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CNA training/vaccines...ADVICE:)

Posted

Hello.

I am 17 years old and want to become a Nurse. I am currently wanting to pursue specifically CNA training. Since I am still in high school my nearby college offers CNA training classes for free, if I get a Physical examination first and make sure all my vaccines are up to date. Then after I take the classes, once I turn 18(this November), I can take the FL state CNA exam. The thing is, I am part of a Family who only go to the doctor if we have a serious brake that we couldn't fix ourselves, we didnt see the need for vaccinations. So we NEVER did ANY vaccinations. ZIP.NONE. But in order to get the "free" classes at the college I have to get all the vaccinations I never got, adding up to about $700.00 or more, before i can do the class.

My other option is to pay $200-$400 and take a CNA class with an accredited program (http://tampabaycna.com/)and take the state exam. I don't think I have to have my vaccinations up to date before I do this class, I know I would have to get my vaccinations before I could get a job in a hospital but at least that would give me a little more time to get the vaccines done.

My question(s) are: Which program would you recommend? Do you think I should get my vaccines done before taking the test?

My Dad Got laid-off a few years ago, and has been doing handy-man stuff since, needless to say, that doesn't pay much. I have some cleaning jobs and some PCA hours, but I have NO EXTRA money. Basically all my money goes to the food bill(we have 6 people to feed). I want to be a nurse, and getting(even a CNA job) would help with the bills.

I appreciate your help!

LaurenJulia

Specializes in Behavioral Health.

I have no idea if this is the norm, but the LTC facility I work at never asked about my vaccinations. You could call around and see what your future employers policies are. Have you looked into free medical care in your county? My county has a service that will give free or severely discounted medical services to people who have financial need. In my opinion, the free class and exam sound like a pretty nice deal. Since you have to get your vaccinations anyway, I'd start working on that. Another idea is to call the people who run the class and tell them about your predicament. They might be able to point you in the direction of discounted options. Good luck- it sounds like you've had some rough luck, but you're passionate about this. :)

Anna, you are a minor, a 'child' in the eyes of the State. Check with your local health department, QUICKLY, and find out what kind of "Healthy Child/Well Child" program(s) they have. Some or all of your vaccinations may be covered, provided you are still under the age cap at the time.

That's what I'd do, anyway.

Anna, if you want to be come a nurse, your vaccinations MUST be up to date before you'll be allowed to enter most nursing schools.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to start this process now, whether you decide to do CNA training or not.

Every hospital that I've been to requires vaccinations including students before clinicals. Also, many colleges require vaccines to be up to date before registering. I would definitely start getting them because some require a series of injections over several months. I think the above poster had a great idea to try getting into a "healthy child" program. I know in my state, children can get free vaccines through the dept of health.

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

Check out your county vaccination clinic. Ours is free, yours probably is too. If you're still a minor you can probably get all your shots up to date. Be aware, though, that some are in series that take several weeks to complete.

It's in your best interest to take care of this even if you don't work in health care. There are measles and pertussis outbreaks that I'm aware of in several states right now. You're vulnerable and these diseases are NOT minor.

Yes, I will look into the "free clinics" in my area. One reason it will be so hard for me to pay for it is that My family has no health insurance. Hopefully I can get sufficient information to the clinics to "prove that I am poor". Getting the free class would be cheaper in the long run because I have to get my vaccinations eventually any way. But I am not sure yet which would be best for my current situation, Because if i can get the training, and the test done, and get a job in a Nursing home or somewhere that I don't have to have vaccines, I would be better able to save for my vaccines.... I will look into the clinics and see what my options are.

Yes, I will look into the "free clinics" in my area. One reason it will be so hard for me to pay for it is that My family has no health insurance. Hopefully I can get sufficient information to the clinics to "prove that I am poor". Getting the free class would be cheaper in the long run because I have to get my vaccinations eventually any way. But I am not sure yet which would be best for my current situation, Because if i can get the training, and the test done, and get a job in a Nursing home or somewhere that I don't have to have vaccines, I would be better able to save for my vaccines.... I will look into the clinics and see what my options are.

I know someone said somewhere here that she/he worked in a nursing home and no one required proof of vaccination, but IF this is true, it's an anomaly. I have never heard of a legitimate, licensed facility that did NOT require proof of vaccination and/or immunity status (which can be done with titers post-vaccination).

The minimum you can expect to have to have would be MMR (Measles--aka Rubeola, Mumps, and Rubella--aka German Measles), along with Hepatitis B (HBV). It's not uncommon to have HBV strongly encouraged but not REQUIRED, however, you ARE at risk in the healthcare setting as an aide without immunity. And many if not most facilities nowadays require employees to have the seasonal flu shot, although they typically do offer them free (to employees).

The HBV series will take 6 months to complete; you CAN request (but will have to pay for) a titer to be drawn a month after shot #2 (which will be a total of 2 months after the first shot) to see if you've converted (become immune). If so, you won't need the third/final shot. If you DO need that final shot, it will be given 5 months after shot #3, so.....six months start to finish.

Anna, if your family receives public assistance of any kind (HUD, food stamps, etc) you won't need anything else for the county health department free Well Child programs. But please don't keep waiting....you are 17, not getting younger, and this must be done prior to your 18th birthday.

Paws2people

Has 13 years experience.

You won't be able to do the clinical portion of your CNA at a nursing home without your vaccines done...

Okay, so I am able to get any and all vaccinations for free until I turn 18, at my county health department.

Last week I got 4: MMR, Tetnus, Chicken Pox, and Polio.

I couldnt get the Flu vaccine since it is not Flu season yet. ON the form it says "Flu Vaccine * (if applicable)" Does that mean I dont have to have it if it is not flu season? It says the same thing about a Background check... Any advice?

And the HepB vaccine is just a "Recomended" vaccine... Is it REALLY important I get this one?

I would strongly recommend getting the HepB vaccination, especially if you think you will ever work in a hospital or volunteer in a disaster recovery situation.

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

You're going to be working, everyday, with the same bodily fluids through which HepB is transmitted. I don't understand why you're so resistant. Vaccinations are our first, most important line of defense against disease.

betm, CNA

Has 4 years experience.

And the HepB vaccine is just a "Recomended" vaccine... Is it REALLY important I get this one?

This is healthcare. Treat everything as if it is mandatory, because IT IS - for your safety as well as the safety of your future patients. Healthcare is not a place to skimp on your own personal preventative methods/measures. Take it all seriously. The kind of evasive, anti-healthcare/anti-vaccination ideals your parents have instilled in you have absolutely no place in this line of work.

In school, clinicals, and workplaces, I have never been able to opt out of ANY preventative health measure. Get everything now or face having to get it later, when you can't get it for free, because you will have to get it later. You will have to be up to date on EVERY vaccine, get tested for TB, give urine and possibly blood samples, and get seasonal/workplace-specific vaccines or tests - maybe not now, but someday. Protect yourself, your coworkers, your residents/patients, and their families...I don't know why you wouldn't want to take every precaution humanly possible.

As for the flu shot, it says "if applicable," so I'd assume they understand it isn't flu season yet and therefore you're unable to obtain it. You have to be willing to get it once flu season comes around though.

Edited by betm
Answer flu shot question

Okay, I am leaning towards getting the hepB, simply because I will have to get it later and I dont want to pay for it. My Mom has strong beliefs about vaccinations(as do most of the homes school family's in our area), so she has not been very excited about me even going to learn about "modern medicine" in nursing school, much less get injected with vaccinations... I see the benefit tho and, especially because most people I am around don't get vaccinated, I could hurt them if I work at a hospital(which is what I want to do). I will try and convince Mom and get it done.

JustBeachyNurse, RN

Specializes in Complex pediatrics turned LTC/subacute geriatrics. Has 11 years experience.

Get the HepB. The influenza may not be available until September in your area thus it will be "recommended" and some individuals are ineligible (certain allergies and medical conditions) but to work in a nursing home with vulnerable populations it will likely be mandated of not strongly encouraged. On the plus side many nursing homes offer the influenza vaccine at low or no cost to employees to increase compliance.

I just wanted to commend OP for asking questions, being proactive and thinking outside the box on how to achieve her goal of becoming a nurse. Good luck with your vaccinations, CNA class, getting a job as a CNA and eventually becoming a nurse.

PS. The flu shot is once a year. It is usually available starting in the fall. You'll have to get it every year.