HELP! I DON"T WANT TO GO THROUGH CNA first... - page 18

This is really not to put any profession down but I've dreamed of being a nurse for soooo long, now only to discover that before entering my LVN program, I have to get the CNA title first! I am... Read More

  1. by   twotrees2
    Quote from SharonH, RN
    I have been very critical and very vocal on this board of the idea that one needs to be a CNA first in order to be a good or effective nurse. I am the first one to tell you this is not necessary and I think that nursing schools who require this are dead wrong. They are probably trying to take a shortcut with teaching the basics. However, the truth is that at some point in your nursing career starting with your schooling, you will most certainly deal with adult incontinence and other unpleasant tasks.

    In defense of the OP, I must say this. It is really not all that surprising that she has an image of herself as a nurse holding sweet-smelling newborn babies. This misconception of what nurses do is the fault of the nursing profession itself as in most recruitment advertising there is an unnecessary emphasis on the nurturing aspect of the profession, pics of nurses holding smiling babies and hugging cuddly senior citizens abound. Throw in other media images of nurses who are only in the background, nameless and faceless, whose most important job is to run and get the doctor when something major happens or perhaps wheel a patient either to the OR or to their car and it's no wonder that some people will enter nursing school with a distorted view of what their duties will be. Let's consider that.

    you are right on the images portrayed - not just ads but tv shows etc - though honestly with the little true close contact we get with the patients these days ( run in and out - pills dresiings ivs tube feed and run to the next - ) if i knew how much cnas were going to make these days way back when i may just have stuck it out so i could be closer to them., there are times i envy my cnas being able to spend the time to REALLY talk to a sad patient or happy patient - in dire distress i have had to make time but it puts me so far behind that isnt something i can set in place for every resident though id love to - without my cnas i could not care for them as well as i do.

    and for the poster who felt the feeling of yes i met my dream- i remember that day to - oh wow it was great to know i was finally a nurse - i did it and once in a while i still get those goose bumps like this week when families have been begging me to stay on at my current work ( which i cant ) and the staff including one of the primary docs saying they were gonna give bad references so id HAVe to stay there ( LOL they didnt - i got another job from thier recommendations but the feeling i was doing good there sure has boosted my self esteem lol)
  2. by   secretspectrum
    If you don't want to do CNA type stuff, then nursing school will be absolute hell for you.(It was for me) Also, if you have an excellent sense of smell, nursing may not be for you. There's lots of other jobs where you can help people, or take care of babies and children.
  3. by   RNHawaii34
    after reading most of the post here, i think cleaning poopy is not a bad thing. at least you know what you should expect to see and smell when you change a diaper....i did a lot of diaper changes, emptying bedpans, collecting all kinds of bodily specimens when i was a nurse aide, how ever, when you're an rn, don't forget that not only you have to deal with poops, but also you are going to deal with nasty decubitus ulcers, wound dressings, patient's vomitus, suctioning, deal with all kinds of drainages,and many other nasty stuff....imagine yourself assessing the characters of the pus......, smell, color, etc. and you think diaper change is hard?:uhoh21:
  4. by   stayingoutoftrouble
    For me, it was not so much about not WANTING to work as a CNA but I decided to not to work as a CNA in nursing school due to financial reasons. I was making good money at the job I was working in FT and going to school in the evening. I thought I couldn't afford to take that pay cut. That being said, in some ways I wish I would have done it and made it work financially. I am now a brand new RN and I am working on building up my CNA skills and my RN skills at the same time. I wish I had more abilities in those foundations skills because I am sure I would be a better RN if I did. I think you can still be a good nurse without working as a CNA but I know it'll just take me a little longer to be the kind of nurse that i want to be.
  5. by   Happeetxn
    Please rethink this line of work. It truly might not be for you, I am not saying this to be mean or demeaning. I like many others, I am no fan of cleaning up poop, however, I am not one to let my pt's linger in their poop because the CNA can't get to it right away and I as an RN am "above doing that work". It is my opinion that starting out as a CNA is a good thing. In my experience it was invaluable, it helped confirm in me that this was definetley the line of work I wanted to be in.........taking care of people ......not just giving meds q4,6,8...hours etc, etc. Lord knows there are already plenty of nurses with this attitude. Besides cleaning a patient up is a very small aspect of the job.
    I will now step down off of the soapbox.
  6. by   midcom
    Lots of schools don't require you to be a CNA but I bet that by the end of 1st term, at least in LPN classes, you will have the training to pass the test and to get those skills, you will be doing CNA type work in some facility, probably LTC. That's the way they handle it at my college. They'll take you without the skills. They just have you take an extra class in first term to learn them. In my case it was the difference between full time tuition ($4500 a term) & part time ($2250 a term). I would have been smarter to take the CNA class through a community college or a nursing home for $600. I wouldn't have had to take the CNA test. All I had to do was demonstrate that I had the skills required to pass the test.

    But getting back to the OP. She said "I am horrified of having to do some of the tasks described! This is not whaat I dreamed of all these years, I was thinking more along the lines of changing newborn diapers, not old folk diapers." Whether she has to be a CNA or not, she's gonna learn and practice the skills, & that includes changing adult diapers. If she's not willing or able to do that, she better get out now before she wastes her money.
  7. by   Just_Me_2
    I have worked as a CNA, an LPN, and now am an RN student. Any job I have had, I have always had to clean up poop every once in a while. Even as an Rn I expect I will have total care patients who are incontinent, and not every unit has aides. Besides, expecting an aide to turn and clean a total care patient by him or herself is asking way too much, IMO.

    Even during my psych rotation I saw nurses cleaning up poop, so it happens. There was a patient who decided to have a BM and "paint" the room and himself with lovely smelling stool . Now I am precepting in the ER, and patients still need to pee and poop, LOL.

    Just think of it as a learning experience and try not to let it get to you. I think I was more prepared for LPN school because I had worked as an aide previously. The fundamentals of nursing are the same for everyone, even though you might not use them all the time.
  8. by   shoegalRN
    I'm sorry, but if the OP feels this way, she is in for a RUDE awakening. I, too, have never had any experience in the medical field and I am a first semester nursing student. We are now doing Fundementals and let me tell you, I had the hardest time reading BP readings. I wish I had gone for my CNA when I had the chance, but due to work and family commitment, I couldnt make it work. The reality smacked me in the face when I had to do a bed bath and change linen with the patient still laying in the bed. It is hard work. I really respect ALL CNA's. I would recommend you to re-think your decision prior to applying to nursing school because if you think you won't be doing perineal care (i.e ass washing) then you are dreaming and I hate to bust your bubble.

    Being a CNA is like doing your fundamentals course in nursing school, it's the basis for nursing. You will need a good grip on these skills, it will help you so much when you become an RN.

    Good luck to you!
  9. by   Happeetxn
    Quote from marilynmom
    Somehow you learn to get through it all and it makes you a better person.
    Well said
  10. by   mohkull
    i dont agree
  11. by   harley007
    I work in a Cardiac Cath. Lab. Many nurses think aside from a fair amount of blood, it is all high level monitoring and intensive type care. This is true but it is also giving one on one care for a usually very nervous patient undergoing a serious procedure. It gives you the opportunity to really make a positive difference to each patient's care and experience. Well, yesterday we had a unstable patient "crash" on us. I shocked the patient several times, gave numerous IV push meds, hung drips, alternated in on CPR and did all the exciting code things some people think are so cool. Sadly, the patient didn't survive. His family was going to be allowed a final visit, in the lab, due to the suddenness of the death. What is the last thing I did for this individual? I gently cleaned up the BM he had during the arrest so he would be presentable for his family. I found that action just as important as all the high level care because I think it affects the patients dignity and his family's last impression of their loved one. Sure it may be naive to think this not part of nursing but it is the most important part - giving basic physical care to somebody in need.
  12. by   Xentec
    I'm learning alot from this post as a future PCT(CNA,phlebotomy,EKG)

    Now the smells are a big fear, and i got a kinda big nose lol. But really my greatest fear has to be a 20 something REALLY hot looking snotty little girl thats an RN, and to good to wipe a butt. I honestly know ill have problems with an RN like that, because i have serious issues with non team players.

    How do you deal with someone like that?
  13. by   pinoyrn
    I think that the reason why nurses feel a sense of camaraderie and kinship is because we ALL, as nurses, went through the hardship of "nursing fundamentals" which to me is like BOOT CAMP. As an RN, you have to be able to do the duties of a CNA and an LVN. Otherwise, how can you be their supervisor?