I have a question about CNA injury potential. I am a nursing student who is very anxious to gain more pt. care experience. I applied at all the hospitals in my area for CNA positions but could not find a job at any of them after challenging the state CNA exam. I found a job at a nursing home but after my first day of work I've hurt my back from trying to move patients without help (low staff ratio, staff doesn't speak clear English, etc.). The patients beds also do not elevate, so I spent all shift bending over in cramped quarters. Not fun!
I've learned my lesson and now will refuse to move anyone without help, but I'm very concerned about future injuries. Is working in a LTC worth it to gain experience? I love patient care but the physical work of CNA duties without adequate help seems too dangerous. I'm an older student(40's) so I don't have the flexibility and strength of a young woman. I feel trapped because apparently hospitals are only doing internal hiring and the only way to get into the hospitals is to have experience. I , unfortunately, do not have any connections in the hospitals at all.
Should I stick it out or is this job not worth the risk? I don't mind the work, but I do not want to ruin my own health for just a temporary job.
Thanks for your responses.
Jun 28, '09
Hi. I am sorry you hurt your back. Could you ask for help if needed from the other cnas and nurses? I make it a rule never to move patient myself if I feel in my judgment, that it may result in injury, to myself or the patient. I ask for help.
I just turned 39, and I have no trouble keeping up with the younger nurses, as I have always been very athletic and work out regularly. I have not yet suffered a back injury as I have alot of strength and and use good body mechanics.
I encourage older nurses and students to start an exercise program, as it helps tremendously with your job duties.
I hope your back gets better soon. If you can get the help you need there, great. If not, look for another place to work. You don't want to end up with a crippled back before you even get your degree, Take care of yourself.
Jun 28, '09
Getting injured the first day of work is not good. Reporting on the job injuries as soon as possible is very important! I hope this was done?!
Learning proper body mechanics, how to ask for help, and asking the patient to help if possible are ways to help prevent further injury. Staff nurses are also required to help with lifting, etc. so these tips will help you even after nursing school.
As the job market nationwide is sparse, perhaps sticking it out might not be a bad idea. Be sure to take precautions to avoid further injury! Of course we've excellent online sources so you can always keep an eye out while working. Best of luck!