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HELP! Need to make decision!

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by LaurynZara LaurynZara (New) New Student

504 Profile Views; 7 Posts

Hi all!

I have a quandary I need help to think through. I just finished up my first semester of nursing school. I have a break in between my semesters and I am in the process of getting my CNA license( which can't happen until transcripts are released and then I go take my test and get my license). In the meantime A few of my instructors have mentioned the local Phlebotomy course offered( every Saturday for a few months) as a potential course I could take and beef up my resume when applying for jobs in the summer while I finish nursing school. 

MY question is: is this something worth pursuing? a phlebotomy license? I live in California btw and I really want to get employed in a hospital setting while I finish up school( not working is not an option for me). Fellow nurses and nursing students and potential nurses help me out here, is this a good avenue to pursue? Thank you all!

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Katie82 has 25 years experience and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM.

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The more certifications you have, the better. Phlebotomy is a real skill, it could open doors for you when you graduate.

 

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1 Follower; 3,288 Posts; 45,394 Profile Views

Phlebotomist "only" learn how to do lab draws.  I highly respect phlebotomist, but it's a skill most nurses learn in nursing school or on the job. Though an experienced phlebotomist trumps a nurse who occasionally trys to do a lab draw.

 

CNA's learn how to do patient care, how to get a "nursing" routine, how to get organized to get vitals, bed baths, pass trays, assist patients  getting in and out of bed, on and off the toilet or bedpans, clean soiled patients,  etc., with the hundreds of interruptions that go along with taking care of 8 to 30 patients during an eight hour shift. These are all skills a nurse needs to know. There are many units where nurses do these "CNA" tasks theirselves. 

I vote for CNA.

Edited by brownbook

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1 Follower; 3,288 Posts; 45,394 Profile Views

PS

You can certainly do both, but if the choice is one or the other, be a CNA.

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36 Posts; 159 Profile Views

7 hours ago, LaurynZara said:

Hi all!

I have a quandary I need help to think through. I just finished up my first semester of nursing school. I have a break in between my semesters and I am in the process of getting my CNA license( which can't happen until transcripts are released and then I go take my test and get my license). In the meantime A few of my instructors have mentioned the local Phlebotomy course offered( every Saturday for a few months) as a potential course I could take and beef up my resume when applying for jobs in the summer while I finish nursing school. 

MY question is: is this something worth pursuing? a phlebotomy license? I live in California btw and I really want to get employed in a hospital setting while I finish up school( not working is not an option for me). Fellow nurses and nursing students and potential nurses help me out here, is this a good avenue to pursue? Thank you all!

How about you just focus on doing nursing well and studying pharmacology etc and get a leg up on your NCLEX. It's a waste of time doing CNA and phlebotomy. If you want to practice IVs then try to get as much as possible during clinicals.

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3 Followers; 37,081 Posts; 98,574 Profile Views

Toss a coin if you want to. Do the extra work and you will have something to put on your resume that may get you a ‘foot in the door’ position. Anything that distinguishes your resume from others can be helpful in the competition for jobs.

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450 Posts; 2,127 Profile Views

see if a hospital by you will let you shadow both.  Then pick the one that you like better.  Being a CNA only really helps for that first semester.  When it comes to time management and being able to prioritize, you can learn that mopping floors at a grocery store or being a server.  It's a skill that applies to every field you can possibly work in if you have a basic understanding of your job, and that's what training is for.

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424 Posts; 1,227 Profile Views

I fully disagree with anyone that says CNA experience is not valuable.  Yes, it is using basic nursing skills, but if you are smart about it you can really soak up a lot of info from the nurses (and other professionals) you work with and get exposed to all kinds of diagnoses.  Just seeing how the health care team works together, how patient care flows & how to work with patients/families is invaluable.

If you can do both CNA and phlebotomy, more power to you.  A lot of CNAs have trouble getting hired in acute care (most work SNF), so if a phlebotomy cert helps you get a foot in the door at a hospital, that would be great.

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18 Posts; 177 Profile Views

Honestly, CNA is an absolute waste of time if you're already in nursing school and know that you want to pursue nursing. I would 100% go for the phlebotomy class instead. a CNA license on top of your RN licence isn't going to add anything to your resume. Phlebotomy experience WILL set you apart from all the other applicants. I'm not trying to sound harsh, but I REALLY don't want to see you waste your time on that CNA class 🙂 Good luck!!

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21 hours ago, runnyeggs said:

How about you just focus on doing nursing well and studying pharmacology etc and get a leg up on your NCLEX. It's a waste of time doing CNA and phlebotomy. If you want to practice IVs then try to get as much as possible during clinicals.

Studying for the nclex 1+ years ahead of a time is a huge waste of time. Even though being a CNA is obviously not being a nurse, it will each OP how to time manage herself, how to be better at talking to patients, understand how the hospital system environments work and how to work as a team with other health care professionals. It's extremely doable to do great in nursing school AND be a CNA; many of my classmates did that. Although I never was a CNA, I wish I was because that would have made me comfortable as a nursing student starting clincials. 

 

do CNA OP. You won't regret it.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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I'm astonished at the number of people saying that CNA is a waste of time. My biggest regret in nursing school was not having made time to become a CNA before or during the program.

The former CNAs I worked with had a huge leg up in both clinicals and as new grad nurses. They were already so familiar with the basics (handoff, workflow, ADLs, etc.) that they could really focus on the harder, higher-level stuff that makes nursing nursing. Meanwhile, the rest of us were playing catch-up trying to figure out the basics and the higher-level stuff.

I also graduated in a pretty stiff job market, and the CNAs I worked with had a big leg up in getting hired into specialized units (like NICU, L&D, CTICU, etc.) within the hospital system where they were already employed. As internal candidates, current employees are often given special consideration over external candidates because they have a proven track record and are much cheaper to onboard. It won't be as beneficial if you're planning to work at a different hospital from where you get your CNA job, but it can make a huge difference if you're planning to stay in the same system after graduation.

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4 hours ago, adventure_rn said:

I'm astonished at the number of people saying that CNA is a waste of time. My biggest regret in nursing school was not having made time to become a CNA before or during the program.

The former CNAs I worked with had a huge leg up in both clinicals and as new grad nurses. They were already so familiar with the basics (handoff, workflow, ADLs, etc.) that they could really focus on the harder, higher-level stuff that makes nursing nursing. Meanwhile, the rest of us were playing catch-up trying to figure out the basics and the higher-level stuff.

I also graduated in a pretty stiff job market, and the CNAs I worked with had a big leg up in getting hired into specialized units (like NICU, L&D, CTICU, etc.) within the hospital system where they were already employed. As internal candidates, current employees are often given special consideration over external candidates because they have a proven track record and are much cheaper to onboard. It won't be as beneficial if you're planning to work at a different hospital from where you get your CNA job, but it can make a huge difference if you're planning to stay in the same system after graduation.

Why so astonished? You don't think, we as RNs, have opinions that are based on reality? For one, as a student nurse, the OP can spend her free time (if that's possible for a student) to follow other RNs and learn to do thorough and speedy assessments. In her last semester, she will have a few patients of her own, doing quick assessments before giving meds is an art form in itself. Many RNs don't even bother or do a half arse one due to the lack of time. So, why not take this opportunity to improve what she needs anyway? Maybe listen to a few extra heart sounds if she can find patients with the conditions. As a student nurse she can start an IV, learn more assessment techniques, do some wound care, or whatever the RN is comfortable with showing her or having her do.

CNAs are great and a great resource for nurses. They make the lives of any nurse easier. This student nurse isn't trying to be a CNA. She is on the road to be a RN at the end of her tunnel. She should go forward and learn as much as she can, as a future RN. Clinicals are pretty short as is. How many IVs can she learn to do in the meantime? Maybe watch, clean, or change an ostomy? Or enteral feeding? How many student nurses get to see or do all of these during clinicals? Review competencies or study for future ones that she might need to check off? She can even check patency of the lines, see if patients understand care plans, go over them with patients. Many patients don't know their care plans, etc. anyway. What CNA skill can she do that will prepare her as a RN? Her scope of practice, even as a student nurse, is quite a lot more than the CNA can do. Have time, strengthen your future nursing skills.

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