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I got the job and now I am scared....

Posted

Hi,

I did CNA training+test back in the spring, but so far was too afraid to actually apply at hospitals/nursing homes.... but then two weeks ago I finally quit my job (which I hated) and got some applications out...to make a long story short, I got a job offer in LTC today and I accepted... but now I am kind of scared.... what is it like to work LTC? My biggest fear is.... am I going to have to take care of someone who passed away, or does a nurse usually do that? I have never seen a dead person and the thought of it really makes me nervous.... then again, as a hopefully future nurse, I suppose I have to get used to it at some point....

any thoughts, stories, encouragements etc. will be appreciated :-)

Thanks, Katie

Postmortem care is usually considered part of the job for a CNA. However, I think it would depend on the individual facility's policies and possibly state laws. Most likely, two people (one LPN and one CNA at the nursing home where I did clinicals) will do the postmortem care.

As for seeing a dead body for the first time, I think it's perfectly normal to be nervous. I don't know if you ever get used to it, but it is something you learn to deal with and accept in order to do your job.

Here's a site geared toward CNAs coping with death and dying. It has some good information.

I wish you the best with your new job!

It took me 3 years (yes, 3) before I had to do postmortem care. I was petrified but it wasn't as bad as I made it out to be. It is usually the CNA's job to do care, but you don't go in there alone. Often, a nurse will accompany you in. It doesn't take long and it doesn't feel weird to touch someone who is dead.

My advice: if there's no roommate, open a window. You will feel better with some fresh air in the room. Try not to think too much about the resident's life. Yeah, it can be hard if you get attached. A trick I use is to plan a vacation in your head, or go through your grocery list. It's ok to cry but try not to do it in front of family. They need to know that you've got it together in case they need you to rely on - and they will need you.

Also, there's two things that comfort me: 1) knowing that the resident/patient is no longer in pain 2) really really loud music on the drive home (preferable Metallica or Korn).

deeDawntee, RN

Specializes in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc. Has 12 years experience.

Don't be scared, it really will be OK. One thing I can tell you is that you are not going to have to worry about your exercise program! Being a CNA in a nursing home is very physical work. I worked in a nursing home as a nurse and it is very physical for a nurse as well, but not as much as the CNA's. Actually, I considered that a plus of the job!! Now, I work in an ICU at a hospital, and I sit around and get fat!!!.... hehehe

(just kidding)

:lol2:

Actually confronting death when I worked in a nursing home was one of the most valuable parts of it for me. You really directly experience how people are not their bodies...their spirits are gone and all the pain has slipped away. A body is just a body.

Actually confronting death when I worked in a nursing home was one of the most valuable parts of it for me. You really directly experience how people are not their bodies...their spirits are gone and all the pain has slipped away. A body is just a body.

You're right. You also learn so much from patients. I had one tell me that there are 3 things for me to remember (as she was dying): save for your retirement, brush your teeth, and don't smoke - she had end stage lung cancer.

I don't procrastinate as much as I used to once I saw first hand how short your life can really be. I'm definitely more of a carpe diem kind of girl now.

deeDawntee, RN

Specializes in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc. Has 12 years experience.

I don't procrastinate as much as I used to once I saw first hand how short your life can really be. I'm definitely more of a carpe diem kind of girl now.

I'm more of a carpe noctem kind of a gal myself!!! hehehe

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