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Failed Physical Test For CNA Today!!Now What??

Nurses   (21,081 Views 34 Comments)
by mammaoftwo mammaoftwo (Member)

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I had a job offer from a hospital for a CNA position, provided I passed the health assesment test which included physical strength testing. I failed the test!! I told the nurses who gave the test I had been accepted into the LPN program for the fall and probably would bridge over to RN and she told me I needed to rethink nursing. Now what? I have wanted to do nursing all my life. Yes, I am older (54) and not in the greatest health - but am working on things (have weight loss surgery scheduled for 7/16) and am more active than before. I could not do the lunges without getting off balance, could barely lift 35 pounds and hold it at waist level (no way I would lift 100 lbs at waist level) and in lifting weights over my head in repetitions of 5, had pain in my right shoulder ( I have thoracic outlet, yep I was born with an extra cervical rib). I know nursing is hard work, I just can't stand giving up completely - would it help if I just went on to work on getting into the RN program at my community college? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Lisa CCU RN is a RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU.

1,531 Posts; 6,981 Profile Views

Being a CNA is very physically demanding and 35 pounds isn't that much. There are a lot of patient transfers from bed to strecher and from bed to wheelchair.

You might have a problem getting through the workday with these limitations. I know our job applications say we need to lift 50 lbs.

I don't think they are being unreasonable, but I am sorry for your situation.

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6,487 Posts; 21,377 Profile Views

Don't you dare let that nurse deter you from your plans! When I had my physical for nursing school I left in tears and scared to death. The emp health nurse at the hospital where we were sent told the school I was morbidly obese (I was about 140 pounds then), profoundly hard of hearing ( I have a sensory-neuro loss and cannot hear high frequencies since childhood but grew up compensating very well), and that I was dangerously hypertensive (she kept rechecking my BP and saying "Hm" without explaining what was happening). You may not have been able to pass the physical test, but we (people in nursing) are encouraged never to lift by ourselves anyway, to always get help or use a Hoyer.

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caroladybelle is a BSN, RN and specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

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Yes, we are encouraged not to lift by ourselves, but quite honestly, 35lbs is not that much weight, and most of us (even RNs) find ourselves in situations where we need to do so, when there is an emergent situation and not assistive devices.

Think walking into a patients room, finding the 235 lb six footer crumpled on the floor in full arrest, and having partially bled out. You will have help, but you aren't going to be able to grab the hoyer. That is when people get hurt.

If you look on many RNs job descriptions, the expectation is to lift 50 lbs.

I would not give up on nursing, but would recognize that the limitations may limit your specialties. You also need to work on your conditioning and physical fitness. Perhaps, take classes in lifting techniques and body mechanics. Because as a RN, you can seriously hurt yourself even assisting with lifting....especially if you have difficulty w/35 lbs.

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8,409 Posts; 26,190 Profile Views

Well that blows me to the wind as well. I am petite, 25 years old and can't lift 50lbs. I guess I too better rethink nursing.......especially since I JUST graduated. :rolleyes:

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Tweety is a BSN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

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It's not worth ruining your health to become a nurse. Also remember your future coworkers need a healthy person to work beside.

However, if you are committed to becoming a nurse, you must first make a commitment to yourself and get into the proper shape needed to carry out the physical demands of nursing.

Good luck to you!

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Lisa CCU RN is a RN and specializes in Geriatrics, Cardiac, ICU.

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Thirty five pounds is not a lot. I'd think you'd be very limited in your job choices if you couldn't lift that amount.

I'm not trying to be rude, I just think you'll have a very hard time on the job and if your coworkers needed lifting help, you'd be no good to them.

Most LPNS work in nursing homes and there are a LOT of falls.

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ann945n is a RN and specializes in Nursing Ed, Ob/GYN, AD, LTC, Rehab.

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I worked a CNA job for 2 years where NO lifting was required. In our facility you had to be mobile to live there and residents had to be involved their own care. It was an alzheimers unit and i loved every moment there. As soon as residents reached a point where there were beyond the care level we provided we assisted the family in getting their loved on moved to a high care facility. so there are jobs out there where you can by pass lifting. As for nursing you can also find jobs without lifting. Dont let the comments of one nurse stop you from your dream, you can do it and you can find a job that fits the level of care you are able to give.

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allantiques4me specializes in Brain injury,vent,peds ,geriatrics,home.

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You need to continue with your plan for nursing school.Not every position demands a lot of physical strength,I,personally dont do a lot of strenuous things.I do however walk a lot.But I dont lift.Im sure youll be able to find a nursing position.School nurse,Homecare (some cases)different areas.Good luck dont give Up.

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492 Posts; 4,987 Profile Views

I worked a CNA job for 2 years where NO lifting was required.

Which is, or course, the exception to the rule. I worked for 5 LTC facilities over 20 years, and lifting was part of our everyday ritual; even if it was just to help a pt. to the bathroom.

As for nursing you can also find jobs without lifting. Don't let the comments of one nurse stop you from your dream, you can do it and you can find a job that fits the level of care you are able to give.

Also, you seem to have missed, or chosen not to add to the equation, that mamaoftwo freely admits that she is not in the best of health and will soon be recovering from surgery. If she is obese and cannot do lunges, how on earth will she be able to bend over? Even as a school nurse or HHN, you need to be flexible. And nurse walk for MILES each day, rarely stopping. Have you seen obese people walking for miles each day without stopping? I haven't. My best friend is obese [a term HE uses.] He's out of breath walking from one room to the next. {Note: He is ALSO scheduled for gastric bypass, and we have high hopes...}

Until all of these issues are addressed, hopes are just that...hopes. As Tweety stated quite eloquently, there is a difference between the dream of becoming a functioning nurse and the reality. It would be a shame if she herself became a pt. while she was attempting to help the pt. [or worse, was UNABLE to help the pt.]

Even though, momaoftwo, I wish you the very best and hope that everything DOES come together for you in the end.

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225 Posts; 4,350 Profile Views

I say go for it! I understand where others are comming from but I gotta say I disagree with them. I have learning disabilities (some severe) that cause certain things to be extraordinarily difficult - sometimes seemingly impossible - and yet I've been able to overcome soooo much to get where I am now. Yes, I've had to adjust in certain areas, and others I've had to say, "uncle!" but my opinion is you should go for it! You'll find an area of nursing that's right for you; just keep pressing on!

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GadgetRN71 is a ASN, RN and specializes in Operating Room.

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Just throwing this into the mix..What about pregnant nurses? Granted, you're only preggers for 9 months but still, you're kind of limited.

I do agree though that you should try to get at least some of the health concerns addressed. Don't let the fact that you have some issues stop you completely though. Any interest in working the OR? At my hospital, they utilize LPN's as tech's. You don't have to lift anything approaching fifty pounds because when we move patients, we utilize a minimum of 4 people. Just a thought. I wouldn't let this stop me, I have Crohn's disease, and still manage to work fulltime. (although I said not one word to my teachers while in school) We try in my OR to let the people with known back or shoulder problems grab the feet-we kind of look out for each other.

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