I'm a second semester nursing student, and I just accepted a PCA/ CNA position at Hoag . It's a night shift (7pm-7am) and I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me? (other than IV-ing myself to caffeine) I felt like I was the only person in my class without medical experience, so I told myself I was going to bust butt in the summer to level the playing field~ I'm really excited about this position, and I want to go in and impress!
Jun 2, '11
I've been a CNA for the past 4 years and just got accepted to the BSN program. That acceptance letter was like a ticket to actually quit my job. Being a CNA is not easy. The physical aspect, and in some facilities the mental aspect. DONT overdo it! I think school is more important than getting a job to help you with school. In school you will get the experience. I know that being in a healthcare setting will help your learning experience, but it might not be worth the long sleepless nights that result from doing both.
Jun 2, '11
I see, thanks for your advice! Doesn't it suck? On one hand you're stressing about getting your foot in the door, and on the other you don't want to work to the point where your grades suffer. Balance ....so hard to find!
Thank you again!
Jun 19, '11
Learn about everything you can. I'm assuming you're at a hospital so ask about any additional training they have like ACLS, EKGs, IVs, blood draws etc. Since you're working the night shift you'll usually have more down time than the dayshift. Use it to your advantage. Read through the patients charts. Listen to the docs. Ask other techs and nurses for advice.
Above all, act professional. You've got your foot in the door now and when the time comes to apply for an RN spot they'll remember you're work ethic and job performance as a tech. Even though the job descriptions and responsibilites are different, many traits transfer over. Lazy as a tech? Chances are you'll be lazy as a nurse. If you get my drift...
Jun 19, '11
You will enjoy your job. I have been an STNA for the past 3 years. I have had experience in LTC and home care. Even though I absolutely love home care I learned a lot in the LTC facility.
Jun 20, '11
Thank you all for the advice! A lot of my friends have looked at me funny asking why I would want to work as a CNA, they think they're above it. I obviously disagree. Besides, I hear the best nurses are the ones who started from the very basics.
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