Male CNA

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    Im in school right know for adn and im intrested in also going to the local tech school to get my cna license simataneously. Do you feel bad being a cna(i dont mean to offend anyone). I know i will have to wipe crap but they get paid decently well at leats for my me until im finished with school. I know i probably soun like a jackass/douche but forgive it please.
  2. 9 Comments so far...

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    I just completed my CNA course (no work yet, I'll be posting about that soon), and I am waiting to take my state test. You might have guessed it but I'm a male as well.

    It was sort of....odd around the female patients during my clinical. Most were ok with a male dressing them, bathing them, etc but some were very, very objective toward me. One was just outright rude but you have to consider the time they grew up in (she was 94 years old!). Don't take it personal.

    I almost lost it a couple times helping patients use the restroom, clean up a colostomy bag, etc. Sort of got used to it but I don't think I ever will. I do feel bad about that since it can be degrading toward the patient.

    But for the most part I'm fine with it. My friends pick on me for going to school to "wipe butts and get crap pay" (nice pun there eh?) but it doesn't bother me. If I have to do that for two years until I get my R.N. degree, ok! I'll be the one laughing then.

    Males are in demand from what I'm told (my mom has been a RN for....years). You wouldn't believe how many times I was asked to come in and help with a transfer and such. I was only there for three days and had a blast doing it though, feeling needed as a lowly student with STNA's that have been doing this for decades (I worked with one woman who had done that job for 20+ years).

    Really I think ALL nursing schools should require someone to be a CNA/STNA before entering the main program. It gets you a hands on idea of what you will be doing and watching over. RN's are not exempt from the butt wiping either!

    You should be proud to be a CNA/STNA. You might be the only family your patients have and you will be there to help them. In three days I got attached to this very young woman who was bedridden with a stroke. She wasn't much older than I am. Her family lived a distance away so I was her family for three days. Apparently she rarely spoke to anyone in the facility but to me she was very vocal and smiled a lot. Is there shame in that? I don't see it. As I said, it was only three days but the patients were crying when we left. My friends crack on me for it but you know what, patients are much more important.

    Good luck in your studies. I've been through three different majors before settling on nursing. I finally feel like I "belong" in career field I chose.
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    I'm starting CNA training this winter. It's an 11-week course with clinicals. It gets me working in the healthcare field sooner than if I waited to be an RN (which, if all goes according to plan, won't happen until spring 2012!). Frankly, I don't see that there's a single thing to be ashamed of, and I can't wait until January to begin. I've gotten nothing but support from friends and family in my quest to become an RN and work as a nurse. The nurses I know tell me that working as a CNA will be valuable experience, so what's to feel bad about?
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    My NS required we become a CNA or HHA before we enter the program. We didn't have to work as one but we had to pass the course asa pre-req. It really covers a ton of basics and makes NS easier when you get there.

    Anyone who doesn't support your dream might be someone you don't need in your life. Being a CNA is a hard job and a noble one at that. I've always felt that anyone willing to go out into the work world f/t should be proud of whatever they do as they are a contributing member of society.

    I covered after my shift for a CNA recently for a few hours and enjoyed it. I liked having a little time to chat with patients while I bathed them and that's something I get to do so little of as a nurse.

    BTW...I wipe plenty of heinie as a RN as well and my NM has pitched in as needed too. It's all about patient comfort.
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    I don't feel "bad" about what I do, but I have to admit I do get some I guess you would call it elitist attitudes from doctors and nurses and other personnel I work with. But only some. You'll probably have it easier first of all because you're young and you're student on your way up so I don't think anyone is going to look "down" on you. That kind of attitude is more directed at a man like me who is older (I'm 36) working as a CNA. Most of the healthcare professionals I come in contact with are in my age group and a lot of times I can tell they're thinking "What have you done with your life that you're a 36-year-old CNA?". Not that I am trying to say they're bad people, nor is being a CNA the only thing I have done, or am doing, or want to do in life, but you know people see you working in a certain position at a certain age and make assumptions. And sometimes I get the impression that I am being treated as if I'm stupid because of all of the above.

    But to answer your original question, I don't think that many people are going to look down at a 20-something working his way through school as a CNA.
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    I worked as a PCA at my hospital... and I am 46 (occasionally, I would get that weird feeling Miwila mentioned). Mostly patients were curious about me and it would open the door for conversations about my background and such. In Boston, where the current market for nursing jobs is really tight, working as a CNA/PCA or whatever it's called can get your foot in the door in an institution you'd like to work as a nurse. The same is true anywhere that's desirable to work. It also helps to make you more comfortable around patients and doing the basic patient care stuff so that when you start as an RN (or LPN for that matter), you have a greater comfort level with the job and you can focus on learning the other aspects of nursing more. I recommend it highly.
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    I work on an ortho unit and I'd say about half of our CNAs are men. They are wonderful and hard workers. they're great because we always need strong people for lifting. They're also very sensitive about cares for women - they either "sense" that she would prefer a female CNA or outright ask.

    CNAs are a vital part of the success of a floor - you'll do a great job
    pnwmurse and wlb06 like this.
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    Male CNAs are probably the best. they are hard working and never complains about what is assigned to them.
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    I didn't work as a CNA before or during nursing school, but I think it probably is beneficial. My only misgiving about the OP's plan is doing a CNA program and nursing school simultaneously. That might be manageable during the first semester of an ADN program, but after that, nursing school seems to be pretty much a full-time job.

    I did work in a healthcare position during school, in a job that was a mix of some housekeeping tasks and transporting patients to and from tests and procedures. I spent a good deal of my time also assisting nurses and CNA's with baths, dressing changes, and getting pts in and out of bed. It was considered a clinical position, and I was more inclined than some of my peers to spend time with hands on patients, especially after I decided to go to nursing school. Ultimately, though, I agreed with my nurse manager that it didn't seem prudent to tackle learning a new, tougher job while going to school. (At the time, I felt that I was working just as hard as any of the aides, but my job was more physical and a lot less stressful.)

    In my program, we learned to do just about everything a CNA does during our first semester, but we didn't do enough to get really good at it. Now, as a nurse, I very much appreciate the work our aides do. If I need an extra set of vitals or to repeat a set of dubious values (our aides usually use an automated BP/HR machine, and I only semi-trust it) I usually get them myself. Aides are often busy getting vitals for the rest of the floor, and when in doubt there's no substitute for hearing with my own ears. I'll help a patient toilet, too, if I'm free and the aide isn't right there. I'm willing to assist with baths, too, but I typically am assisting. It just goes a lot smoother if the aide takes the lead, and I don't think many of them really mind the occassional opportunity to tell the nurse what to do. Plus, I think there's a sort of unspoken assumption that being a guy, I'm expected to be a bit inept with some of the more personal care. It almost sounds ironic, but I think I actually get more respect from some aides because I'm willing to listen. Then, too, some have been around long enough to remember that I always helped them, even before it was really part of my job. But I can see that they do admire those nurses who were aides, and good at it.
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    Many states/programs will grant RN students CNA after the first term, so check it out. Might save you some cash.

    From my experience, the CNA position is vital to the floor. A good CNA can really make the difference for the RN (as well as the patient of course), and a bad CNA...well you get the point.

    And if it's your pride your worried about, you may be surprised. Yep, you get good at wiping butt, as well many other unsavory tasks.

    To complete those tasks, while holding intact your patient's dignity is actually quite rewarding. Ask yourself if you'd rather be the one wiping, or the one that can't control their bowels, and go from there.


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