I'm TERRIFIED to start working again!

  1. I know this is probably going to come off as dramatic, and if that's the case, then I'll appreciate outside perceptions of the situation gratefully.

    I've worked for the same company since I was 16 years old. I worked for them for 4.5 years, and I even worked at a store in a different state, basically doing cashiering and department-manager work. It's all I know, and I'm a creature of habit.. I quit back in May because my husband and I were moving and I wanted to take summer classes at the college, and although the course (CNA course) ended back in August, I've been too terrified to go out and try to get a job as a CNA (or RNA, in this case, as I've yet to test). I've only ever had 1 other job interview for office assistant-type work, and although I got the job, I turned it down because my other manager offered me a full-time position.

    I'm not a "people person" and even striking a conversation with a stranger is an event for me. It also doesn't help that I can be a bit shy and bashful, but I'm mostly just a quiet and reserved person... I did well in my clinicals, although it took me until the 4th day (out of 6) until I felt comfortable working with residents. I was able to get by with making small talk for the most part (and if I felt too awkward or didn't know what to say, being smiley and positive was and is my go-to persona) but I just felt overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I didn't know. I'm not talking about textbook knowledge, like vitals, safety/fall prevention, urine/feces, symptoms, etc. but more like how the facility ran, and especially the preferences and needs of the residents I was working with.

    I'm guessing all of this is probably something the facility would go over during orientation? I never got to look at patient care plans during my clinicals, so each week, on our clinical day, I had forgotten a lot about what I'd learned about the patients previously and the CNA I was shadowing would dance around my questions about the care plan, I think because she felt she was too busy to show me or because it would be too time-consuming for me to try and study it when I was only there for a few days. It made me extremely nervous interacting with people whose personalities I didn't know well, and not knowing their personal routine (who likes to be woken up when, who likes to be woken up early but wait an hour to start getting ready, those who can use the toilet but want help wiping). I keep imagining my patients or residents getting annoyed at me trying to learn their routine... Or me being awkward with their care as a new nurse assistant. I've practiced my skills on other students, but it's a lot different when working with the elderly, who are slow-moving and seemingly in a lot of pain. I don't want to make them uncomfortable. And most of what I did in clinicals was prepping residents for breakfast and feeding them.

    As I typed this post out, I started remembering the things I learned in my course and my clinical experiences, so I feel a bit better about the foundation of what I know for this role, although I'm still quite scared of working in an entirely new place because of my lack of people skills and because I'll have to learn the culture and flow of the new work place... I'll also be putting my skills to use almost for the first time, and by myself. I'm also terrified of getting my application rejected before I can even ask for an interview (again, I haven't taken my CNA test yet, but I wanted to start working as soon as I move).. I want to work at a hospital because I feel as though it would work better with my personality and I think I would find it more interesting, although I am entirely aware of the fact that many hospitals want CNAs with experience. I'd be grateful for any place, though.

    Anyways, I hope this post didn't come off too long or too whiny. I realize that most of my fears are either me just way overthinking things, as I tend to, or are (to some degree) normal feelings associated with starting a new job in a new career. And I guess that what I'm trying to accomplish by this post is perhaps some relief by venting, and perhaps others could share their experiences starting out as new CNAs, nurses, or healthcare professionals. I also hope that this post was easy to understand and didn't jump all over the place. It's almost 4AM; I haven't slept yet and I don't think I will.
    Last edit by matcha-cat on Oct 22, '17
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    About matcha-cat

    Joined: May '17; Posts: 130; Likes: 218


  3. by   HeySis
    First of all remember that being scared of something new is pretty normal for most people. Don't beat yourself up about that.

    Second, get a date to sit for your test to be a CNA, then when you interview you can have a date... some places won't hire you until you have your CNA (a lot of hospital won't), but if you can show you are going to be getting it before you are off of orientation you may be good.

    It takes time in the LTC (long term care) environment to get to know your residents, and their routines. When you are actually hired and not a student, the other staff should be willing to help you out with that. As a student you can't be on your own and you won't be there long so taking the time doesn't make sense. It does make sense to train an employee.

    IF you are shy around people and it takes a while to warm up LTC may be a good place to start. You will have a lot to learn at first, but then there will be the routine and you will know all your patients vs having new patients everyday in the hospital.

    If you should find a job at a hospital, don't worry, patients routines are thrown off by hospital stays because of policies like VS every 4 hours, lab draws early in the morning, go for scans when it's open.... patients have to work around hospital schedules, and you don't end up having to know their own schedule. (not saying this is great for patients, just the way it is)