PCT Med/Surg Ortho floor FT nights vs CNA LTC FT nights

  1. I got accepted at a hospital, this is my first job at a hospital! I'm seriously nervous because I've been working at a LTC facility as a CNA for only 3 months and that is my current first job experience as a CNA and first job in general. I just want to know what is Med/Surg Ortho like in night shift? Do you like working at the hospital more than a nursing home? Is it more stressful? Pros or cons? I'm really scared of the whole atmosphere and I'm already used to the job I have now and the whole environment. Any advices or tips as a PCT?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Futurenurse.
    I got accepted at a hospital, this is my first job at a hospital! I'm seriously nervous because I've been working at a LTC facility as a CNA for only 3 months and that is my current first job experience as a CNA and first job in general. I just want to know what is Med/Surg Ortho like in night shift? Do you like working at the hospital more than a nursing home? Is it more stressful? Pros or cons? I'm really scared of the whole atmosphere and I'm already used to the job I have now and the whole environment. Any advices or tips as a PCT?
    Why are you switching jobs after only three months? Are you looking for a better commute? More pay? Experience to decide whether nursing would be a good career for you? If you're feeling some ambivalence about the new job, perhaps you'd be better served by getting a full year of experience in your current job, and then making the transition.

    In the nursing home, you develop long term relationships with your patients over time. You may get to know them well, and CNAs are the eyes and ears of nurses in the nursing home. You may spot changes in your residents before the nurses do. Residents are more stable in general. There won't be as many rapid changes in condition or ups and downs.

    Folks on an Ortho floor in the hospital are there because they've had some surgery. Knee and hip replacements, back surgery, broken bones set. You'll get young, healthy patients with sports injuries and older and more frail patients with multiple co-morbities. (Probably some of the same patients you'd see in a nursing home, but before they're stable enough to go to the nursing home.)

    You will find that what is stressful for some isn't for others. Many, many people want to work with children, but I find that extremely stressful. I love working in the ICU and see nothing stressful about a well-led code. Others find codes stressful and don't want to deal with them. Some people like sticking with the same patients over months or years . . . I like mine to get better and be transferred out after a few days. It's all in what YOU prefer.
  4. by   Futurenurse.
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    Why are you switching jobs after only three months? Are you looking for a better commute? More pay? Experience to decide whether nursing would be a good career for you? If you're feeling some ambivalence about the new job, perhaps you'd be better served by getting a full year of experience in your current job, and then making the transition.

    In the nursing home, you develop long term relationships with your patients over time. You may get to know them well, and CNAs are the eyes and ears of nurses in the nursing home. You may spot changes in your residents before the nurses do. Residents are more stable in general. There won't be as many rapid changes in condition or ups and downs.

    Folks on an Ortho floor in the hospital are there because they've had some surgery. Knee and hip replacements, back surgery, broken bones set. You'll get young, healthy patients with sports injuries and older and more frail patients with multiple co-morbities. (Probably some of the same patients you'd see in a nursing home, but before they're stable enough to go to the nursing home.)

    You will find that what is stressful for some isn't for others. Many, many people want to work with children, but I find that extremely stressful. I love working in the ICU and see nothing stressful about a well-led code. Others find codes stressful and don't want to deal with them. Some people like sticking with the same patients over months or years . . . I like mine to get better and be transferred out after a few days. It's all in what YOU prefer.
    I had to find a new job nearby my new house. Where I live now to my current job is almost an hour drive. I was shocked I even got this new job. I am
    So used to my current job that I'm scared over the changes but I will have to do that in the future either way. I also want to become a Pediatric RN. I've been trying to find pediatrics, Labor & Delivery, Neonatal, etc.. any background experience when I become a Nurse, I'm still searching. I'm lucky this hospital have some of these units. But yes, I have always wanted to know how the hospital working environment is to prepare me for Nursing as well.
  5. by   All_night
    My first CNA job was on a Med/Surg and Ortho floor. Ruby Vee gave you some good information. A lot of what you do now in LTC will carry on into this new job (taking vitals, cleaning up people and changing their briefs, fetching things for patients/nurses). However, on the job you'll also learn how to properly move people who have had different orthopedic surgeries (laminectomies or spinal fusions, hip/knee surgeries). I wouldn't worry about it, because they do teach you these things on the job. Also specific to ortho, you'll be regularly switching out ice packs for patients and helping them walk and put on their continuous passive motion (CPM) devices. Don't let any of what I'm saying scare you, because, once again, you'll be taught these things during orientation. As for Med/Surg, every patient has different considerations, but the tasks we do become familiar with time. Your nurse will always be there for guidance/instruction.

    Good luck, and congrats on the new job!
  6. by   All_night
    Sorry, I realized that I didn't completely answer your question. I am currently working at this job still (CNA on Med/Surge and ortho), and it'salso full time nights. I can honestly say that I love the job, and I'm mostly happy to be there. I've never worked in LTC, so I can't compare the two. However, hospitals are where a lot of people want to be, so if I were you I would try it out. Plus, it's good experience to have moving forward, especially since you want to pursue nursing. I think working as a CNA anywhere tends to be stressful when it's busy. Don't be scared of a new job in a new place! If you stick around, you'll become familiar with the hospital and make friends from different departments.
  7. by   centercourt2015
    I think if your ultimate goal is to be an RN, in a hospital setting, than being a PCT in an acute care setting would be a better way to go.
  8. by   Futurenurse.
    Thank you
  9. by   Futurenurse.
    Quote from All_night
    Sorry, I realized that I didn't completely answer your question. I am currently working at this job still (CNA on Med/Surge and ortho), and it'salso full time nights. I can honestly say that I love the job, and I'm mostly happy to be there. I've never worked in LTC, so I can't compare the two. However, hospitals are where a lot of people want to be, so if I were you I would try it out. Plus, it's good experience to have moving forward, especially since you want to pursue nursing. I think working as a CNA anywhere tends to be stressful when it's busy. Don't be scared of a new job in a new place! If you stick around, you'll become familiar with the hospital and make friends from different departments.
    Thank you so much! Yes, like there's times I want to work at the hospital because shorter days. I work 11-7 5 days a week but my day off schedule is even worse than the other CNAs, it can be exhausting. But there's time I just want to stay here because I love all my night shift CNAs and nurses but I know I don't want to spend my whole life working in the nursing home. I'm starting my orientation on January 8th and I just hope everything goes well. Do you get training after orientation? I had training where I work at for 3 days and it wasn't enough for me, I'm honestly a slow learner since I found out I have a learning disability. So it took me about 2-3 weeks to figure out how to do everything correctly (this is my first job). So that's part of what is overwhelming me as well.
  10. by   All_night
    You're very welcome! My hospital trains CNAs for 2 weeks (6 shifts), and I felt ready to be on my own by then. Hopefully you'll receive the same training. Leaving such great coworkers really must be difficult! Have you thought of working PRN at the LTC facility? That way you could still be connected to it and the people that work there.

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