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Newbie CNA-What Its Like


Specializes in taken care of elderly.

I am a new Cna,

I work in a LTC facility,I am older and its the hardest pyhisacal job I have ever had.I have been on the job for 3 months now!I live in central Fla and my pay rate is 9.25 I work every other weekend and get a shift diff of 2.oo an hour for working on the weekend.The company does not give a raise at 90 days.We are expected to get a raise this year but as a new employee I wont be able to receive that raise.The company gives a life insurance policy of 20 grand for family members if I die,Insurance is available ,dental eye and medical.Its about 100 a month for basic insurance.

What they taught me when I went to CNA school was hardly anything like I experiance on a day to day basis.

I was trained as a orientee, by other cna's on the floor,What I kept hearing was youll get your own groove.Meaning i'll figure it out.i'm currently a floater which means I float and take care of different residents each day ,not having the same residents depending on who is off that day,we have 5 cnas on some days other days we have 7 which one girl might go home or float to another floor.

I defenitly had a hard time when i first began doing this,just finishing all my work in a 8 hr period was a acomplishment.The older cna s were finished ,done with thier books and waiting to go home and I was still changing people.Three cnas go to the dining room from each floor,there we make coffee at breakfast,serve the trays to residents and feed those who cannot feed themselves,then we clean up the plates ,silverware etc,after that we go back to the floor get people up and get them ready for doc appts,rehab,some residents stay in bed all day long and dont get up,most residents will have a shower three times a week, some can shower themselves with some assitance some cannot,make sure you have non skid shoes on,and some residents will refuse to eat and or shower.Be ready for surprise appointments! The same is done for lunch and dinner.3 to 11 shifts have one feeding time.

I have had two residents that I am not allowed to care for them one to to me standing up to her family Is this a usual practice?One nice lady drew back to hit me,I've been bitten ,scrathced,cussed.I've been complimented and thanked,ive I've meet some really nice people and some really not so nice people.I've learned to set boundries with co workers that will use you as much as possilble and residents that are constantly wanting something,its truley been an exp.I work with people,mostly with women that break all the rules,get on their cell phones,wear big earrings,take long breaks ,dont feed or change thier people and are really lazy.I wanted to give some other cnas a idea of what it has been like for me.

I'm still deciding if i like being a CNA or not!!!!!LOL Good luck

Thanks for sharing your experience! I hope it will help someone. :)

Sounds about right! :)

It's a tough job physically, and sometimes emotionally draining...! I loved working as a CNA when I did! Although I had a somewhat different experience than most. I worked dual roles, would flex a lot to other positions, and so on....so I never really got the usual CNA burnout.

I've found that it is definitely the type of job where you do have to learn your own way of doing things, and find out what works best for you...so when you were told you will 'get your own groove', it's true... No one does the job the same way, and to be efficient in the position you have to figure out your best way of doing things. Along with getting your own routine down and doing the different parts of the job at the times that work best for you. I mean you can't come into work at 630am, shower 4 people and still make it to the dining room by 730am when you still have 5 other people to get up and dressed and into the dining room for breakfast..lol. So you just have to find out what works for you...

Some days I would have 9-11 patients, some nights I would have 15 [and it would be a full moon, of course]! It was hectic and crazy sometimes, but there are also times when it is truly an amazing job. You meet some wonderful patients/residents, and get to know their families.. Occasionally you have a spare few minutes here and there where you can sit down and paint someone's nails or hear the stories from someone's childhood. Those moments are great!

You will inevitably come across coworkers that don't work hard, or do the right thing, or put patients in harm, it's a sad reality of the job... In my area the pay can be really good, and the education needed is low cost and short term, so a lot of people get into it not really knowing what they are in for. So in turn they don't last or don't do a good job. :(

These patients and residents depend on you for their everything...! Ultimately you just have to remember that you are caring for people, and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity...and if you can't do that for them...then it isn't the right job for you! [not you OP, just 'you' in general]

That sounds a lot like what I remember from years ago when I worked as a CNA. I would also add that you may encounter some backstabbing from your fellow CNA's. I don't know the reason for it, but that was my experience. I was in my early twenties when I did this work, but it was still hard. I would say that it was the most physically demanding job that I have ever had. I would leave work exhausted. The pay at that time was only about fifty cents per hour more than minimum wage. Overall it can be rewarding, but it is a very difficult job.

Sugarcoma, RN

Specializes in Trauma/Tele/Surgery/SICU. Has 2 years experience.

CNA and nursing are similar in that we both deal with so much c**p from patient's, their family members, and other staff. I would like to say do not take it personally when a family or resident states they do not want you back. You just can't please some people, so don't let it get you down. You will in time, get quicker. Keep up the good work!

Ive done many different things in my life. From construction to the military, driving a truck, and working as a mechanic to driving an ambulance. I had been of the mindset that if you havent gotten the job down pat by about 3 months, you just arent cut out for it, but CNA work is different.

Unlike previous jobs where I was comfortable after a couple months, it took a good 6 to 9 months working full time before I felt totally competent as a CNA, and felt I could handle any situation without too much trouble. I think 9 months is probably a good rule of thumb for others Ive seen to become competent as well. Thats why so many places require 1 year experience.