HELP! I DON"T WANT TO GO THROUGH CNA first... - page 9

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   RNsRWe
    Quote from lookingforward
    I guess some people just don't understand. Poopy is ok, as long as it's not 12 or so pts. all day, 7 days a week, as a career!
    Lookingforward, let me's not that the people who have come down hard on you don't understand. It's that it appears that you don't understand just how much the gross stuff like diapers/briefs, etc is entrenched in everyday nursing care.

    You don't have to work in a LTCF with 12 patients 7 days a week to experience ALOT of unpleasant work. While "poop" has been the focus here, you're going to have to trust that there's an awful lot of bodily fluids that can be equally disgusting, and it's oftentimes the nurse, not the CNA, that attends to that.

    I work in med-surg and some shifts I don't have a single incontinent patient. Other times, 5 out of 7 are. Even when they aren't incontinent, there's the joy of emptying and washing out bedpans and potty buckets (for the healthy, NOT incontinent pts) and obtaining stool samples for various reasons--this means digging a plastic spoon into the pan or brief and smearing it on slides, or pouring it into cups. And that's just the poop

    I have friends who work in every unit of the hospital, and ALL OF THEM have this work to do. L&D is hardly the exception; actually, they have alot of gross stuff to clean up....personally, after doing a clinical rotation in OB, if I NEVER have to take off another woman's peri-pad to examine her lochia, up close and personal, it'd be too soon. But doing the work originally, well, it IS a learning experience.

    NO ONE is saying you must love this aspect of the work, or that you must WANT it to become the greatest time consumer of your workweek. But the point you need to understand is that if you find that doing the CNA work (the pre-req you need for school) gets to you TOO much, you may find that nursing really ISN'T for you. Don't take that to mean that you couldn't be a super nurse and hate this aspect of patient care. But DO understand that if you don't get past being truly offended by it, you won't be able to survive in bedside nursing no matter WHAT field you choose. There just isn't a "clean" job for a nurse anywhere in the hospital, unless you're administration! And getting used to poop and puke and phlegm and....stuff early on will HELP you to not be thrown off by it later, when you really truly need to dig around in that stuff for assessment purposes.

    I'm not trying to get you worked up, but I hope you get that the reasons for having you do the CNA work now really ARE valid....and may just affect how you handle yourself later.
    Last edit by RNsRWe on Feb 7, '07
  2. by   joyflnoyz
    please remember that what a cna does is

    basic nursing care

    it is very good experience

    no one shovels poop on 12 pts 7 days a week

    there are many things about nursing i do not like..i can handle the poop, but vomit and stuff from the lungs is my tough spot to deal with. i don't like icu/er - i'm not an adrenaline junkie. a clinic might be neat to try i don't like working most holidays.
    i love working with the elderly, and with end of life care and eventually i want to work hospice, i don't like administrators who have no common sense and not having supplies handy.

    my point is there are many facets of nursing, and cleaning up a person (while maintaining their dignity) is one facet.
    i was a cna for a few years <matter of fact, started as a hospital volunteer when i was 14> and as a lpn/lvn (depending on which state i happen to be working in) have come to depend on the cnas (pronounced see nahs lol) they are my eyes and ears down the hall, and i can't tell you how many times a cna has come to me and said "i don't know what's going on, but there is something wrong with so-and-so. they have saved lives by being observant.

    very important addition to health care
  3. by   Jellibum
    Looking forward,as ppl & as nurses,we all agree that poop smells and cleaning it up (without looking at the person behind it) can suck...but it is something that is BASIC NURSING CARE! Sure,some of us don't want to clean up spills for the rest of our careers but the beauty of nursing is that you can always advance/change/expand into different areas once one gets dull. Each one of us has something that we dislike doing/or dealing with in daily care-i'm not fond of sputum and my best mate HATES false teeth! What i'm saying is that most of us here in this forum, appreciate your honesty at the dislike of certain aspects of nursing-even if the was it was written was a tad extreme-but perhaps when something as fundamental as cleaning up poop & "other gross spills" is SOOO scary maybe its time to ask some tough questions-WHY NURSING?? I hope that you can grow, whether it is in nursing or another profession. I believe that each person moving into the nursing profession should ask themselves why?? WHY HERE?? WHY THIS?? Most ppl will say "it's because i want to help ppl". But there are many other professions that do that... so WHY NURSING??
  4. by   merrymmary
    I think nurses that were cna's first make the BEST nurses. I enjoyed being a CNA except for the physical labor because you really had time to get to know the patient.
  5. by   Jellibum
    RNsRWe, thank you for putting it so eloquently - it's the point i was attempting to make... I just hope that LookingForward can do exactly that and ask the hard questions, make the tough (and often uncomfortable) choices and move towards the appropriate decision. It's not whether doing the CNA before makes for better nurses but it DEFIANTLY can help ppl figure out whether they can handle the physical and emotional toil that some of the tasks are involved with this incredible profession. Lots of love and hugs Jelli ..... now, i'm going for a cuppa....goodness knows i need it.....
  6. by   RNfromMN
    I am so glad I have CNA experience to back me up when I become an RN - it was absolutely, 100% the best thing I could have done for myself...well, actually, the school made us do it, so I guess I can't take full credit:chuckle . This may be far in the back of your mind of concerns right now, but you may find CNAs - & maybe even some other RNs - that you work with resentful of any direction you give them, knowing that you have never worked as a CNA.

    How do you think your patients would feel if they could read what you've written in here? I'm not trying to come down on you - I swear! When I got my 1st CNA job, I was terrified at the aspect of touching poo & actually lost a good 15 pounds right off the bat because I couldn't even stand the idea of eating anywhere near work! It wasn't long before I found myself bringing soiled briefs into the employee breakroom that the RNs were supposed to inspect for certain reasons. I'd take 2 steps into that breakroom, RN eating her supper, & eventually realize what I was doing, saying, "Hey, Deb, here's that stool you wanted to look at - OMG! I'm so sorry! I'll just leave this in the utility room for you to look @ when you're done eating!" Funny thing is, I would usually catch how gross the whole thing was before the RN would. I promise - you just get used to it.

    I think you will only benefit from CNA experience - you will get an understanding & appreciation of the job the CNAs that work with you do. And if one of them ever whines about something being too hard, you'll be able to say, "Hey! I was a CNA, too - suck it up!" As a patient, I would be afraid to even pass a little gas in front of a nurse that I knew was absolutely mortified about the idea of tending to incontinence issues.

    It's natural to be grossed out by human waste, but wouldn't you rather conquer that fear & be able to deal with it when it comes up, than crinkle your nose up & have to run to get a CNA every time? And believe me, as a CNA, I would not be afraid to roll my eyes & be a total snot to the nurse that pulled me away from another patient I was tending to, to clean up a little BM.
  7. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Jellibum
    RNsRWe, thank you for putting it so eloquently - it's the point i was attempting to make... I just hope that LookingForward can do exactly that and ask the hard questions, make the tough (and often uncomfortable) choices and move towards the appropriate decision. It's not whether doing the CNA before makes for better nurses but it DEFIANTLY can help ppl figure out whether they can handle the physical and emotional toil that some of the tasks are involved with this incredible profession. Lots of love and hugs Jelli ..... now, i'm going for a cuppa....goodness knows i need it.....
    Why, thank you! :blushkiss I really don't even want to dissuade her from nursing, just want the understanding of what we DO to get across.

    When I started school I can honestly say I hadn't a clue how much of the gross stuff we do, lol....I never worked as a CNA beforehand, so I didn't have that to work from. I don't necessarily agree with the idea that nurses who DID work as CNAs before being nurses make the best nurses, I think there's alot more to that, but there's certainly an advantage to already being used to the nasties before entering clinicals. There's a fair amount of time spent in the fundamentals of nursing school learning to NOT gag
  8. by   swo32001
    It is good experience to work as a cna,you learn to respect them and the hard work they do.You don't try to boss so much and realize how hard it is.Also as a nurse you will still have to help with "cna" stuff.
  9. by   casi
    Quote from lookingforward
    i was looking around the other posts in other sections and i came across a post from dorselm that kind of went like this:
    i dislike...
    1. inappreciative pts who can pick up the phone, dial a number and talk but can't spread a packet of mustard on their sandwich. or who have you come in their room at 9 to bathe them and they tell you to come back later when they are ready.
    2. being short staffed and having to take on even more work
    3. co-workers who hang in clicks
    4. having to smell poop all day
    5 having to clean poop all day
    6. poop getting on me
    7 listening to phlegm in someones throat who has a trach
    lifting or transporting patients.
    8 not having team work

    i love.....
    working with some of the patients. they are so adorable and even though you can't always understand what you're saying, they are so sweet and appreciative of you helping them...
    ******so it seems like not everyone disagrees******
    those are just a couple of downfalls. seriously, how often to people really poop? the nurses don't load the residents up on laxatives to spite the cnas! the above things happen in all areas of nursing as they are basic nursing duties.

    i never wanted to work geriatrics, but none of the hospitals would hire me without experience. so i sucked it up and started applying to the local nursing homes and assisted livings. i got in and completely fell in love with the work. it isn't all changing incontinence briefs and cleaning up poop. one of the best memories i had of a resident that recently passed took place when i was getting her up from the toilet. as i was trying to clean her up and pull up her briefs she started dancing about the bathroom singing elvis! needless to say we both ended up dancing about the bathroom. this was a woman who lost a lot of her bright outgoing personality due to dementia and it was just amazing to see that shine through for a brief moment.

    from what i understand, poop happens on all units. you want to work l&d. great goal. from what i've been told by a lot of people is a lot of l&ds don't hire cnas or if they do, they hire a small number and they get to spend a lot of their shift doing non-patient care. if this is the case, who do you think is putting mom on the bedpan or walking with her to the bathroom? it would be the nurse.

    i'm not saying don't become a nurse. i'm just saying suck it up, get your cna and learn to deal with the poop. there are very few nursing jobs that don't include poop and in order to get them you got to get your gloves dirty for a couple of years beforehand.
  10. by   annlvn
    I was never a CNA before I became an LVN, but I wish I would have been in the beginning, the first semester of nursing school is basically just that. Nursing is team work, and there will be many times that you will be changing the old and the young. Long hours, lots of paperwork, sick people who are not happy most of the time because they don't feel well. It takes alot out of you so you had better have alot to give. Nursing is a very rewarding carree but not for everyone.
  11. by   Study
    Please dont become a nurse if you think like this. It's not for you.
  12. by   payitforward
    Dear Help,

    You know, I am so sik and tired of hearing students who don't want to go through the 'trenches' like many of us had to. There is nothing WRONG, demeaning, or demoralizing with performing patient care. You get to know your patients, and they get to know you. If you have this attitude, with all due respect, you don't need to be a nurse. And if you are the type who feels they shouldn't HAVE to do patient care, then you truly don't need to be a nurse. We have enough nurses around that feel they are too good to do patient care.
  13. by   RANGER777
    I Just Graduated From Lpn Schhol. I Am Now Working At An Assisted Living Facility. I Like It Very Much. But If You Asked Me A Year Ago If I Would Work There I Would Have Said No Way! I Wanted A Clinic Job. But As I Went Through Clinicals I Grew To Like The Elderly Very Much And You Get Past The "poop". Just Imagine You Or A Family Member In That Very Vulnerable Position Of Needing Help Like That. I Had Never Done Pt Care Before And I Really Wish I Had Because The Girls In Our Class That Were Cnas Were More Comfortable W/ Moving Patients And Much More Efficient In Dressing And Bathng Patients, All Of Which You Will Do Lots Of In Nursing School Of Any Kind! I Would Try It , You Might Be Surprised Like Me, Or At The Very Least Save Yourself From Spending A Lot Of Money On The Wrong Career Choice.