Taking a hospital job while in school?

  1. Hello, I need some advice on managing finances while in school. I am unable to quit work 100% while in school. I have moved back home with my parents, but still pay rent (although significantly less than an apartment), car insurance, bills etc. I have worked for my present company for over 12 years, and they are allowing me to work 30 hours a week so I can keep my health insurance. I am thankful for this, however, there is a long commute for me to/from work/school and I am unable to focus on my studying like I need to be. As a result I failed the Fluids & Electrolyte exam, and therefore did not pass my Concepts1 (Med-Surg) class.

    I am trying to avoid this in January when I go back. I wanted to know how people survived school when they didn't have a real support system at home. I have no prior medical experience other than my two semesters in school. I can obtain my CNA license, but I am not sure if financially it will be sufficient. I must keep some form of Health Insurance while in school also (no husband to do that and i'm too old to be on my parents).

    Can anyone offer any advice, pros/cons on taking a CNA position? I figured it would give me some good experience and help me gain confidence talking to patients, as well as becoming more proficient with comfort/hygiene. Or are there other positions that are entry level that may pay more? I have heard that some hospitals will allow a tech to work part time, but pay them full time wages, that they will help pay for college, and offer free health insurance. I make $18 a hour right now, I know I will take a significant pay cut, but it might be worth it if it gives me more opportunity to study.

    Can anyone give me some insight into how your hospital works? Hours, pay for newbies do they offer health insurance, is it expensive/free and how do they pay for school, and if they do pay, how long do I have to work there before they do (6 months/1 year etc.).

    Also if anyone has any advice on how they fit study time in and work full time, or alternative ideas, I am open to suggestions

    Any advice is appreciated! Thank you.
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    About Snuggs105

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 4


  3. by   Cuddleswithpuddles
    Hi snuggs105,

    Being a CNA in acute or long-term care is incredibly hard work. I cannot imagine working close to full-time as a CNA while class is in session. A good alternative may be to become a home health aide which is basically doing CNA work in clients' homes. You work with one person at a time and you may have plenty of down time to study quietly. The pay is not spectacular and is most likely comparable with what you would get as a CNA.

    I also tutored during school. If you have a knack for it and target wealthier schools or build a niche, you can make good money. I tutored a couple of well-to-do elementary school-age kids and was the only nursing tutor in my campus at the time.

    You could try finding an individual health insurance plan through your school clinic or through ehealthinsurance.com
  4. by   LadyinScrubs
    Have you considered becoming a private caretaker--privately or through a company. You will be doing much of the same you would do as a cNA..but with one person. Once you get your work done, you would have time to study. Downside is the pay is minimum wage or a little higher.

    You could work as a CNA with a hospice and work a few nights a week. This would allow you time to study as many hospice patiets sleep nights or are less active.
    If insurance is critical, see if your school has a student health insurance program. I know they exist.