Quote from futuremaineRNBSN
I am going into the second half of my junior year of nursing school and I just started working as a CNA in a hospital a few weeks ago. I HATE IT. I love nursing school and I love my clinicals but I really hate being a CNA. I don't mind the work itself and I like my patients but I constantly feel like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off and I don't feel like my patients are being taken care of as well as they should be. I work nights and our assignment is 12 patients. It's starting to scare me that if I hate being a CNA am I going to hate nursing? I should note that I am a working mainly on med-surg and that my goal is to work as a nurse on labor and delivery. Any RN's out there that hated working as a CNA before they finished nursing school? I have never wavered in my decision to get my BSN before now and I've invested so much work and time into it already that I'm really freaking out about this.
You've been working as a CNA for a few weeks -- it's normal to feel like you're running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Your first few weeks/months of nursing are going to feel like that as well. That's just part of the transition from student to CNA to nurse. Give it some time before you decide that you HATE it. It could just be the stress of doing something new.
Working on Med/Surg is a great place to start, even if your eventual plan is to work in L & D. L & D is a popular aspiration for new nurses and you may find it difficult to start out there. In that case, Med/Surg may be your back-up plan and you're already learning lots. It may not feel as though you're learning "nursey" stuff, but believe me, you are. Nurses are responsible for CNA stuff, too, and you're going to have a head start on your fellow newbies because of your experience. Nurses turn patients, fetch blankets, snacks and water, help patients to the bathroom and clean up the mess when they don't make it to the bathroom. Nurses do everything that CNAs do. When I started nursing, I didn't know how to do ANY of that stuff, and my progress as a nurse was delayed.
Twelve patients is a lot for a nurse -- I'm guessing that the nurse to patient ratios are somewhat different. But you're still going to flounder for a while at first. That's so normal that we have a whole forum devoted to the phenomenon. Take this opportunity to learn from your fellow CNAs. Volunteer to help Janet clean up poop and you'll be surprised at how many tips you'll absorb on the most effecient (and kind) way to get that done. Help Mary ambulate her patient, and you'll learn the quickest way to get them out of bed and ready to ambulate. Etc. I learned a lot on the job as a new nurse from the wonderful NAs I worked with.
Give it some time. It takes about a year to feel comfortable in a new job, and closer to two years to be competent. I hope you'll be glad of your decisions when some time has passed.