New Male CNA student worries


Hi I'm 19 years old and started an evening CNA program at my local community college I'm the only guy in a class of 10 and I feel kinda weird being there I really want to go to nursing school. Can any male cna or nurses tell me what their experience was like? I'm doing clinicals at a hospital so I wanna know about that as we'll, I'm super nervous and I get a lot of anxiety!! How do I get rid of it!?

Hi, I'm not a male but I've met many male CNA's and male Nurses! (I am also a minority CNA which I'll get into later)

Just do your best and listen to your patients especially in terms of modesty concerns. For example, don't get offended or take it personally if a woman doesn't want you doing perineal care on her and always try to ask if the patient is comfortable with what you're doing.

You'll get rid of the anxiety by just going in and doing your best. You will get more and more comfortable each clinical. I was a box of nerves when I first started my clinicals but when I got there I realized that I knew my skills, the hospital protocol, and to excessively wash my hands and it quickly turned into a place to blossom and improve not stress uncontrollably!

I actually preferred the hospital setting compared to a long term care facility. Just do what you were taught to do, don't be afraid to ask questions, and refine your teamwork skills!

Hospitals always have eyes & ears watching so don't talk bad about the patients, nurses, or violate HIPAA. You'll stand out in the class which isn't always a bad thing so if you give exceptional care and show potential they might even contact you for a job opportunity :)

I was also an odd one out in my group, I am Muslim so I was so nervous people wouldn't like me because I do wear a headscarf. I'll tell you now that nothing rude was ever said to me by a patient or coworker, even if they were thinking it. People looked at me and were curious so I made sure to give impeccable care, help whenever possible, and communicate to show others I was competent and could do my job without letting personal choices and their interpretation of my beliefs hinder me from going above and beyond my best.

If you know what you want, you'll get there with no trouble at all. Even if you're outnumbered by the ladies lol

Good luck!!!


446 Posts

Its awkward but its a hump you have to get over. Males are increasingly common in Nursing. Doing clinicals in a hospital will be easier as you wont continually be giving baths and showers and doing peri care on confused, incontinent people, or dressing or undressing them in street clothes. Many of your patients in a hospital can pretty much care for themselves, unlike a nursing home, and they will be wearing gowns, which makes life way easier. I'm surprised they are training you in a hospital, as you will get far less exposure to the really hard CNA skills you need to master than you would in a nursing home, unless its a rehab floor, then you'll get some good training in.


10 Posts

In a very quick nutshell (gotta nap for night shift tonight), here is one newish male nurse's take on the journey. Nursing school (40/2 female/male graduation ratio) overall didn't treat me better or worse than classmates; 2/4 clinical supervisors were tougher on me than my peers but floor RNs and CNAs were a little easier; found new grad med/surg hospital opportunity out of state fairly easily compared to classmates but applied early, often, and in many states; found better job after one year on step-down unit back in home state; and after 6 months feel settled and mostly successful. As you must know or have read, the work is hard and the environment challenging, but I feel incredibly rewarded. I have run into precious few obstacles as a RN, sometimes even helping my patients to feel surprisingly comfortable being cared for by a male caregiver (from 92yo F: "Well I've never been bathed naked by a man who wasn't my husband before...but there's a first time for everything!"). My advice is not to listen to fears, but keep doing what you are doing and find out for yourself how you thrive in care roles. Good luck and strength to you!


68 Posts

You have every right to be in whatever field you want to! I had 2 men in my CNA class, one very young and one in his early 50's. Like us all, they had their own strengths and weaknesses. When I worked with the older of the 2, he asked that I do the peri-care on our female resident and I did. But to truly be confident in your field please don't be inhibited to do any part of the job - just act professional and like its no big deal, because really it isn't...we all have "private parts", etc.


89 Posts

Specializes in CNA, HHA, RNA,. Has 2 years experience.

Truth is, when it comes times for clinics make sure you protect yourself when you are practicing your skills on female pt's, especially peri-care. Don't be left alone with a resident and if you have to, just have your instructor present when you perform it. You have a lot of liars and jealousy in the nursing program, so I wouldn't be surprised if someone came back who didn't like you and said you did some questionable things.


50 Posts

I am a male CNA and I am also going to nursing school. My best advice is be mindful of body language, I have only one time been asked if I could get them someone else to do their care. Even with that they were still willing to let me do it but just preferred someone female.


193 Posts

I grew up around women. It's not awkward at all! I get along with all my students/colleagues at school and work. Be prepared for gossip though. Also, don't let their sexual advances compromise your future. Messing around with colleagues can get complicated - and blame usually falls on a man, even if nothing 'wrong' actually happened.


5 Posts

Has 2 years experience.

I'm a male CNA and in my class of ten, there were only two.

At work, I sometimes run into female patients with modesty issues, but that's part of the deal. (And it's few and far between.) As for relationships with co-workers, there's no difference as far as I can tell. (Except i'm often asked to lift and move the heavy loads.) I must admit that, in my time with my staffing agency, i've NEVER been assigned to work in L&D, OB-GYN, or the women's prison units. (I do PRN prison work.) …But i'm okay with that.

To be honest, I do think being a male gave me an advantage in the hiring process. I don't know anything for certain, it's just that me and "other male classmate" were the first to be hired.