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Considering CNA but have questions...

CNA/MA   (1,581 Views 6 Comments)
by SemiCharmedShoe SemiCharmedShoe (New Member) New Member

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Hello Everyone,

I am actually pre-med. I just recently received my B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from U of I in champaign and I decided to take a year off between undergrad and medical school. I am right now filling out my AMCAS application for med school. Anyway I am trying to figure out what to do for my year off. I want to get some experience working in a hospital. I recently was able to shadow a surgeon and watch her perform surgery and I have volunteered in the hospital before and really enjoy the environment. This is why I am considering not bothering getting a laboratory job despite the fact that it would be lucrative, I hate lab work. By lab work I mean me working in a sterile hood on cell culture or running chromatography or something exceedingly boring that requires me writing in my lab notebook all day and not talking to people. When I saw surgery I realized I'm not as faint as I thought I was, considering I watched her remove a patients breast and dig through another persons small intestines, I found it fascinating and in fact do think I am gunning to be a surgeon. So let me say that I am not too easily grossed out. The smells did get to me a little, but not enough for me to make a face (some people she saw at clinic had some smelly festering wounds). I also would like to say I have no shame, we spent the day looking at peoples genitals and surgery sutures, and I am not bothered by the human form. I look at it like it is what it is and I am very set on becoming a doctor so I plan to brave whatever I have to. I came in telling myself if I got sick from watching the surgery or felt light headed I would make myself deal with it, I am extremely determined. Anyways I am trying to figure out if I should do a CNA or a phlebotomy program and which would be better. Let me say this, I like working with people, but outside of my volunteer experience and in my personal life I find I am not a huge people person. However I have found I do certainly enjoy a hospital setting and I cannot imagine myself being a doctor in anything but a large hospital. However, all this talk of heavy lifting and changing diapers and impacted stool is a little frightening to me. I'm five feet tall and not exactly built, while I'm sure I could manage with the unpleasantness of feces and eventually puke I do want to enjoy my year off. I'm not entirely sure I wouldn't enjoy being a CNA, but I'm wondering if I would like being a phlebotomist better? However, I also want to do what will give me the best experience for medical school. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Melissa

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casi has 3 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC.

2,063 Posts; 17,134 Profile Views

As a CNA you’ll get a lot of great patient interaction and you’ll get to see and learn a lot. I assume that as a phlebotomist you won’t have the opportunities that a CNA may have to see/assist in different procedure and other nifty things.

I honestly love being a CNA, its hard occasionally very icky work, but it’s extremely rewarding. Poop and vomit is scary the first time you have to deal with it, but it gets better and really isn’t that bad. A CNAs size really doesn’t matter much. Some of the toughest CNAs I’ve seen have been tiny. Just practice good body mechanics and have a large bottle of Advil on hand until your body gets used to it.

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Cls62011 has 1 years experience.

76 Posts; 3,596 Profile Views

Hi,

I'm not so sure about the phlebtomotist thing but I do have some experience as a CNA. Yah, there are some down sides to the job like changing their pads and so forth but their are also a lot of good things about being a CNA. I went into the job being very very shy and that has deffinetly changed. I kept thinking to myself--how am I going to be able to give people baths or change them--but it just becomes part of the job. I find my job so rewarding in many aspects. Your making such a big difference in their lives by helping them with the things they are unable to do and you will see the appreciation they have for you. Yes I will admit that it can get stressful but the good outways the bad. You will also learn a lot from being a CNA. I am also pretty tiny and am able to do the job I would say as well as anybody else. Well I hope this helps.

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Kay28 has 5 years experience and specializes in Psychiatric nursing.

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I think that working for a few months or a year as a CNA would make you a better physican. However do realize that you will be sore and dirty and probably be hit or bitten many times. You will the bottom of the food chain at the hospital and will probably not see many procedures proformed (no time!). However, you will go home at the end of the day and know that you have made a difference in someones comfort and happiness. Also, please realize that looking at something potenially disgusting and actually cleaning it up are two different things. Good luck on whatever you decide to do!

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Consider finding a larger hospital that employs PCA's or PCT's. It's extra training on top of being an aide but in my state PCT's are allowed to draw blood. So you're getting the best of both worlds and you make more than being an aide. Hospitals in my area train their PCT's on the job with classroom work also thrown in.

Check with your state to see what PCT's are allowed to do and not to do.

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I would suggest being an surgery tech but that's approx a 2 year program so that would cut into your pre-med studies. But, if you have alot of the pre-reqs out of the way like anatomy, med terminology, etc it would cut down on the time. I looked into this and I had all the pre-reqs done and it would be 9 months spent on clinicals.

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