If I hate being a Cna, should I stop pursuing Nursing? - page 5

by Pattycakes85

Hi everyone, I have a huge problem. I just started clinical in my CNA class at a nursing home and to be completely honest, I really hated it. I wanted to like it and enjoy it but I couldn't. I was upset because of that. The... Read More


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    I loved CNA school, but the clinicals left a bad taste in my mouth. My preceptor didn't speak english (which I loved because I am trying to learn their language), but because of that I feel like I didn't learn as much as I could. Still, I liked having the opportunity to converse and work in only her (and most of the patient's) language. I mostly disliked how the residents were moved around like slabs of meat and hosed down in their beds like it was a carwash. We "did" 5 or 6 residents in a couple hours (got them up, dressed, bathed and off to activities or whatever) and it was slam bam thank you ma'am. I understand the need for speed and efficiency, and that we probably did half the load she does alone. However, I think you need to treat people with dignity. Not like they are on a conveyor belt. While being speedy and efficient. Also, when she changed "pampers" (how disrespectful!), she left the mess uncovered at the foot of the bed, stinking up the whole room while she cleaned and dressed them. Come on lady! Control your odors. I have a 2 year old. Roll the damn thing up and put it in the trash. The resident doesn't need to smell that if it's unnecessary and neither do I. Doesn't stop me from continuing on, however.
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    A CNA is different job than an RN very much. I'm an RN, never worked as a CNA, and I don't have to help change people or wipe poop, I choose to "assist" the CNAs because they work hard and my resident's need it. As an RN I spend A LOT of time on paperwork boring!! But I trust my CNAs to tell me when anything is unusual so I can go assess the resident and see if it's a serious problem that requires calling the doctor right away, or if it's something minor that allows me to send a fax, but will still have me to fill out an incident report (AKA new bruises). In the same LTC setting that you were in you can go from being a CNA where you have to do pericare and transportation and cleaning beds to being an RN where everything is reported to you and you use your judgement to decide what to do.
    I love the CNAs work with me because I know that they work hard and they get to know a different side of the patient that I can. It's easier for them to get to know what a resident likes to drink or how they like to sleep than me who just knows what medications they take and what is wrong with them.
    Also, if you really don't like being a CNA skip being one and just go straight to RN or even LVN school, but never forget how hard CNAs work and always remember you are not "above them" you just have a different knowledge set that allows you to make decisions that they are not "legally" allowed to make. Never be too high and mighty to change a diaper or god-forbid get somebody some water.
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    I found myself in a very similar situation. I am in the process of changing from equine medicine to human. To facilitate the change, while taking pre requisites, I became a CNA but found during clinicals a great distaste for the work. Personally, I need to be intellectually stimulated. In comparing my current job to a CNA, the responsibilities were far from equal with regards to its challenges, demands, and "medical" work permitted to provide. In short, I went from running anesthesia and assisting during surgeries to clothing and bathing and bathing a patient. I understand that you have to start from the bottom up, which is fine, but I had reservations that the end destination might not satisfy what I was looking for in my career. I was on route to becoming a CRNA as well, and for many reasons I actually rerouted my path and chose to become a physican assistant.

    What I want to say is, stick with it. The roles of a CNA and a nurse are very different once you advance. My boyfriend is a CT surgeon and he can't express enough how great of a career CRNAs can have, and strongly recommends it (he's not the only one, I have yet to find someone in the industry that disagrees - other than the boring nature aspect). Furthermore, I know CRNAs, RNs, PAs, and MDs; the APNs, NPs, CRNAs are the most satisfied. I do want to emphasize that you might not be passionate about general nursing, but I believe if you can find a speciality you like and work your way up the food chain, you won't regret it.

    No one person will love all aspects of medicine, but I'm convinced just about any individual demonstrating attraction in being a health care provider can find a speciality of interest and come to admire their work. Remember that every job title has its ladder to climb. The bottom always contains duties you will face seldom as you progress. I consider it universal to all professions that as your skills, knowledge, and experience develop and your are competent to handling situations of greater complexity, your assignments will also adapt accordingly.

    I can't offer reputable advice in comparison to other individuals participating on this forum, but I would recommend taking time to reflect on what facets of the job you found objectionable. Was it the patient contact? Was it boring? Was it more than your stomach can take? Was it the environment or patient population? This will help....at least I found so for myself.

    I wish you the best of luck!
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    I think I missed reading the post about you being 27 and wanting to be and MD/Surgeon. I am 27 as well and in the same situation (if you read my previous post, I failed to mention this). I can't make the time commitment nor do I feel MD is a suitable career for me. I admire certain facets of nursing and many aspects of MD. I chose to be trained under the medical model and with my strong interest in treating disease and performing surgeries, found a career as a Physcician Assistant far more appropriate. If you are interested in research, than don't choose the PA route. Nursing has some great positions in the OR room, however, If you think you won't be able to pursue nursing or bedside care, consider becoming a PA.
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    Oh my goodness!!! Thank you ALL for the responses!!! I appreciate it so much. I have learned SO much from reading what everyone had to say!!!

    I am 27, and switching careers from retail to nursing.. So I have a long road ahead of me as I am only taking pre nursing classes and my CNA class. I decided on the CNA class because I wanted some experience.

    Some of you had asked me why CRNA. As I've mentioned before, I want to work in the OR and be a part of the surgery. I'm not 100% sure if I want to go into anesthesia as I am not even in nursing school yet. But anesthesia definitely interests me. Someone also mentioned that there is such thing as a scrub nurse! I had NO idea!!!! That also interested me very much.

    I am sticking with the Cna program! I almost quit but I decided to finish.

    Thanks for ALL your input and help.
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    There's more to CNA that just a nursing home. I received my CNA from NHC and dreaded the clinicals. I'm not a elderly type of CNA...not everyone is. Luckily I had a friend that was a NP at a ICU that got me in. Hang in there and finish it out.

    Also, about your anesthesia interest. At the hospital I'm at, there are anesthesia techs. Once you get experience as a CNA, you could apply for tech positions. That's actually what I'm doing now for the Children's Hospital as I want for acceptance into nursing school.
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    Quote from LCinTraining
    I am an aide and although there is a lot of poop clean up, it is not all elderly people. I work in acute rehab. We get everything from strokes to spinal cord injuries to knee replacements. The traumatic event patients come in all ages. And I found that although I wanted to go into pediatrics, I really enjoy spinal cord. Get your feet wet. There are many venues you can work as an aide in, while pursuing nursing. Venues that won't be as draining on your ego.
    I agree completely. Everywhere you go, people poop. Almost everywhere you go, you will probably run into the elderly.


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