I know this is probably going to come off as dramatic, and if that's the case, then I'll appreciate outside perceptions of the situation gratefully.
I've worked for the same company since I was 16 years old. I worked for them for 4.5 years, and I even worked at a store in a different state, basically doing cashiering and department-manager work. It's all I know, and I'm a creature of habit.. I quit back in May because my husband and I were moving and I wanted to take summer classes at the college, and although the course (CNA course) ended back in August, I've been too terrified to go out and try to get a job as a CNA (or RNA, in this case, as I've yet to test). I've only ever had 1 other job interview
for office assistant-type work, and although I got the job, I turned it down because my other manager offered me a full-time position.
I'm not a "people person" and even striking a conversation with a stranger is an event
for me. It also doesn't help that I can be a bit shy and bashful, but I'm mostly just a quiet and reserved person... I did well in my clinicals, although it took me until the 4th day (out of 6) until I felt comfortable working with residents. I was able to get by with making small talk for the most part (and if I felt too awkward or didn't know what to say, being smiley and positive was and is my go-to persona) but I just felt overwhelmed
by the amount of stuff I didn't know. I'm not talking about textbook knowledge, like vitals, safety/fall prevention, urine/feces, symptoms, etc. but more like how the facility ran, and especially the preferences and needs of the residents I was working with.
I'm guessing all of this is probably something the facility would go over during orientation? I never got to look at patient care plans
during my clinicals, so each week, on our clinical day, I had forgotten a lot about what I'd learned about the patients previously and the CNA I was shadowing would dance around my questions about the care plan, I think because she felt she was too busy to show me or because it would be too time-consuming for me to try and study it when I was only there for a few days. It made me extremely nervous interacting with people whose personalities I didn't know well, and not knowing their personal routine (who likes to be woken up when, who likes to be woken up early but wait an hour to start getting ready, those who can use the toilet but want help wiping). I keep imagining my patients or residents getting annoyed at me trying to learn their routine... Or me being awkward with their care as a new nurse assistant. I've practiced my skills on other students, but it's a lot different when working with the elderly, who are slow-moving and seemingly in a lot of pain. I don't want to make them uncomfortable.
And most of what I did in clinicals was prepping residents for breakfast and feeding them.
As I typed this post out, I started remembering the things I learned in my course and my clinical experiences, so I feel a bit better about the foundation of what I know for this role, although I'm still quite scared of working in an entirely new place because of my lack of people skills and because I'll have to learn the culture and flow of the new work place... I'll also be putting my skills to use almost for the first time, and by myself. I'm also terrified of getting my application rejected before I can even ask for an interview (again, I haven't taken my CNA test yet, but I wanted to start working as soon as I move).. I want to work at a hospital because I feel as though it would work better with my personality and I think I would find it more interesting, although I am entirely aware of the fact that many hospitals want CNAs with experience. I'd be grateful for any place, though.
Anyways, I hope this post didn't come off too long or too
I realize that most of my fears are either me just way
overthinking things, as I tend to, or are (to some degree) normal feelings associated with starting a new job in a new career. And I guess that what I'm trying to accomplish by this post is perhaps some relief by venting, and perhaps others could share their experiences starting out as new CNAs, nurses, or healthcare professionals. I also hope that this post was easy to understand and didn't jump all over the place. It's almost 4AM; I haven't slept yet and I don't think I will.