I took a job shadow of a CNA

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Im gonna tell you a little about myself first. Im a 20 year old male and I currently work at a factory...working 40-50 hrs a week. This is a job that I took right after high school and dont really mind it to much. I am getting paid 15.50 an hr which is good pay in my town. I'm having a hard time quitting to go to college, for a number of reasons.

I dont wanna get in debt

I like the high pay

Im scared of not getting another high paying job

I really dont know what I wanna do it with my life.

Im wanting to go to college and was thinking about taking nursing at a local community college. This would require me to quit my factory job and move 100 miles away. i do change my mind a lot about what I wanna do with my life and I understand this is completely normal for a person my age. Two weeks ago I job shadowed a CNA, and at the end I wasn't to excited.Espically helping out the elderly in the bathroom's. I was thinking why this was, and im wondering if I'm just not used/comfortable doing this type of stuff. I also don't know how they feel about such a young male helping them wipe ass espically older women. On the other hand I felt great that I made a person's day by helping them. My goal is to work in the ER unit. I am a hard working person and like to rush with things/which is why I like to work in the ER. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Should I become a nurse and do you think I would get used to wiping ass/smell? Is it normal for a young male to feel akward helping an older elderly women (bathroom area)?



125 Posts


I just graduated with my BSN. I'm a twenties female.

First, I'd like to gently suggest that you take the phrase "Wipe ass" out of your vocabulary. It's demeaning to you, your patients, and the CNA's. The technical term is "peri care" (as in perineal area) if you're looking for something else to call it. Or personal care. or hygeine. Plenty of other options.

I can still remember the first older gentleman I helped to bathe at the very beginning of clinicals. It was me and a female RN. He was totally "with it" and it was obvious that he was a bit embarrassed. I just did what I needed to do, keeping him covered with blankets as much as possible. The look on his face said it all. This was something he couldn't do for himself that day, and he was utterly grateful to have a caregiver who could show him dignity. If it were my dad, grandpa, etc. I would want them to show care and respect for him, too!

I've seen other nursing students giggle their way through baths and assiting with bedpans. I can't imagine how this makes the patients feel.

To answer your question, yes, you'll get used to it. The smells/visuals aren't easy, but you can do it. CNA's are not the only ones who deal with those bodily fluids. The best RN's I work with get right alongside the nursing students and CNA's and help them out! :o)

Best wishes to you!


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