Give advice to 17yo CNA student...

  1. My 17yo daughter has been accepted into her high schools CNA class. If all goes according to plan she will graduate with her CNA.

    She currently works in a fancy clothing store and I am super afraid for her. She has grown up surounded by medicine in one way or another...But I am afraid she is going to pass out on her first code "brown"

    I thought it might be "fun" to give a bunch of 17yo CNA students advice from us Oldies.

    My first bit of advice to her came with a little tiny jar of vicks ointment...
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  3. by   RNfromMN
    I was terrified of code browns when I went through my training...& my first job was 99% incontinent pts. I remember an instructor telling me, "After your first couple months here, you'll be eating a peanut butter sandwich in 1 hand & changing somebody's pants with the other!"

    Hands down, my biggest fear about it was how to deal with the pt's humiliation, so I chose to work at a facility where the pts had very little mental functioning & generally didn't even know I was in the room, let alone cleaning them up. That might be helpful to your daughter?

    I think what helped me the most though was orientation & watching seasoned CNAs just "get the job done." And at first, I was so afraid of making a good first impression that I just sucked it up dealt with it.

    To lessen the gross factor though, I'd tell your daughter to chew a strong flavored gum, or carry Altoids, & of course gloves, gloves, gloves! And for her first code brown, ask somebody to go in with her & help if she's not comfortable doing it by herself. Most CNAs will be understanding if you tell them this is your first time & don't go running to them afterwards, every time you've got to change somebody's pants. Again, just seeing someone else doing it helps a ton.
  4. by   Daytonite
    A person's true character will always surface during a critical or emotional event. I'd be pointing out to her that a code brown is just as traumatic for a patient. This will help develop her sensitivity and compassion for others. I've worked with plenty of newbies and I can tell you from many conversations I had with them after traumatic events with patients that they carry a tremendous amount of fear and anxiety of these things happening and how they will react that they don't reveal--even to their family.

    I don't understand what negativity you might see between working in a fancy clothing store and training to be a CNA. Teenagers are supposed to explore and discover the world by having these different kinds of experiences. How else are they supposed to come to realize what their life's calling is to be? I also don't see anything discongruent with someone who likes fine clothing as well as helping others. If anything, I think it indicates an inclination to want quality in their life. If a belief in providing quality and excellence is something that your daughter brings into whatever work she does, I think that speaks wonderfully about her character. May I remind everyone that Princess Diana, quite a fancy dresser herself, devoted a great deal of her time to visiting AIDS patients, who a lot of people wouldn't have given the time of day to, and doing work to better their conditions. She was not only beautiful herself, but elegant and compassionate. Had she not been born and married into wealth I wonder if she would have been a nurse.
  5. by   colleennurse
    I was never a CNA or a tech, I went straight from doing office work to nursing. So I can understand the fear, anxiety about code browns and other things like that, that you only come across in healthcare. I can honestly say that I never was grossed out, whenever someone has to be cleaned up or what not, I always feel worse for them then for myself. Just yesterday I had a pt who was trying to use a urinal in bed and he missed and got it all over himself and the linens. He was so embarressed about me having to wash him up and change his linens. So I definately think it is worse for the pt. You just have to remember that people really do appreciate the fact that someone is willing to help them when they are in a situation that they cannot help themselves.