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Not sure if I want to be a CNA anymore

Stress 101   (4,678 Views 9 Comments)
by Thehappylotus Thehappylotus (New) New

379 Profile Views; 1 Post

I have been a CNA for the past three years. When I did clinical in a nursing home, I cried everyday because it was too sad for me to deal with. I give kudos to all of you who work so so hard in the nursing homes, I know it's not easy and you can be so understaffed and unappreciated while working in such stressful conditions. You guys, ROCK.

So because I never wanted to work in a nursing home I had alwas worked in a hospital setting. I've worked Neuro for the past 3 years, broken up individually by two very different hospitals. If you've ever worked a Neuro Unit you know it's very high acuity. I've worked 2 years on night shift and often I am the only PCT between 18 patients. I love night shift because everyone generally is more laid back but will pull in the extra weight for you if you're drowning (gotta love amazing coworkers). I worked day shift for a year and didn't like how overwhelming it was with all the staff and family members and meals and baths to do for way less pay.

I'm realizing the only way I like the medical field is on night shift, but I'm not happy working nights either. I'm at this point where I came into being a CNA wanting to become a nurse and after seeing what all nurses really have to do and put up with my mind was changed instantly on going to school. I work incredibly hard, but I've also noticed that I am starting to get annoyed anytime the call light goes off, and I'm tired of the only question I'm able to respond to is "Can i go to the bathroom?" My body hurts and my brain isn't being challenged enough anymore. Im fast and respond to call lights in a flash but I don't enjoy it. No part of my actual job makes me satisfied anymore and the only thing I like about it is my coworkers. I've worked other floors and they don't seem to interest me anymore. Maybe I should find an entirely new field? But I'm scared because I'm good at what I do but it sincerely just doesn't make me happy.

I don't know if with what I've explained can confirm I should look for a new field or what? I guess I'm just open to any advice or suggestions.

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Happy.Nurselet has 2 years experience as a LPN.

55 Posts; 1,427 Profile Views

Have you thought about going through nursing school and working in a different setting? School nurse? Doctors office? Nurses can have incredibly dynamic and different roles based on where they are.

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smalltownhero has 3 years experience and specializes in Critical Care.

149 Posts; 3,716 Profile Views

I was a glorified CNA for awhile and absolutely hated every second of it, then I became a critical care RN and absolutely love what I do. There is hope beyond being an assistant, just put in the work to get there.

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29 Posts; 2,325 Profile Views

I wish I could offer advice but I just wanted to say I wish you well and applaud you for being self-aware. You sound dedicated and intelligent and I hope you find your niche. I am sure it is out there.

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52 Posts; 1,178 Profile Views

I hear you. I worked 26 years in another profession (making $80K/year) but had been dissatisfied for over half the time working there - but having outside interests, family, and friends is what made life in general more than satisfying. I could have stayed and retired there, but I decided to quit in order to pursue what I always wanted to do - emergency room or operating room nursing. While still working my full time Mon-Fri 8am-4pm job, I worked every other weekends as a CNA at a nursing home 2nd shift. After I my previous job to attend a full time LPN program, I worked 32 hours per week as a CNA.

About 8 months later (it's now been about 1.5 years total at the nursing home), I have loss patience with low cognitive functioning elderly. The nursing home environment is definitely not where I want to be - fortunately I was hired as a PCT float in a hospital; but, never loss being more than satisfied with life in general do to outside interests, family, and friends.

I was like, "YEAH, acute care experience, closer to the goal of emergency room, and more 'excitement'". I've been orientating on the different units of the hospital for the past 3 weeks. I have definitely learned a lot and applied new skills, but I've come to realize, after observing the RNs, that it's not as "glamorous" as I imagined - it's long hours, physically demanding, often unappreciated, dealing with patients, their families, high minded doctors, etc; but, I'm still more than satisfied with life in general do to outside interests, family, and friends.

I'm not dissuade from nursing. I'm giving all I have to the patients in a compassionate manner, but with a certain amount of detachment. I care for them and about them; I cried after my first code (she survived), and get teary eyed sometimes seeing the different situations. I then go home and enjoy my interests, family, friends, and life.

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78 Posts; 4,423 Profile Views

There is more to the medical field than being a CNA or being a nurse. Talk with a guidance or vocational counselor and take some testing on what area is best suited for you. Perhaps being a phlebotomist, lab tech or a radiology tech would be right for you. If you like adrenalin pumping, perhaps being a Paramedic would be for you. Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy have two-year programs for "assistants". I'm sure there are other areas I'm not thinking of. Many of these programs are available through community colleges. If you enjoy an area, you can always make the decision to further your education. Take as many standard basic courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, and chemistry and you can handle so that they are out of the way if you decide to further your education.

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LPNtoRNin2016OH has 5 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Allergy/ENT, Occ Health, LTC/Skilled.

1 Article; 541 Posts; 16,995 Profile Views

Being a CNA is a tough job. I was one for two years in LTC so not sure how it compares to the hospital. But 20 plus full care patients, unrealistic expectations on $12/hour wears thin quick. I will tell you as an nurse you will have more options. I've hardly worked in LTC since I got my LPN in 2008, I work PRN there now but only because I am back in school. The majority of my time has been spent in clinics and its a lot more manageable stress. Its annoying at times in other ways but I never felt completely warn down like I did in LTC, I actually got a lunch break every day! And left on time.

I think you should follow through with nursing, you will be surprised at all the different things you can do.

My last day as a CNA was when the LTC I was working at told us we were no longer allowed to sit down while on the clock, no lie. I was 9 months pregnant, quit after my shift that day, I just had had enough. Don't let yourself get to that point, switch units to shake it up if you can.

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1 Post; 268 Profile Views

Do nursing school if you want something more challenging. I've been a cna for 3 years and I just graduated nursing school and passed my NCLEX. I'm beyond ready to be an RN. I was a cna in a hospital as well and I know how burned out you can get. I highly encourage you looking into nursing school.

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