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

  1. 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 resident I was helping was so sweet, and I felt so bad that I didn't enjoy taking care of her.

    Now I am questioning if I should continue to pursue my nursing degree. My end goal is to be a nurse anesthetist. I want to be a part of operations and surgery. I do like taking care of people, but i guess not in the care taker type of way. (does this make sense?)But my Cna teacher told me if I cant even do this, I definitely won't be able to be a RN. Is this true?? Please be honest, because if that is true I really need to reconsider my future path.

    I really look forward to some answers. Thanks everyone.
  2. Visit Pattycakes85 profile page

    About Pattycakes85

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 63; Likes: 12


  3. by   Asystole RN
    CNA work is not RN work.

    Although I personally liked being a CNA, somewhat, there are many jobs/specialties in registered nursing that I hate. Being a registered allows for an amazing amount of diversity professionally. Not every nurse is good at, or likes to do, the same things. Be your own nurse and follow your goals.
  4. by   MJB2010
    What specifically did you not like about it? Was it the setting? The personal care? Blood and guts? Poop? There are a lot of types of CNAs. It would be totally different to be a CNA in mother baby versus ICU versus SNF. There is also PCT jobs in dialysis which is totally different. So I guess I need more specifics about what you did not like.

    I enjoyed being a cna more than a nurse. But for me it was because I like having more time to chat and get to know a patient, whereas, in my role as a nurse I am too rushed for anything other than a few words.

    Why do you want to be a nurse anesthetist? Can you handle the large about of pressure and the body fluids that go along with it? (phlegm).
  5. by   PediLove2147
    I was a CNA prior to being a nurse and I hated it. CNA work is definitely a part of being a nurse but it is also very different. It also depends on the unit though because not all units have CNAs which will put you in the role of both.

    Do you enjoy clinically during school? I wouldn't quit on nursing just because you don't like being a CNA, I would figure out what exactly you don't like about it though and go from there.
  6. by   classicdame
    I think it depends on what you don't like about being a CNA. Could be it has nothing to do with being a nurse. Heck, I am a nurse and there are some nursing jobs I would not want (although I love the one I have). Don't let the instructor over-influence your decision.
    Last edit by classicdame on Oct 3, '12 : Reason: spelling error
  7. by   Pattycakes85
    Thanks for the replies. I feel like I'm having an identity crisis

    Honestly, it was my first day and I was very flustered. I didn't like the thought of only having to take care of the elderly in a nursing home. I didn't enjoy wiping poop and doing peri care. But here's the thing, I wouldn't mind it once in a while, but it's not what I want to be doing full time, and only that. I think I wanted to be more active in a medical setting, rather than a home care setting. I am not sure if this makes sense- I am also trying to figure out myself, why I did not enjoy it at all. I am dreading going back again.

    Why I want to be a CRNA- I'm not 100% sure because I haven't even gone through nursing school yet, but I realized that I want to be involved medically and in a hospital setting, helping people. But I especially want to contribute to surgery/operations, but without being a surgeon. I don't know if there are other types of nurses that are involved in the OR - but I also am interested in anesthesia. I was thinking about med school and going into anesthesiology, however I decided I wanted to be a nurse over a doctor.

    Can I ask everyone how a CNA differs from a RN? As I've mentioned, my CNA teacher (LPN) says that I won't be able to be an RN if I can't even be a CNA I have no one else to ask for nursing advice so I really appreciate any responses.

    Thank you so much.
  8. by   Born_2BRN
    Go for nursing. It's a good thing you know already that you don't like CNA work early otherwise you would be hating going to work when do become a CNA.
  9. by   MerryMoonDancer
    You might want to look into what experience is required for CRNA school. Most schools require that you have a couple of years of ICU experience. As an ICU nurse, you're going to be dealing with a lot of poop. Frankly, not matter what area of nursing you go into, you'll be dealing with a lot of poop. ICU nurses typically do full patient care though because their patients are so delicate and anything can happen at any moment. I remember one of the days I spent in the ICU during nursing school, my preceptor and I spent most of the day cleaning and re-cleaning a patient with C-diff. ICU nursing is a whole different animal. It's a huge amount of work and a huge amount of critical thinking. And the reason you need this experience is because you'll be working in the role of the anesthesiologist, which is a huge responsibility. You'll be responsible for monitoring the patient's response to anesthesia and the surgery, and you need to know what subtle changes in their status to look for. I don't want to discourage you from following your dreams, but just know that it's going to take a LOT of hard work to get there, and it's not all going to be pleasant. So, I guess the question is: do you think you'd be willing to put in the hard work of being an ICU nurse for a few years before going to CRNA school?
  10. by   Nurse ABC
    Continue to pursue nursing. Have you considered being a scrub tech or a transporter in the OR while you go to nursing school? You can be a nurse circulator in the OR as well once you graduate nursing school. That could help you discover how much you like the OR. If you want to be a CRNA just know you need a couple years ICU experience before you can apply. My first clinical in nursing school I had to give an old grumpy man a bed bath who complained I was too rough, the water was too cold, etc and I hated every minute of it. I thought what have I gotten myself into! It did get easier as I became more comfortable with it.RN's do have to do CNA work occasionally if not regularly. We also have to give meds, shots, start IV's, insert foleys and NG tubes, change dressings, consult with drs, keep on top of patient's conditions and use critical thinking to know what to do when, etc. That's a really brief overview. If you work in the ER you won't be wiping as many rears but you may deal with more vomit or blood. Each area is different. If you hate CNR work because you feel you aren't being challenged enough and don't find it all that fulfilling but could do it if you had to as long as you had other responsibilities you will be fine. It does get easier with more experience! I would never enjoy working in a nursing home-not my thing. Maybe you should just skip being a CNA on your road to being a nurse but I don't think you should give up nursing based on one day in CNR school!
  11. by   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.
  12. by   itsmejuli
    My first experience in the medical field was as an LPN student in my first clinical setting, an LTC. I'd never worked with the elderly, knew nothing about the elderly and hadn't experienced being around the elderly since my grandparents had died when I was young.

    I was clueless, I was nervous, I didn't like it at all. I didn't really even know why I wanted to be a nurse.

    But I kept on going to school, and going to clinicals. Even when I got to med/surg clinicals I didn't like it. But I did get to really like the geriatric patients.

    I graduated, got my LPN and still wasn't sure if I wanted to be a nurse. But I kept on doing it, I got a job in LTC...I really liked those old people and they appreciated me.

    I eventually learned to like nursing but I did discover that high stress jobs like acute care are not for me.

    Today I'm working as a homecare supervisor in a large geriatric lodge. I love my job and my clients.

    Keep putting one foot in front of the other...you'll reach your goals.
  13. by   CapeCodDreamer
    If you absolutely hate it (the very thought of doing any CNA-related work causes anxiety, the thought of doing it day-after-day causes you to sink into a depression), don't be a CNA. If you're going into it because "being a CNA is the only way you might even possibly get hired as an RN", there are still other medically-related jobs/certifications that can look good on a resume. If you just hated working geriatric LTC (it made you uncomfortable for whatever reason), have hope! There are other areas that require CNAs, even though you primarily hear of new CNAs only being able to get into geriatric LTC.

    Don't let what your LPN instructor get you down. Did you volunteer the information that you want to be an RN before this happened, or was she saying it as a generality? Frankly, through my CNA program, I learned to keep my mouth shut from then on about my long-term career goals. Some people you are training or working with wanted to be RNs, themselves, and never got/took the opportunity; some assume, just by the fact that you want to be an RN and not [enter other medical career], that you feel superior to them; and, generally speaking, the job market is so bad right now that lots of people just feel insecure and threatened by any fresh meat. Note that I used "some"; let me rephrase the above: the only time I ever had a problem that didn't benefit from receiving my superiors' constructive criticism, it was because of my personal career plans conflicted with someone else's thoughts on the matter. The majority of the time, you are going to find v-e-r-y helpful staff and coworkers, please don't get me wrong, but I prefer the non-confrontational approach of just keeping quiet until I'm very sure of the people I'm around.
    Last edit by CapeCodDreamer on Oct 3, '12 : Reason: Fixing Sentence Structure
  14. by   samadams8
    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.

    Well, as far as work and stress go, to me, poop, blood, vomit, pee, sputum (something I've always had a tough time with--and I work in critical care of all ages--we are almost always trying to suck out someone's tracheal secretions), all of that is nothing compared to other issues and stressors. It's like the least of it. Sure, it's not something you want to be dealing with every minute of the day; but compared to the other kinds of stress and responsibility, it doesn't hold a candle. Sometimes it's a lot better to be the cleaner upper over being the charge nurse and juggling admissions and problems and resident physicians and attendings all while having your own pretty sick patients and families with which to deal.