CNA in a nursing home.

  1. 0
    I will be starting work as a CNA for the first time this August, in a local nursing home. This nursing home has various levels of patients, from low to high functioning. Can someone who has already been down this path prepare me for what to expect? I am doing this for a year, maybe two, before going to nursing school (hopefully the second year will be working in a hospital). I hope to end up in psychiatric nursing at some point, and maybe also become a nurse practitioner. But I want to learn about and experince nursing from the "bottom up" (no pun intended...ha!) before I commit to school.

    Thanks!
    Stephanie

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  2. 8 Comments...

  3. 0
    Steph, as the DON of our facility, I would advise you that you will get out of this job what you expect and put in yourself. I won't tell you it will be easy, but it can be very enjoyable. Being a CNA in LTC is a physically (and often emotionally) tough job. Your attitude and willingness to assist and serve others will often dictate how you feel about it. I often work as a CNA if we're short, and it helps me appreciate everything my staff does. But I also love the ability to personally care for the residents, you can build such a relationship with them at a time when many of them get less contact with their own loved ones. Just remember that communication is very important to any working relationship, don't be afraid to speak your mind (tactfully) if you have problems with co-workers. Remember why you are there-to take care of those who can't do it for themselves anymore. It will be a great advantage when you begin the nursing program, and you will learn a lot about working with patients with dementias and other mental disabilities. Good Luck!
  4. 0
    "can someone who has already been down this path prepare me for what to expect?"
    no one can really tell you what to expect ... every patient, co-worker and facility is different.


    i have worked at a few ltc facilities. these are some things that come to mind right now -

    a facility may appear ‘great’ at first impression (nice furniture at the entrance or common areas), then you find out there is a shortage of linens, supplies, etc.

    a patient who walks and talks may require more of your time than a totally dependent patient.

    i have heard co-workers tell new cna grads “forget everything you learned in school.” some co-workers will do no more than what is on his/her assignment list. when i was new i asked for help in transferring a patient, i had a couple of co-workers say “i don’t need to ask for help with her/him”. at first it made me feel like a weakling, but i got over it. my rule is safety first - for the patient and myself. when in doubt, i always ask for help.

    keeping in mind that someday i may be a patient, while working i try to think of small things that bring a little happiness to a patient ... after lunch i do my best to return one patient to her room so that she can watch “days of our lives”.

    “just remember that communication is very important to any working relationship, don't be afraid to speak your mind (tactfully) if you have problems with co-workers.” been there, done that, have learned to keep my mouth shut most of the time.

    being a cna in ltc can be a tough job. i’ve never said i enjoy my job, i have often said that i ‘like’ my job and find it very rewarding.

    pat53
  5. 0
    Quote from Steph in Boston
    I will be starting work as a CNA for the first time this August, in a local nursing home. This nursing home has various levels of patients, from low to high functioning. Can someone who has already been down this path prepare me for what to expect? I am doing this for a year, maybe two, before going to nursing school (hopefully the second year will be working in a hospital). I hope to end up in psychiatric nursing at some point, and maybe also become a nurse practitioner. But I want to learn about and experince nursing from the "bottom up" (no pun intended...ha!) before I commit to school.

    Thanks!
    Stephanie
    Hi there! I will be starting a CNA program at the end of June for the first time too in a long-term care facility. I'm sort of anxious because I'm leaving my current job for it but I think it will be a good experience, at least as far as clinical experience is concerned. I would also like to be a Nurse Practitioner in the end - Pediatrics maybe but I'm not sure. Some friends who have worked as CNAs told me I should definitely work as a CNA before I become an RN to see the other side of things. PM me if you want to share worries or concerns, hopes and dreams, or just about anything.

    Shel
  6. 0
    I just want to tell you that I have been where you are now. I am a CNA and am almost through with LVN school for the same reasons as you...i wanted to work my way up from CNA to MD. So, as far as advice goes, well...

    *** ALWAYS ALWAYS PUT THE PATIENTS FIRST!***
    you might as well learn this early on because, if not for the patients, why are we here? There will always be nurses, CNAs, dieticians, ect. that will want to just get done quickly, get their money and go home. But what you have to remember is that no matter what job you are doing, you are an important person in their care. They depend on you. They trust you. Make sure that you dont let them down. Even if you are the only person that (insert: gives them a bath, feeds them ALL of their pudding, changes their bed linens two hundred times a day), you have made those 8/12 hours of their life a little more bearable. Being a CNA is not always enjoyable...do it right and you will have made a positive difference.

    ***Always be aware of YOUR safety***
    At first I thought this was a selfish thing for someone to tell me to do. I heard "dont hurt yourself lifting them, no matter what" and i thought, well, if they're on the floor/i dont have help/ect then it wont matter---but it does. If you hurt yourself, a)your career may end there and b)if you are hurt, then you CANNOT HELP THEM

    ***Remember that you cannot always fix things, but the little things DO matter***

    I hope this helps...and good luck to both of you...feel free to contact me if you have questions.
  7. 0
    Hi I am Jennifer I am also a CNA I thought it would be a good idea to have a jummping off point to my nursing carreer to start out as a CNA I do like the hands on with the LTC patient and have lots of respect for anyone who works in the LTC field forever, however I would really like to move on to achieving my CNM I know it will be a long hard road but I believe it will be well worht it at the end so any advice on how to get through nursing school and if anyone is located in NJ can you recommend any good courses like a 4 year college or is a community college good to start....


    Quote from shhh5683
    I just want to tell you that I have been where you are now. I am a CNA and am almost through with LVN school for the same reasons as you...i wanted to work my way up from CNA to MD. So, as far as advice goes, well...

    *** ALWAYS ALWAYS PUT THE PATIENTS FIRST!***
    you might as well learn this early on because, if not for the patients, why are we here? There will always be nurses, CNAs, dieticians, ect. that will want to just get done quickly, get their money and go home. But what you have to remember is that no matter what job you are doing, you are an important person in their care. They depend on you. They trust you. Make sure that you dont let them down. Even if you are the only person that (insert: gives them a bath, feeds them ALL of their pudding, changes their bed linens two hundred times a day), you have made those 8/12 hours of their life a little more bearable. Being a CNA is not always enjoyable...do it right and you will have made a positive difference.

    ***Always be aware of YOUR safety***
    At first I thought this was a selfish thing for someone to tell me to do. I heard "dont hurt yourself lifting them, no matter what" and i thought, well, if they're on the floor/i dont have help/ect then it wont matter---but it does. If you hurt yourself, a)your career may end there and b)if you are hurt, then you CANNOT HELP THEM

    ***Remember that you cannot always fix things, but the little things DO matter***

    I hope this helps...and good luck to both of you...feel free to contact me if you have questions.
  8. 0
    I'm actually just trying to start out as a CNA, I've been debating over whether to do it or not. Now that I am moving to Chicago for school, I think its my only option. Thing is I can't find a place to get my training. I've called a few colleges, a few nursing homes, and none of them are offering the training course any time soon. Another delema is that if I get the training course in WI where I live now, I've been told I might have to take it all over when I get to IL. Anyone have information on any of this?
  9. 0
    Great advise on this thread. However, put your own safety first- as in don't hurt your back- even before the safety of the pt.

    If a facility does not have enough staff for lifts, turns, and transfers to be done safely, don't work there.

    I learned this the hard way. I hurt my back lifting a pt in 1995, and still have pain 24/7.
  10. 0
    Rzeznik

    " ... if I get the training course in WI where I live now, I've been told I might have to take it all over when I get to IL."

    If you get the training I would suggest that you get the certified license, too. I think the key word here is you might have to take it over. Call Illinois (department of nursing, professional licenses, whatever it's called) and ask.

    A few years ago my niece moved (hmm, she moves often) from Mass to RI or RI to Mass and had no problem. She only had to show the new state the license from the old state and the new state gave her a license right away.

    :spin:


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