Published Jul 1, 2005
Hey guys.... I went to myschool's advisor today and she told me that since I had a whole year before I start Nursing school that I should take a CNA course and get some experience. I never even thought about doing that before. But since I have a year off I thought why the heck not. I would appreciate it if anyone would give me information on what I should do. Should I take an online course or a classroom course? How long is the program usually? What is the pay like? Is it really worth it? Would hospitals hire me? Thanks for your replies
Pardon my ignorance. What does a CNA do?
I was told they do bloodwork, medicate(sounds weird), physical assessments.......... Things like that. You could always look it up online and see what they do. I just found out about it so your not ignorant!
RosesrReder, BSN, MSN, RN
I think the advice you got is a great idea. You can also volunteer at your local hospitals. It is better to keep yourself occupied while you wait so time can seem to go by faster. The programs are usually a few weeks in length. Check with your local American Red Cross, most of the times they offer the course. About pay, well like every other job it depends where you work, what state and are you will work, experience, etc. etc.
As for what is a CNA and its duties, here is a link that I hope will help you better understand. http://www.gramercycourt.com/index/cnajob.htm
Good Luck in whatever you decide to do
CNAs in hospitals/nursing homes do not do bloodwork or medicate. And physical assessment is definitely out of the question. Duties of a CNA will be basic patient care - bathing, tolieting, feeding, vital signs, ambulation, etc... Some CNAs are trained to insert/remove foley catheters & test blood sugars.
There are medication aides in nursing homes - I'm not sure what kind of training they require.
The classes will vary widely. Some are offered through hospitals/nursing homes and community colleges. I didn't know there were online CNA classes - but you must be prepared to take an exam to get your certification, which for me included physical demonstration.
Don't quote me on this, but I think average pay for a CNA runs anywhere from 8-12$/h depending on location. I worked as a CNA during school, and I found it helpful.
A lot of hospitals hire patient care techs who are CNAs (ours require that you have a CNA) and then train them to take blood, start IVs, Accuchecks, do EKGs, do Foley's, splints, basic wound care as well as ADLs. Since I'm in emergency, there isn't a lot of ADLs going on, but it does sometimes happen.
Ive been looking for places to take the course and I cant fint it anywhere. I lloked on the american Red Cross site and its not there. Thank you for all your replies.
In North Carolina this is the basic description of CNA1 and CNA2:
NAI tasks include bathing, skin/hair/nail care, and turning/positioning a patient. You will assist with feedings, and deal with incontinence a lot. A complete list of tasks associated with the NAI should be on your florida board of nursing website. The NAII can perform certain sterile procedures such as insertion of foley catheters, tracheostomy care, tube feedings, removal of fecal impaction, oxygen therapy, and nasopharyngeal suctioning.
Your state should also have a board of nursing website with descriptions of tasks, for this may vary from state to state. If you are a potential nursing student, I do believe you have a greater chance to get a hospital job. Typically, most opportunities are in LTC facilities, where assistance with ADLs is paramount, but if you get your CNA2, you will have more to offer in a hospital setting. Check with your local community college.
Is it worth it? I have been doing this for 10 years, in hopes of going back to school for nursing. It is really hard work in a LTC facility. You will learn so much about what the patients experience, and you will grow in compassion and understanding. Learn to be an advocate. Just watch out for preditor nurses! (Yes they DO eat their young! and old..)
start iv's? woah
Unless your advisor is planning on putting you through a phlebetomy course, then I will tell you I have NEVER heard of a CnA doing all that.
I am a CNA. My duties include changing beds, helping with meals, changing diapers, helping ambulate, etc. Just daily living tasks.
I could go on for my CNA II and that would enable me to do a bit more (tube feedings, etc) but I will learn all that in nursing, so I don't plan on going for my CNA II.
I became a CNA because it is a requirement for the Nursing program. I had no choice than to become a CNA. But I enjoy it. I'll enjoy nursing more though. :)
Contact your state board of nursing. They will have info on their web site.
I am currently a CNA and did get my certification as part of the admissions process in the nursing program. I do the normal ADL's and also accuchecks. I work in a hospital setting and I recommend that you do get your certification and try being a CNA out because it is so much different than what you may think it would be. The experience I have gotten as an aide has definitely increased my love for the profession. It is a hard and demanding job and you find a couple of nurses that feel you are beneath them,and the tasks you perform on your shift are not as important as theirs, but the nurses I work with are wonderful and are anxious to teach me about being a nurse. It has been an indescribable experience for me and I love every day of it.
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