Quote from thdenney
I'm a college student considering a career in nursing. I've never had a nursing job before and am looking at entry-level CNA jobs - particularly at the state hospital for the developmentally disabled.
I am a bit intimidated by the prospect of providing personal cares. I'm not averse to it at all and I am interested in nursing because I feel my personality is suited to a job helping people on such a personal level. But I think if you've never assisted someone with hygiene, bowel care, and so forth it can be daunting.
I'd like to hear your experiences with personal care - especially first jobs and from a male perspective. Do you feel your training on a first job helped you become accustomed to working so closely with patients, etc.
During my first clinical experience in an RN program, we essentially did the work of CNAs. My impression: God bless the CNAs, they truly work hard for their money. I would hit burn out in 6 months tops. As for personal care from a male perspective, you'll get over your fears in a short time. The folks you provide care for are used to receiving it from males and females. I can assure you that they generally have none of the worries that you have.
A funny story... I don't think this is in the CNA scope of practice, but the first time I inserted a urinary catheter in a female long term care patient, I was literally dripping sweat. I was so nervous and she was so... not. It took me forever, but I finally did it. I was apologizing profusely for my bumblings and I looked up at her and realized she was sound asleep!!
I'd recommend looking into other entry level positions if you think CNA might not be for you.
A couple of suggestions...
PCT - patient care tech-
EMT - emergency medical tech-
They both can be attained with a minimum amount of education and the burn out rate isn't nearly as high. Also, IMO these positions offer more medically oriented experiences. -CNAs, if you disagree w/this, please enlighten me.