CNA, Need Advice :(

  1. I'm 21 and graduated a one-month, Red Cross CNA training program in August of past year. Since then, I've been busy as a full-time college student. I live with my parents and they help me out with whatever I need so I haven't really "needed" to be working. Summer break started a couple weeks ago, and I feel like a total bum because aside from a small, four hours a week housekeeping gig, I am unemployed. I feel really bad about it, and so now I am figuring out whether I should apply for a job at my local Dunks, or just take the leap and apply for a CNA job. The reason I haven't yet, is because I get really really nervous about it. (I used to take meds for anxiety). I know in reality that if I just forced myself to apply at the local hospital/a LTC facility that I would be super nervous for weeks but ultimately would be fine. That being said, that rationality is constantly slipping from my mind. I feel so so nervous, that I'll be judged, that I'm not really ready, that I won't even know how to talk to patients properly and be confident in what I am doing. I'm also small and pretty weak.. I don't care about messy dirty work at all, but I get nervous about the literal small interactions between a patient and me or coworkers and me, and the patient's comfort. I just feel so nervous that I haven't even applied.. so I guess, I'm looking for some reassurance.

    Another question I have -- my dad is a CNA, and he has told me that he really thinks I should apply at our local hospital, or a LTC facility, rather than a home health agency. He says that it's better for me to learn that way, because at a HH agency you're alone, on your own. Is this completely true? Do new CNAs not usually go this route? The reason it seems appealing to me (after the nerves) is that I could do 20 hours a week just sort of being a companion, etc. Is it true that HH agencies can just send you wherever? Do you get oriented with the patient beforehand, or do you just show up and introduce yourself? Do they try to match you properly if you say you are a newer CNA with no experience?? (Some local HH postings say "brand new CNAs welcome" and things like that, but I guess I assume that's because they're staff hungry.) Could you apply for a companion or HHA position even though you're a CNA? I practiced taking vitals in my course, but if I was alone to take a BP, I would totally second guess myself. I'm sorry if I seem naive.. any advice is appreciated.
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    About mo1212

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 1

    3 Comments

  3. by   missmollie
    Rome wasn't built in a day. Obtaining that first CNA job and really focusing on becoming the best CNA you can be will help. It's going to be difficult at first, but like anything else, you will get better with it.

    LTC is difficult work, but as you get to know your residents, it becomes easier. Expect to feel discouraged the first few months, but you'll get it and you'll improve both in your knowledge and your interactions with residents. The hospital setting will give you fewer patients, but the population is constantly changing.

    You must have taken the course for a reason and now you have some new skills to put to use. When choosing a facility, find out how flexible they are with a school schedule. Working full time during the summer months can increase your confidence, and then you could go to part-time during school. Best of luck in whatever you decide to do!
  4. by   caliotter3
    A job in home health will be a lot easier to adjust to after you have some LTC experience under your belt. Should you get a job in acute care, learn all you can and maintain that job. You can always do some home health work on your days off if you desire.
  5. by   RN123abc123
    Here is my experience when I worked as a CNA:

    I am a COMPLETE introvert (like the person who hangs out with the dog at parties haha).
    I obtained my CNA when I was 16 from a LTC facility one summer break. I was this 5'4, 90lb quiet girl who pretty much blended into the walls. I remember literally trying to "plan" conversations in my head to talk to the residents and my coworkers about (that never worked :P).
    I would have to say the awkardness really went away after I was off orientation and I was alone taking care of my residents. The confidence came maybe a few months I was on the job and I knew I was providing my residents with what they needed.

    The nice thing about LTC is the elderly are so thankful that you are there caring for them and most of them are REALLY patient while you learn. There were times I forgot to take dentures out at bedtime or forgot to put their glasses on their bedside table. The first time I had to give a whirlpool bath, I forgot how to work it! The resident was so patient and understanding. In the end, you become their family and you really have a spot for them in your heart at the end of the day.

    Honestly, you may work with coworkers that get frustrated with you. However, MOST of them will be so friendly, accommodating and understanding! My advice would be don't be that person that blends into the wall. Take that uncomfortable step and introduce yourself to your fellow coworkers! (It will be uncomfortable but worth it!!). Seek out EVERY opportunity you can. There was a day during my orientation period that I asked to do all of the showers. There was a day when I asked to take all the vital signs. Seek out new experiences especially when you are training. Soak up as much as you can. You and your fellow aides will be a team at the end of the day I promise I have worked with more rewarding team members then not. If you are struggling, tell them They will help you.

    I personally loved LTC! I got some many rewarding experiences out of it. I started out in LTC and don't regret it to this day. It taught me awesome time management and I just found that environment very rewarding. I love going to work every day to spend time with my residents and make them smile. I would recommend to start out in LTC where you have people to "fall back on".

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