How physically demanding is working as a cna?

Nursing Students CNA/MA


im going to be getting surgery soon for a torn pectoral muscle ill be in a sling for 5-6 weeks, and have to be really careful for around 4-5 months. i dont know if ill be able to do the work cna's do after surgery. would they put me somewhere else until im able to do other things like help patients in and out of their bed etc?

i need a job soon because im going to have to pay for the surgery my self. im 19 and i plan to go to school to be a RN next year, havent started college yet. i thought working as a cna would give me some experience. if i wont be able to do this after surgery maybe ill just work at walmart or something until i can.

at my LTC it is very demanding.

You'd be much better off as a cashier or something else for the time being. You don't want to take the chance of re-injuring yourself. Most LTCs probably wouldn't hire a CNA that needed to wear an arm sling and wasn't able to do the required lifting.

I doubt you would be able to do anything, even vital signs, with an arm slin g. Is there any way you can be a unit clerk/secretary or something for the time being?

You body will be used and abused like a rental car. Kidding, a little.

Seriously though, CNA work is taxing on the body. You will do a lot of lifting (sometimes 2-3x your weight), bending, squatting, pulling and so forth. You may even have to use your body as a slide in order to protect a resident from falling.

I would not recommend being a CNA post-op. Good luck with your surgery.

Specializes in Geriatrics.

CNA is very physically demanding. Like the others have said, I would find another job while you're continuing your schooling for your RN.

Specializes in LTC.

I have to agree with just 'bout everyone here. I go to bed every morning (I work 1800-0600) and I feel it in every bone, muscle, ligament, and tendon in my body. If I where in your shoes, go get a different job until your sure your healed, because re-injury is NEVER good on the pocket book, nor the job outlook.

no no no no no no, you wont be able to do anything you need to in ltc. in ltc there is no easy work. it is VERY physically demanding and you sweat bullets allllll day and you will have enough pain from the job alone, you wont be able to do it with having surgery on top of it.


and it wont be safe for the residents to get care from someone whos injured

Specializes in none as of yet.

Before I get more involved in my answer, I'm gonna say as much as you may want to get started to please give yourself some R&R so that you can be more useful to your residents and others you work with.

To give you an idea as to how physically demanding CNA work can be: in my first six months as a CNA, I lost 50 lbs with NO adjustment in diet and with little further exercise. My scrubs are practically falling off me. I used to wonder which of my buttcheeks I would have to cut off in order to lose that kind of weight.

Specializes in LTC/Rehab.

I would avoid working as a cna until you are fully healed. I started working as an aide when I was 4 months pregnant, and gave birth to my son at 7.5 months. Even after having co-workers assist me with the strenuous activities. Be good to your body.

Specializes in Long term care.

As said before, if you don't already have a job as a NAR...then no one will probably hire you...that being said...if you already have a job then you will have better luck. At my facility, if you injure yourself, they usually give you the option of days off or light duty. Light duty consists of pretty much the stuff that should get done but doesn't because of the fact that we are constantly busy. As for how bad being a NAR pain rating today is probably a 5-6/10! Today is a bad day, not every day is this bad....because you start to condition yourself for the job.

Specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych.

I lost 30 pounds working in an LTC. If done halfway right, CNA is very demanding. Not quite as bad as roofing or a construction field, but you can break a sweat and patients are heavy. Get good shoes!

There are some CNA jobs that are not quite as demanding. Many agencies use sitters where you just sit in a room for many hours with someone. In the same vein, there are also 1:1 psych obs where you have to watch suicide patients and confused folks. You could also get restorative aide, but everyone and their sister wants that job and no one ever quits. There are some desk paperwork CNA deals, but those are rare and more than likely they are going to put a nursing student in that over a CNA. Working in an adult psych is not that bad. Everyone takes care of themselves... although there is occasionally violence.

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