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

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    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?
    Last edit by pristy on Apr 19, '05 : Reason: forgot something
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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?
    Yep, some of it's gross, but it's great experience for hands-on patient care. I'm just starting nursing school myself, but from what I've heard, RNs still have to deal with alot of icky things--even when they're working with CNA's.

    I bet they just want to make sure people taking spots in nursing school are prepared for the work and that this is something they are really interested in.

    Have you been accepted yet?
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    Having worked as a CNA for a year, It can be EXTREMEly gross, as can be nursing. This is definitely not a career for the faint at heart. It takes awhile, but you get used to it. And you learn to respect CNA's. Having been there, CNA's work their a@# off, are number 1 for injuries, get little respect, and make an unliveable wage. We can't expect to go into nursing and dump everything that is "gross" off on CNA's.
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    I am not sure what cna's in hospitals do but cna's in LTC help people with their ADL's. That includes assisting to bathroom, changing soiled pads (diapers), bathing, making beds, assisting with eating meals, and various other things that the resident may need. It is a thankless job but you will learn very valuable skills. I believe that anyone that applies to nursing school should be CNA before going to school. In my LPN class the first clinical rotation was in LTC and I was surprised at the number of students that had no idea how to help residents with their ADL. I was a CNA for 2 years before going to nursing school and it helped a lot to prepare me for school. I also have never forgotten my roots. When I worked in LTC as a nurse I always tried to help my CNA's whenever I could. They will respect you and you will get a lot of support from your CNA's when you are willing to jump in and help out when you have a chance.
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    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!
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    Oh my.

    Some departments don't even have CNA's so you end up doing all the "gross" stuff, the tedious stuff and ADL's yourself. Where I have clinical ICU and L&D don't staff CNA's period. Your patient, your job (yes that includes RN's).

    As for clinical total care didn't stop after our LTC rotation. From bedbaths, to bedpans, to linen changes, to meds, we have to do it all on whatever floor we're on.
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    Ya know, at 18 I could have handled this more than at 31! LOL

    But.....as they all say, I'll get used to it.
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    edited due to typo's

    I'm a mom of three kids so I've seen some "gross" stuff , but becoming a CNA has not been one of those times. When I think of "Gross" jobs, I think it would be nastier to work in a "kill facility", (Hormel, Excel, Tyson etc.) I also couldn't be a garbage collector, rodent exterminator, sewage worker, live stock farmer or a crime scene cleaner. I'd much rather help people in their most intimate moments than have one of those jobs that I have deemed "gross".

    (No offense intended to those who make their living doing a job mentioned above, I'm glad you can do it because I couldn't)
    Last edit by S.N. Visit on Apr 20, '05
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    What do you consider gross? I think pregnant drunks or druggies are far worse than incontinent old people....
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    Are you aware of the fact that nurses have to do a lot of "gross" stuff as u said - smell things to check for a distinguhed odor, put suppositories in peoples rectums, and do PLENTY of things that are "not for the faint hearted" as someone put it. But dont forget, this is why you learn STANDARD PRECAUTIONS. Wash hands, wear gloves, etc. Gloves are your best friend! CNAS do a lot of the dirty work, but to me, if you cant look past all the blood, guts, and gore...u might want to evaluate why are you going into nursing??? By nature, we look after SICK people. Sick people dont come in pretty packaging.
    Did you know that when they didnt have all this high-tech stuff, doctors and nurses use to TASTE people's urine to check to see if it tasted sweet (diabetes test)? We have it good! Maybe read on up some of the heros/heroines in our profession, and see that its not so bad, becuase its for a good cause.


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