucinating patients and I've found most to be pretty pleasant once you've been there for 30 or so minutes. I think it is different for everyone. You basically sit with them and make sure any tubes that are in stay in, and if they need to go to the bathroom you keep them in bed and page the CNA if they're a fall risk. You're there to maintain health and prevent injury to those that don't know any better.
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    Thanks. The descriptions of what a companion does were so vague - I'm glad to get a more practical idea of what it's all about. The course instructor said that many students who do the companion program find that they can often get their homework done while they are there. Always a plus! I usually have homework with me on the ambulance and try to get some work done in between calls. It never works out as well as I had hoped it would, but sitting in one place will make that more likely.

    I'm in and out of MMC with patients many times each day, so I've been able to learn a little about many of the departments there. It will be great to have an opportunity to see them from a different perspective during the CNA training.

    Clinicals start in September for me as well, so nights will definitely be the way to go. The incentives for taking nights seemed pretty impressive to me, but we don't get shift differentials, etc., on the ambulance so maybe I'm just easily impressed.

    One more question and I promise I'll stop. Scrubs - I know I won't need them until later in the CNA training, but I'm guessing I'll need them working as a companion. Right? Are there any special colors required? Are the scrubs I'll need for the CNA program different? At what point will I need them? (OK, so that really looks like more than one question, but they're all on the same subject. It's kind of like counting 6 cans of soup as one item in the express line at Hannaford.)

    I'm really looking forward to the program. Now I just have to tell my partner that I'm leaving him. This won't be pretty!
    Last edit by MaineEMT2RN on Feb 13, '08 : Reason: To correct early morning spelling
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    We all had our scrubs before class started because it was useful for some skills labs.

    You need white pants and white shoes, but tops can be of any color.

    As a companion, they actually prefer you wear street clothes and not scrubs because you can't do CNA work while you are with them. I am usually in jeans and a polo shirt or whatever when I do companion work. And yes, you can get a lot of homework done during third shift. I don't even do homework at home anymore because I get it all done there.

    And I definitely don't mind the questions at all!
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    White pants? Yuck! Oh well, I can deal with it if I have to. On the ambulance we wear navy blue bdu's with the big cargo pockets for all the toys. They're great and nearly indestructible! I get pretty grubby by the end of a shift. Hopefully I won't get quite as messy.

    I already have my shoes and some scrub tops, but I'll need to spend some $$ at Allheart and get some white pants in the next few weeks.

    Thanks for all the info!
    Last edit by MaineEMT2RN on Feb 13, '08 : Reason: even more poor spelling
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    It's great advice to start out as a CNA. If you know you want to work at a certain hospital this will get your foot in the door. Even if there is not a position posted, some of the people I graduated with have got jobs at Maine Med this way. My sister in Mass who just graduated with me is having a harder time finding a job b/c she went to school in Maine. It's not easy in either state if you have no experience. Knowing people, clinical instructors, etc. helped me get my job and I felt so lucky to be where I wanted to be. good luck


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