1. Hi there,

    I am hoping to enter nursing school in 2002 or 2003. I was thinking of becoming a CNA in the meantime. Have any of you out there gone this route? Would you recommend this and what would my responsibilities ba as a CNA? (I have a feeling that I will be emptying a lot of bedpans!

    Thanks for your responses.


  2. Visit wendyd profile page

    About wendyd

    Joined: Aug '01; Posts: 16
    unit secretary, nursing student Fall 2002


  3. by   larae09
    At my school, becoming a CNA is required. The reasoning is that if you are a CNA and work as a CNA then you will have respect for the CNAs that work under you when you are an RN. Personally, I don't like working as a CNA. Here most of the CNAs work in nursing homes and I am not a nursing home type of person. I would rather work hospital. As a CNA I change briefs, get residents up for lunch, dinner, etc, feed residents that need fed, pass trays, answer call lights. The only thing that working as a CNA has done for me is give me extra money for childcare. I work one or two shifts a week for a temp service (or even every other weekend depending on the amount of homework I have). CNAs here make about 6.50/hr and at the temp service we make about 9.00 weekdays, 9.50 evenings and 10.00 weekends. HTH.

  4. by   d_vining

    I'm following the same route you are. My CNA classes start at the end of this month. I've heard from many posts here that it is required, and if anything it will give me the respect I will need in the future for those who will working with me when I become an RN. Good luck, and let me know how you do with your classes!!
  5. by   GPatty
    You know~ I am currently a CNA and a Home Health Aide. I love working with the elderly, but I cannot handle working in a Nursing Home. (Fault of some of the nurses who are demeaning to the patients, and lazy, rude co-workers... NOT the residents!)
    Some of the responsibilities are bathing and dressing sometimes 14-20 patients daily before lunch, then feeding lunch, changing their briefs, doing showers... basically things you would do for yourself, only some of these people can't anymore, and they need help.
    Try Home Health if being a CNA before nursing school is a requirement (it's not where I am from). They have more flexible hours (for study and school purposes).
    It's a thought...
    Good Luck!
  6. by   pixxel
    Wendy: I really think being a CNA helps... It's not just bedpans and linens, but really getting to care for someone - sure, lots of times you get to care for A LOT of people, but I love slow nights cause I get to spend more time with each patient, sometimes they know me more then they know their nurses!

    I don't think that the pay is that low everywhere... at my hopsital, uncertified aides make 8/hr, and certified make 11/hr. I also know of another hospital that starts at 12/hr. Is this unique to my area? (I may be moving within the next year, and I'd hate to drop in my income!)

    Julie: I saw you mentioned home health in another post - how different is it then working in a hospital? and how do you go about finding these positions?
  7. by   MRed94
    I am a LPN, in ADN school, and was a CNA first.

    I work agency, and once in a while I will accept an assignment to do direct patient care, just to remind me of the wonderful help the CNAs are to me. Most of the CNAs I work with are the most concientious people I have ever worked with. They definitely know more about the patient's physical self than I do most of the time.

    I find it very humbling to do patient care, and it always makes me appreciate the work they do, and it keeps me focused on all the work they do.

    The CNA has much more opportunity to deal directly with the patient, and they are so knowlegable!

    If you go that route, like every one else has said, it really makes you appreciate them all the more once you are an RN.

    I know that I sure look at them differently, having been and still am in their shoes.

    The work is physically challenging, but oh, SO rewarding.

  8. by   Brown Suga
    I am just starting out in a ADN nursing program. The program requires you to go through CNA training program a preq. for the program, but you don't have to be employed. The program has this requirement because the want to teach more advanced skills. The CNA training teaches you the basic skills like how to make a bed, how to give a bath, how to ambulate a patient, and other activities of daily living. I have been a CNA for almost four years now. I think the work is hard, but it is not impossible you just have to prioritize and set up a routine. I have to say working as a CNA has taught not to be afraid of the elderly because the only elderly I would come in contact with is my grandparents. I feel working as a CNA will put me ahead of other classmates when it comes to clinicals because will not be afraid of the bedpan or other basic patient care.
  9. by   zannie

    At our hospital, we utilize CNA's..... (only we call them Patient Care Techs).

    Check into it!

    Well you will have to empty a lot of bed pans as a nurse, so might as well get use to it. Im a cna I get paid very good, I work in a hospital with surgery patients, and have learned a lot. My boss once told me, that the best RN'S are those who have been CNA'S, I belive this is true.
  11. by   janleb
    It may not be the route for everyone but it is the route I took. I am about to start my second and final yr of nursing school. We were required to take a CNA course prior to nursing school. I work in a hospital and would recommend that if you were planning on working in a hospital after graduation. Don't get me wrong I learned so much this last yr during clinicals, but I have learned so much the last couple of months just working. Just the exposure to the equipment, I get supplies for the nurses and prepare for procedures. I have removed foleys, removed Iv's changed colostomy bags, cared for pt in isolation rooms and just about anything you can think of. the Nurse just makes sure I am competent in doing procedures and then instructs me on what to do. Just the taking care of multiple pt is going to serve me well after I graduate. the instruction I receive from the nurses is great time permitting. Yes and also bedpans, especially if pt is on Lasix(really works) We really have to change the publics view of nursing personnel at the holder of the bedpan
  12. by   jfordngcsu
    i am a cna and i did it in between my first and second year. i would highly recommend it. it makes such a difference going into the hospital now for clinicals. if you let everyone know you are a nursing student they will be willing to teach you more things and let you do different things that nurses do. it is a great experience. i would recommed continueing to do it as you go through school as much as you can too.