CNA vs EMT basic

  1. 0 Hey so Im at a bit of a crossroads and need some advice. I'm pursuing my 2nd bachelors in nursing and am looking at getting into the medical field in the meantime while I take all the prereqs. I was wondering if anyone had advice on whether it would be more worth while to get a CNA or EMT basic since they are both basically 1 semester courses. I do have 70+ hrs volunteering at an emergency room if that makes any difference as far as clinic hrs go.
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  3. Visit  EZsunday} profile page

    About EZsunday

    From 'Albuquerque, NM, US'; Joined Mar '13; Posts: 9.

    15 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  lalacb123} profile page
    0
    Hello! I had the same question also a few weeks ago. I decided to do the CNA route because I was told that the CNA course is similar to your first semester in nursing school.
  5. Visit  Keep_Calm} profile page
    0
    I say do whichever one you want. If you want to go into emergency or trauma nursing, definitely EMT.
  6. Visit  EZsunday} profile page
    0
    Quote from Keep_Calm
    I say do whichever one you want. If you want to go into emergency or trauma nursing, definitely EMT.
    Yea definitely wanna do trauma. My end goal is to be a flight nurse. I was just curious as to which certification was better as far as flexibility goes. Haven't met many part time EMTs.
  7. Visit  EZsunday} profile page
    0
    Quote from lalacb123
    Hello! I had the same question also a few weeks ago. I decided to do the CNA route because I was told that the CNA course is similar to your first semester in nursing school.
    Awesome. From what I've been told entry level CNA get work usually at nursing homes have you heard the same thing?
  8. Visit  Medic2RN} profile page
    0
    I would check into your local ERs and see if they would hire EMT-Bs part time while you go to school.
    As a flight nurse, you will have to also get your paramedic cert/license and a prerequisite to that is EMT-B. It may be something to consider.
  9. Visit  funtimes} profile page
    0
    EMT will teach you some things you wont learn in Nursing school, which means it wont help much during nursing school, but might be slightly beneficial afterwards, especially if you want to be an ER Nurse.

    Keep in mind that once you get your EMT license, you have to be affiliated with an EMS agency to keep it valid, which means either working as an EMT or at least serving with a volunteer agency. If you arent affiliated at the time your license needs to be renewed, you lose your EMT license, and it can be pretty difficult to get it back, and would probably require you to retake the entire course and pass the testing once again. National certification needs to be renewed every 2 years and state 3 years(for my state anyway). So if you're in a BSN program, are going to have the time to work as an EMT and keep up on your continuing education credits?

    Of course if you just want to take the class to learn something new and have no intention of later being a flight medic or whatever, this is irrelevant.

    Also keep in mind EMT school isnt a blow off class. Its pretty time consuming and expensive once you add up tuition, the cost of books, uniforms, lab fees, etc, and a surprising number of people fail it. So if you plan on taking other classes that semester, Id go with CNA school, which is a lot easier.
  10. Visit  EMT2BRN1987} profile page
    1
    If you need any advice I'm an EMT working for riverside county. I'm currently going to school at rcc for the RN program. I can tell you EMT is definitely the way to go. Since I've graduated I have learned so much out in the field that will definitely help me be a better nursing student when I get accepted. Right now I work on a CCT ambulance with a nurse and I can tell you I've learned a lot in 5 years than probably working as a CNA.
    pmabraham likes this.
  11. Visit  EZsunday} profile page
    0
    Quote from funtimes
    EMT will teach you some things you wont learn in Nursing school, which means it wont help much during nursing school, but might be slightly beneficial afterwards, especially if you want to be an ER Nurse.

    Keep in mind that once you get your EMT license, you have to be affiliated with an EMS agency to keep it valid, which means either working as an EMT or at least serving with a volunteer agency. If you arent affiliated at the time your license needs to be renewed, you lose your EMT license, and it can be pretty difficult to get it back, and would probably require you to retake the entire course and pass the testing once again. National certification needs to be renewed every 2 years and state 3 years(for my state anyway). So if you're in a BSN program, are going to have the time to work as an EMT and keep up on your continuing education credits?

    Of course if you just want to take the class to learn something new and have no intention of later being a flight medic or whatever, this is irrelevant.

    Also keep in mind EMT school isnt a blow off class. Its pretty time consuming and expensive once you add up tuition, the cost of books, uniforms, lab fees, etc, and a surprising number of people fail it. So if you plan on taking other classes that semester, Id go with CNA school, which is a lot easier.
    Thanks for the advice! Definitely gave me somethings to consider. Hadn't thought of the license renewal.
  12. Visit  EZsunday} profile page
    0
    Quote from EMT2BRN1987
    If you need any advice I'm an EMT working for riverside county. I'm currently going to school at rcc for the RN program. I can tell you EMT is definitely the way to go. Since I've graduated I have learned so much out in the field that will definitely help me be a better nursing student when I get accepted. Right now I work on a CCT ambulance with a nurse and I can tell you I've learned a lot in 5 years than probably working as a CNA.
    Do you work part time or full time? Ideally I would love to work as an EMT with an ambulance only on weekends, but I know that would be hard to swing.
  13. Visit  blackvans1234} profile page
    0
    I agree with the response that said
    EMT if you plan on pursuing an ER nurse / flight nurse career

    CNA if you plan on anything else.

    I was hired as a CNA in my local hospital, I can work in the ER or on the units.

    I am now in my second semester (ADN) of nursing school, and the CNA experience has paid off in dividends.
    I have a complete head start on the fundamentals of nursing, and med surg nursing.
    I can prioritize between patients that have simple needs, and patients that have IMMEDIATE NEEDS
    I can walk into a patients room and assess safety like it is second nature. I do not have a problem communicating with a patient I have just met. I get to see the RN's at work do their skills, and now I have a foot in the door at my local hospital.

    I have only worked as per diem and have picked all of these things up, if I worked more, the knowledge base would be even greater.

    EMT may or may not (depending on who you ask) get you a foot in the door on a medsurg unit, however the EMT cert may get you a job in the ER.- Would the newly graduated RN with an EMT background be hired in the ER before the RN with CNA experience at that same instittution? Maybe, maybe not. If the CNA has been floated to the ER, then they probably will be preferred.
    (this is under the assumption that as a CNA you can work in the ER, and EMT's are not hired in the ER - as is the case at my facility, a level 2 trauma center)

    Edit:
    I have known MULTIPLE EMT's that have failed because they are blindsided by their first semester of nursing school. I don't think I've met any CNA's that have suffered a similar fate. Maybe it's because the RN's always tell them how difficult it is? YMMV.
    Last edit by blackvans1234 on Mar 5, '13
  14. Visit  akulahawkRN} profile page
    0
    I might consider doing the EMT school simply because you'll learn some scene management/safety and patient packaging that you won't learn in nursing school. However, applicability to nursing is about zero outside the ED or transport. Once you've done EMT and you've learned how to take care of patients the way that EMT's do, forget that for a while and learn how to do it the nursing way. They're a bit different...

    Then once you're done, make sure your EMT cert is current and go for it.

    However, you can go with CNA and you will learn how to do all the fundamentals of nursing. That'll be HUGE in giving you an advantage in being able to take care of patients as more a second-nature deal and you'll be then able to pay attention to more global/wider-view stuff and learn much more from your patients. Way much more. That difference will disappear further down the line, but you'll be well ahead of the game for quite a while, and in any event, you'll have an easier time in clinical and therefore, hopefully, an easier time studying the classroom stuff.

    I've been a Paramedic. It's helped a LOT, but I had a LOT of prior education going into that, and RN school. I've had a pretty good run clinically. It's a very personal call you have to make, which path you must take. Choose, and choose well.
  15. Visit  EMT2BRN1987} profile page
    0
    Yeah both of options are definitely doable. Choose one that you think you can do physically and mentally. Your both working with patients but working as an EMT you experience long hours working and being underpaid. Getting a job in the hospital is very hard for an EMT that has no experience. Most of the major hospitals won't hire me due to a lack of ER tech experience and a phlebotomy license. I can say working as an EMT you do learn proper lifting technique so that when you do become a nurse you can save your back I can't begin to tell you how many patients I lifted and dragged over and the nurse not being properly trained to do it. Some nurses though can lift. If you do CNA that could be a plus because you get that nursing fundamental that EMT doesn't give you. Some schools like mine actually give you a benefit of having a CNA license. I work full time as of now.

    Ultimately the choice is up to you either way they are both rewarding.


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