Newbie CNA Question

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I'm tossing around the idea of becoming a CNA. Just in preliminary thought mode mind you but this is something I've been interested in doing for awhile and now am coming to a point where I need to make a decision.

    Just to give a little background. I've been a full time stay at home mom for the past 8 years. I will be going thru a divorce sometime within the next 5-6 months. Is is possible to get a position as a CNA after completing a CNA course online? I live in Georgia if that helps. Will Human Resources see that as credible? What are the qualifications? I was sent some information in the mail the other day from Stratford Career Institute..does anyone know anything about SCI in the fact that will this actually certify me?

    I truly appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks so much.

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    Joined: Oct '04; Posts: 1


  3. by   avahsmiles
    Way before LPN school, I did the nursing assistant program thru Stratford. (good 10 years ago). After completion i received my diploma & got a job in home care/LTC right away. Started @ $11/hr. It helps to have some 'hands on' experience before hand(volunteer, maybe) as this program is 100% comprehensive.

    Good luck to you!

    Just wanted to add that stratford career institute is accredited.
    Last edit by avahsmiles on Oct 26, '04
  4. by   lovingtheunloved
    I LOVE being a CNA. Crappy pay and all. A lot of facilities will train you. Check into local nursing homes. The hands on experience is crucial, though. We had a NA that took the class at the local community college, no clinicals, and was totally lost. It's backbreaking, sometimes heartbreaking, but worth it.
  5. by   TxMeadowsLVN
    I agree with the previous posters. I attended a college to become a CNA or Nurse technician as it was called when I lived in Cols, GA, back some 10 years ago. A 6 month course, which they now offer in 4 weeks...LOL Mind boggling to me.
    At any rate, the LTC facility that I work PRN for now,(worked as a cna, medication aide and LVN there) will send those seriously interested in becoming a CNA to classes, While working as a "Hospitality Aide" until the Certification for NA is complete. This way you get the hands on experience.
    Hope that Helps
    GOOD LUCK on your career field choice!!
  6. by   CritterLover
    i think alot will depend on why you are interested in becoming a cna. it can be an extremely rewarding job, but as with everything in nursing, it can be sad, frustrating and back-breaking. i am now an rn, but started out in nursing as an aide (not certified) just out of high school. the place i worked at trained me; it was basically an assisted living facility. i found that i became very close to some of the residents, especially the ones who didn't get many family visitors. i still have pictures of some of them hanging on my wall, and it has almost been 15 years. i learned so much from many of them. imagine being a teenager and listening to a 70-something lady telling you stories about having sex with her husband while you are accompanying her on a "smoke break" outside (they wern't allowed to smoke in the facility and i wouldn't let her go out at night alone)! she certainly corrected some of the misconceptions i had of the elderly at a fairly young age. there was also a lady who had no family. i used to take her out for pizza sometimes when i was off. i wouldn't trade my memories of that time for anything. after i went away to college, i eventually went to work for a nursing home that put me through a certification class. the residents at that facility were much sicker, though no less loveable. for many reasons, i only lasted 3 months at that facility, and left to work in a hospital as a cna, which was invaluable experience during nursing school. i also did some home care at times, so i've had a wide range of jobs as an aide, and most of them were overall positive.

    on the other hand, there are many bad things to deal with as a cna: terrible pay, facilities that don't support you, nurses that don't respect you, coworkers that don't do their share, back injuries, and at times patients that hit you/bite you/pinch you. i can still remember asking the rn at the nursing home i worked at for help. she told me she didn't have to do my kind of work anymore. she was a nurse now. ideally, i would have been able to ask one of my fellow aides for help. unfortunatly, there were only 3 of us (it was a small facility), one of whom would crawl through a window in a closet every night to go to a nearby house and sleep until morning rounds. then he would change everyone once (rather than every 2 hours) so resident would be dry when day shift came on. the same nurse (rn supervisor) knew about it but said it wasn't her job to babysit. i was never assaulted by a pateint (as an aide....i have been smacked good by a few dters as an rn, though), but i know some who have been. i can remember turning, cleaning, and changing residents who weighed much more than i did, all by myself. in retrospect, i have no idea how i did it.

    so, my advice to you is this: if being a cna is what you want, wonderful. we need more caring cnas that are doing the job because they want to, rather than to just collect a paycheck. i don't think you will have a hard time finding a facility that will sponser you and get you certified. i don't think i would go for a certification class that doesn't have clinical time, though. besides, there really isn't much of a reason to pay for the class yourself when you can usually find a facility to sponser you. but i would volunteer at a facility first, so you can see first hand what kind of environment you will be working in. also, choose facilities carefully. cnas are so in-demand that you can be picky. ask around. check out their record with the state. whey you go in for your interview, interview the facility back. ask them about staffing, call-ins, turnover, problems they have had. (of course, you would want to ask some positive questions, too...) most importantly, talk with some of the aides that are working there. what kind of attitude do they have? there are good facilities out there.

    good luck to you. i hope it all works out.