Here is my story:
9 years as an MA: I definitely feel that all the hands on experience I have gotten will help me during clinicals. I am not afraid to stick people with needles (um, actually kind of like it
), I'm not afraid of seeing strange people naked and I'm not afraid of "holier than thou" dr's. I can easily strike up a conversation with people and I know for a fact that I thoroughly enjoy coming into contact with a nice variety of patients each day (well, most days).
Spending 3 additional years as a medical biller/coder: I also know I love picking apart each seperate piece of a "puzzle", aka, op report, looking closely at each piece, then placing it all back together and looking at the whole to arrive at the correct code...critical thinking-ish style, maybe?...From my understanding, this may serve me well in nursing school...that has yet to be seen, of course.
2 months recently as an aide in an ALF facility (because everyone told me I just simply MUST work as an aide!): I'm sorry, but how in the h*ll dishing out mac and cheese and folding laundry is going to make me a better nurse is beyond me!! Yeah, ok, I showered the folks and reported any changes in physical and/or mental condition (which ended up always being ignored by the nurse anyway), I got them all snuggled up in their beds, but it was the most mind numbingly, boring job of my life! Working as aide in a hospital setting I imagine is a whole other ball of wax though.
Again, this is just my story and JMHO and I'm sticking to it