CNA ? Is it really gross and why do we have to? - page 2

I'm new to all this. I have just applied to a 2 year program and was told I have to be a CNA before my first nursing class. What exactly do they teach you and what do you do? I'm afraid it will be... Read More

  1. Visit  Abersmom} profile page
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    I am a CNA also in Nursing School. I work in a very busy hospital, and let me tell you...the RN's do just as much "icky" stuff as I do! It may be gut check time for you!!!
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  3. Visit  Nurse Ratched} profile page
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    Don't sweat it - you'll figure out pretty early on whether or not it's a deal-breaker for you.

    When I interviewed at the nursing home circa 1988, my future boss asked me if "incontinence" bothered me. I was 16 and didn't know what incontinence was, so I said no :chuckle . Turns out it didn't .

    I guess I figure anytime I'm on the business end of the cleanup, I'm just grateful it's not me being incontinent, or having the wound, or the tube with the nasty stuff excreting from it. Makes it really easy to get over the gross stuff.
  4. Visit  RNBSN2006} profile page
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    Quote from pristy
    I'm new to all this. I have just applied to a 2 year program and was told I have to be a CNA before my first nursing class. What exactly do they teach you and what do you do? I'm afraid it will be really gross. I know nursing won't always be easy, but don't CNA's have the icky jobs all the time? I want to do it, just to prove I can, but would like to know what I'm getting into. Do they require this to weed out the squeamish?
    HI. I chose to become a CNA before applying to my Nursing class at a university because I thought it would help me get in. I ended up being the only one who is a CNA in the class. At first I felt like an idiot for wasting 6 months working as a CNA, but as we got into our clinicals I was repeatedly thankful that I have the experience that I do. Many other students have asked me for help on basic skill like postitioning feeding vitals etc because RN programs briefly cover these items in theory and turn the SN loose without much, if any practice. I also learned what kind of nurse I want to be by being a CNA. There is nothing better than being on the bottom to teach you how you should behave when you are in charge. Good luck and I hope that you get in!
  5. Visit  Abersmom} profile page
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    Quote from rnbsn2006
    hi. i chose to become a cna before applying to my nursing class at a university because i thought it would help me get in. i ended up being the only one who is a cna in the class. at first i felt like an idiot for wasting 6 months working as a cna, but as we got into our clinicals i was repeatedly thankful that i have the experience that i do. many other students have asked me for help on basic skill like postitioning feeding vitals etc because rn programs briefly cover these items in theory and turn the sn loose without much, if any practice. i also learned what kind of nurse i want to be by being a cna. there is nothing better than being on the bottom to teach you how you should behave when you are in charge. good luck and i hope that you get in!
    so nicely said!
  6. Visit  PhoenixGirl} profile page
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    Quote from pristy
    I'm new to all this. I have just applied to a 2 year program and was told I have to be a CNA before my first nursing class. What exactly do they teach you and what do you do? I'm afraid it will be really gross. I know nursing won't always be easy, but don't CNA's have the icky jobs all the time? I want to do it, just to prove I can, but would like to know what I'm getting into. Do they require this to weed out the squeamish?
    I'm in a CNA class currently, it's a prereq for my LPN program which I'm starting next month. My teacher is blunt with us so we know more about what to expect next week when we start clinicals. We are going to see things that are "gross" and there will be people in diapers or incontinent, we'll be doing peri-care and cath care. But she just stresses to us that these are people in their most vulnerable time and they are looking to us for help. CNA's do baths, vitals, transfers, positioning, we are the eyes and ears for the nurse basically. And my teacher also says this is where you learn the basics and fundamentals of how to take care of people.

    I heard someone in my class say "yea I'm just going to take a crappy CNA job while I'm in nursing school..." I was like, "well, if you think it's crappy then you may find you don't like nursing because even doctors and nurses aren't immune to having to clean gross things and see gross things!"
  7. Visit  lisaow} profile page
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    Uh, you'd better get used to the "icky" stuff as an RN, too! Don't ever have the assumption that the techs should do all the "dirty work". If you were an RN on a unit with an attitude like that, the techs (and other nurses) would give you a hard way to go!:angryfire

    If you don't like "gross" stuff, DO NOT become a nurse! That's my best advice.
  8. Visit  galaxy781} profile page
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    Quote from stressgal
    Ous school also requires a nurse aide course as a prerequisite, in Ohio it's called an STNA (State tested Nurse Aide). I think it is great because you learn basics such as vitals, bed baths, ADLS, Medical terminology, patient's rights and so on. These are skills that sre not covered in nursing courses since you should know them already. As a Student Nurse, I always assist with bathing if possible, this is a great way to accomplish physical assessments. And as far as "gross stuff" it's the nurse who removes impacted BM, change dressings, and other yummy stuff. But it's pretty cool when you get to do it!
    Stressgal,

    I am also in Ohio, what part are you in? I agree, I am also a CNA and while it is a "thankless" job it does give you great experience. In my original nursing program (ADN) it was required to be a CNA so I too took the course, I am now enrolled in a MN program that doesnt require it but I am definetly glad I did it!

    I have a story to share: in my CNA class my skills lab partner did nothing but complain. She swore up and down she would never change a depends and the whole LTC expereince was just awful. She did relay to me that she wanted to work as a PCA in a hospital (at UNiversity hospital to be specific, University is Cincys main teaching hospital) but she thinks that if she works in a hospital as a PCA she wont have to ever change a depends or empty a urinal, change a bedpan, help an inpacted pt, etc (what I am thinking is, who does she think will do those things? the doctors?? lol). She also said she had taken a similar class in the past and dropped out her first day of clinicals bc a female resident accidently urinated on her (she had gloves on).

    I smile bc I know she has a rude awakening coming...working in the medical field requires a certain kind of person...while we did our clinicals for our CNA class she always let me do all the procedures and kind of stood back with a haughty attitude, I never escaped her comments such as "eww i'm not touching his nasty dentures, you do it" "its so disgusting to change depends, im not doing it" "this place is so awful and it always smells" she had not a bit of compassion. At the end of our clinicals she read me the comments our instructor had written about her, she passed but barely...and was suprised at her review, I wasn't, the instructor apparently had the same thoughts i did, so i guess what im saying is, if you want to become a nurse or even a cna you are going to have to do things that are less than fun...but if you really want to be a nurse you will do them and just understand its part of the process. My friend ended up getting really annoying by the end, ill be suprised if she makes it through nursing clinicals especially if she continues on the path she is on...her attitude is horrible and more than one of our instructors have told her that...she has no patience and no compassion. I mean some of the things she would say about the elderly patients and i just kept thinking, "someday that could be you in that bed"...but alas i know that there will always be people like that...Just remember in a practical setting you get graded on your demeanor and attitude as well as your skills. Nursing is about far more than what skills you can perform. I try to always think about how I would feel if I was the one laying in the hospital bed having someone change me and feed me, etc.

    The moral of the story is...even if you dont end up working in LTC somewhere along the line you WILL have to change a dirty depends, you WILL have to change a bedban and you WILL have to do things that arent neccesarily fun...if you really have a passion for nursing you know that these things come with the job and take satisfaction in knowing that by being compassionate, empathetic and non judgmental, you can truly make a difference in someones life, that connection or feeling of satisfaction makes it all worth it, even if i have to change all the depends in the world!! thanks for listening all, i know ive rambled wayyy to much!
  9. Visit  galaxy781} profile page
    0
    Pristy,

    I didnt in anyway want you to think those comments were directed to you! Im sure you will make a great CNA and nurse, I just wanted to tell that story about my friend, I know a lot of other student nurses and teachers out there will agree with me when I say, It drives me nuts when I hear other students complaining about doing "gross stuff", sometimes I just want to yell at them and say "get over it or go into business!" lor when I hear some other students say, "this is so gross im going to work in pediatrics so that i dont have to deal with older people, i can deal with changing a kids diaper but not an older persons..." as if it were that simple...like you can skip over all your clinicals and somehow never "do anything gross" I just shake my head at these people and wonder at the end of the program which ones will still be there.. lol....Im sure that your attitude wont be like my friends! Just some advice, learn from her....her attitude is seriously impacting her career and she doesnt even realize it! SHe didnt even make the connection between her bad attitude and her bad review from our clinical instructor and her attitude was making it kinda hard for me to learn too...
  10. Visit  agent} profile page
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    Quote from Jetaime684
    Sick people dont come in pretty packaging.
    Very well said.

    I remember when I had this gastric bleed and I felt so embarassed and ashamed, but the nurses were great. You will be responsible to be the caretaker when people need you most, no matter what.
  11. Visit  pristy} profile page
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    [QUOTE=galaxy781]Pristy,

    [I didnt in anyway want you to think those comments were directed to you! Im sure you will make a great CNA and nurse, I just wanted to tell that story about my friend, I know a lot of other student nurses and teachers out there will agree with me when I say, It drives me nuts when I hear other students complaining about doing "gross stuff", sometimes I just want to yell at them and say "get over it or go into business!"}

    I didn't take it personal, in fact it was very helpful. I know there will be a lot of unpleasant stuff involved in CNA and nursing. I guess I was just curious as to whether you get used to it and over time are less bothered. I have a lot of compassion for the elderly and know one day that could be me. In fact, one of the main reasons I'm interested in nursing is because of my grandfather and what he went through after his stroke. He needed a lot of help with everyday activities and it was hard to find good help for him. I guess you have to look past the soiled diapers, or personal hygiene and see the person there who is dependent upon you for help.

    I was also surprised that CNA was required before the nursing program. It seems like in nursing you are eased into all this stuff and with the CNA course you are working with patients in no time. I can see after reading this board how that could be very beneficial in nursing. Thanks.
  12. Visit  galaxy781} profile page
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    When I did my clinicals for my CNA course I was really nervous at first bc knew i'd have to do pericare and Id neve done it before. I didnt know how i'd react I guess..but once i did i was fine...gl
  13. Visit  Sue7573} profile page
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    I have been a CNA since I was 16 am now 31 going to RN school. I have read several posts on here about what is gross and what is not. I mean I have seen so much gross stuff I am so used to it now. A friend of mine commented to me once dang you could wipe a butt and eat a hamburger at the same time your stomach is so strong. (I would not ever do that but maybe I could) The one thing I have only seen slightly touched on is the resident/patient. The things I remember about my patients have nothing to do with what was gross about them. Don't get me wrong I remember some gross moments but the actual patient is what I remember most. One time a woman was so upset because she had a bowel movement in the bed before she could make it to the potty. I was helping her get cleaned up and there was no secret about the smell and amount of the BM there was. She was crying and saying all you will every remember about me is this. I told her honestly no, that when I remember things about my residents I don't remember the size or color or smell of her turd. I remember that she liked to knit and that she has a dog at home name "Burl" and that she likes pimento cheese with supper and that her fingernails were always painted red and that her favorite picture on her wall was of the parakeet. I remember her daughter that always hugged me when she came in and those delicous muffins she made for us. I remember her laughing at the talent show. Or her disappointment that her granddaughter didn't make it for thanksgiving. I remeber that her family would sneak in Mountain Dew for her to drink or that she was smitten for mr. so and so and they would hold hands in the hall way.

    Or the guy at the assisted living facility I worked at. He was relatively young but he had led an admittedly rough life and was paying for it now. He was to proud to admit that he needed at least intermediate nursing care so when I would go to work I would take him to the shower and clean his apartment even on days off I would come in and make sure all was well with him. (see at the retirement center they had to be able to do all adl's with minimal to no assistance to stay there). He was admitted to the hospital for some reason or another and I gave him my phone number so that when he needed to go smoke I would come up there and take him. He had no other family at all and the hospital policy is you can smoke if you can get to the designated smoking spot. He owned a barber shop, he had married once and cheated on his wife and divorced. They had a child that doesn't even know him. He loved his cat. He was a recovering alcohalic and the smell of bleach made him sick. His favorite snack was oreo cookies. He had a crush on the activities director.

    I say all of this because we become part of their lives we become more to them than words can say.

    One christmas we were working short I had ten rooms (20 patients) early in the morning a family member came to me with a dressing gown she wanted put on momma, I thought are you kidding, it was the kind of gown that is flannel on the inside and silky like satin on the outside with absolutly no give what so ever. Momma had a contracture in her right arm to where her hand twisted down and tucked under her armpit. I was not happy about having to do that especially being so short and it being christmas. I went in there bathed momma, talked to her and dressed her I guess a miracle happened because I got that flannel contraption on her without hurting her at all (sweaty and satisfied) I fixed her hair and got a little blush on her just as the daughter came back in. She just dropped her jaw and started crying she admitted that she knew it would be hard to get the gown on momma. She cried I cried and momma sit there Knowing she was the prettiest thing on the planet at that moment. That was the first and only time I ever saw momma smile.

    We had a man that entered the sub acute unit I worked at he had tried to commit suicide. He had shot himself under the chin the bullet went up the right side of his face and exited out just under his eyebrow. We got him a good ways into the recovery but he still looked horrible. Half of his tongue was gone and it was almost impossible to understand. We had flash cards but that only made him mad. I had not had the pleasure yet to have him on my group but dreaded the day I did. I would avoid him at all costs. Others had said on top of being hard to look at he was horrible mean. One afternoon I was the only aide on the floor at the time (break time) and his light came on. ARGH I didn't want to go in there. But I mustered up and hauled it in there. It took me fifteen minutes to figure out what he wanted and we both were a little testy when I figured it out. He wanted a diet coke. and he didn't want one of those little hospital generic cokes either. So I went and got him one out of the machine (using my money). Later another aide Larry (the only aide that could do anything with him) came to me and asked where did I get his diet coke. I told him I bought it why. He said that the patient knew I didn't get it from the facility and wanted to thank me for getting the diet coke for him. I went in later to just talk to him and it turned out that he was really a pretty cool guy. He stayed with us for about a month, then he went home. he wasn't gone long when his mother called and asked to talk to the girl that bought him the diet coke. She said that somehow I had made a difference in his recovery and that all he ever talked about was how nice that girl was. Later in that shift I was walking up to the nusres station and I saw a 12 pack of diet coke on the counter. There was a note on it. To: Sue thanks more than you will ever know. From ***** I was so impressed and amazed I didn't know what all I had done for him.

    It is things like these stories that keep me going that makes my reasononing for being a nurse relevant.
  14. Visit  Sue7573} profile page
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    sorry my last post was so long I just get a little passionate when it comes to my residents

    Sue


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