I'm a CNA with awful back pain. Should I continue my degree?

Nursing Students General Students


I've been working as a CNA in a fast paced hospital for 3 years and have 18 months left of my Bachelors degree to become an RN. For the last month I've had unbearable lower back pain. I think it started when rolling an incredibly obese patient for pressure care. Now it's constant always and flares when I lift anything. I'm about to see a physio, but I'm so over this. Every time I work I'm in agony. I know there's stuff like case management and doctors surgeries but I still have months of practicals to get through before I can even consider that. I'm wondering whether I should cut my losses now and find something else.

I'm not sure it's relevant but I'm a tiny 110 pound petite person so struggle with the physical nature of moving some people at the best of times.


I am not a people mover. I refuse to move people without adequate tools and help. Period. I would adopt that policy immediately if I were you. It is not appropriate for anyone to expect anything otherwise.

Your job description likely has physical requirements associated with it, which can be used as a reasonable guideline.

Beyond that, seek medical evaluation as you plan to do.

Good luck ~

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

I'm thinking that by your use of the terms "surgeries" and "practicals" that you are not in the US. I don't know if you have worker's compensation where you live, but you do need to report your injury to your employer and see a doctor as soon as possible, even though you really should have done so when it first happened. Back injuries can be career-ending, but you won't know one way or another until a qualified healthcare provider examines you. Please don't wait, because you're only going to make things worse if you keep working with this pain. Do it today.

Best of luck to you.

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