I recently started a CNA class thinking that it would be a good choice for me. However, I've found that I absolutely hate the work and hate the class. (I know that I won't be attaining nursing assistant certification after this) Worst of all, I hate myself for hating the work. I've been crying after every class because of how stressed it makes me and I've had anxiety attacks during/after the last 3. I know that the value of care I will give to the residents won't be amazing when we have our clinicals and I'm worried about that. I've tried thinking positively and just focusing on helping the residents, but that hasn't been helping my anxiety or stress over the class. What should I do? Should I power through the course or tell the RN that I want to withdraw from the class?
Do you intend to remain in healthcare?
I would like to. I know that I don't want to be a nurse and am leaning more towards becoming a doctor (I don't know what in yet).
What exactly are you having the anxiety attacks about? The very personal nature of CNA work like lifts and baths? Feeling like you will miss something important in their care? Interacting with patients in general? If it's a fear of missing things or making a mistake or even interacting with patients, becoming a doctor won't be a good fit at all.
Patient care is never easy. I didn't like CNA school or clinical; it was too much work and I felt like I was clueless at everything. Even if you withdraw, you say you want to become a doctor which means you will still have clinical hours and deal with patients.
I would recommend you stick it out, find a job and get acquainted with patient care while also getting paid.
No offense, but if you're having anxiety attacks from a CNA course you might want to re-evaluate your future plans. There is a reason why mid-level provider schools, PA and NP, look highly on previous CNA employment. The experience you get as a CNA doing the "dirty work" and spending time with residents can give you invaluable interpersonal skills for a healthcare professional. And it really can be anxiety inducing at first, personally I am of the opinion that you should stick it out and work as a CNA for 6 months before quitting. It really is an easy certification process and you can learn a lot (even if you've learned you hate it).
Don't judge actual CNA work based on your class. I purposely chose a private for-profit CNA training school (after researching their first time pass rates on the skills exam which was #1 in the state) so that I could get it over with in just a few weeks. It was as brain-dead and intelligence-insulting as expected, with a student allowed to flamboyantly break all the rules and a clinical supervisor who got fired for harassing students that gave her bad reviews thrown in for extra flavor. The CNA class was something I suffered through because it was a box I had to tick off to get where I wanted to be.
The first day of clinicals, I nearly had an anxiety attack. I had zero health care experience and the weight and responsibility of what I was about to start doing really hit me. But eventually you figure things out, hit your stride, find a good place to work, and then realize you actually enjoy taking care of people. Having negative or scary feelings is not necessarily a reason to quit now. Allow yourself to suffer through some unpleasantness now and graduate. Get a CNA job and give it 6 months. If you're still miserable, figure out if it's being a CNA or working in the wrong place. (I quit my first CNA job after 7 months because the staffing coupled with the demands was RIDICULOUS and I was giving myself a gastric ulcer dreading work every day. But I stayed with my next employer for five years.) Then decide where to go from there.
Frankly, wanting to become a doctor with an established unwillingness to touch patients leads nowhere good. Don't be that person.
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