Please Help!...

Nurses General Nursing


Hi Folks,

I've been really busy this semester so I've only been lurking the past couple of months or so...but I've got a question that's been plaguing me a bit lately.

I'm currently taking a CNA course which is a requirement to get into the nursing program at my local Jr. College. The problem is that I hate the class! First, I don't think my instructor should be teaching this class. Don't get me wrong, she's a nice person...I just feel she's not suited to teach this class. I'd explain but it would take way too long and that's not the main issue. The main issue is that I really dislike my clinical experience. I've always hated nursing homes and this one is no different. So far, I've had no problems with the smells and I haven't had too many problems carrying out any of my duties. I'm still not 100% comfortable with the transfers (my assigned pt. is a 2- person transfer with no pt. assistance.). I guess one of the main problems I have is that I can't communicate with my pt. very well...she's had a stroke and doesn't speak well and I think she got the onset of mild dementia. Furthermore, this is the only experience I'm getting...we're only working in the dementia unit and this will be my only pt.

I guess my problem is that I haven't figured out if I just hate the nursing home atmosphere (which I knew in advance I would) or if I hate the work too. As I said before, I don't mind the smell...and it's not the poop that gets to me...I think it's just the facility. Has anyone been a CNA in a hospital atmosphere? What was that like for you? I don't think this means I'll be a bad nurse...I just think that I will come away from this class with a better understanding and appreciation for what the CNA's do. I mean...what do you think? Do you think I'll be a bad nurse because I don't like being CNA? I thought I wanted to work as a CNA through school but I'm seriously considering getting my phlebotomy certification after this just so I don't have to work as a CNA after I quit my job and start my program full time. I'm just really frustrated right now! Thanks for letting me vent! Any advice or words of wisdom you have to offer are greatly appreciated. Thanks!


llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

Fortunately, I was able to avoid most long term care in general as a nursing student many years ago -- and never worked as a CNA or had to endure CNA training. However, I felt pretty much the same way about adult med-surg nursing as you do the nursing home. In fact, I used to say that if the only nursing job I could after graduation was adult med-surg, I would go to law school.

I went to work in a Neonatal ICU immediately after graduation and have never done any other type of clinical work. One environment has little, if any, similarity to the other.


P.S. You seem to be asking the right question. Do you hate the particular environment and type of patient? ... or do you hate nursing itself? That's the question. What types of nursing do you think you might be interested in? Could you arrange to spend a little time in those areas to see how you feel about them?


1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

Bean let me say this, I don't think everyone is cut out to work LTC, and I for one, if I had to go thru a program like this to become an LPN or an RN, I wouldn't have made it.

I don't do LTC and I don't blame you if you don't enjoy it either. I do beleive you can dislike working in settings like this, but still enjoying caring for others in another setting. I blieve that working in many different areas is a calling, not something you just walk into, and LTC is one of them. It takes a special kind of person to do LTC as it does to do PEDs, which I also don't like or care to work in.

You will encouter many who have areas of nursing that they loathe, and would rather do anything else but that. So don't beat up on yourself because of it. And don't quit your goal of becoming a nurse either just because you don't happen to be a LTC person. I would seek another certification, if you need to work, and can't see yourself working in a LTC facility. But as a CNA there are many different places you can work. So find out what other opportunities that would be available to you, before you go on to something else, just to avoid working LTC. If I can help you in anyway, please let me know.

Here's wishing you the best, no matter what you decide...:cool:


209 Posts

Just grin and bear it, knowing that once you are done with school you need never see another LTC center

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Try to handle and just get through the course which I think is totally assinine for you to have to take. Is the same college teaching it.................revenue builder..........

I don't like long term care either. Very depressing. Can't help it that is how I have always felt..........don't like it hate it.....



61 Posts

Specializes in Geriatric/ Home Care.

I was just the opposite....I hated the hospital clinicals...I love long term care. But....being a CNA for 16 years before I became a nurse has proven beneficial in many ways. My clinical experiences were wide ranged and we had experiences in long term care, all diff. hospital units ( ortho, cardiac, OB,ICCU.....),psych hospital, drug and alcohol rehab, then on top of these we were allowed to pick several other fields to set up appointments and follow a mentor for a day or two. I think llg is asking a good it the environment or the job itself.....but you wont know that in your first year is my guess. Good luck!!!


470 Posts

Thank you all for your responses! Even after just writing out my message I felt better! I know my personal limitations and I know that I don't like LTC facilities. And yes, Renerian...I too believe this class to be a revenue builder for the school and free labor the the LTC facility! I also think this class is a filter for the weeds out the ones who will more than likely not succeed in the LPN & RN programs. I'm not worried about passing the class...I'm just worried that this first impression is tarnishing my impression of the whole Nursing Program at my school! I hope that my experiences here are not indicative of the whole program! Frankly, I just can't wait for this semester to be over!!! Thanks again!

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Good luck bean.......



656 Posts

I understand exactly how you feel! I am in a skilled nursing facility right now (LTC) and my next rotation is a TCU (where the LTC's get sent when they go bad). This is not where I want to be but in order to move on with other rotations one must spend their 3 weeks LTC and 3 weeks TCU.

As much as I dislike this environment, I realize that I am learning valuable skills. Those CNA's work hard, and now I know it first hand! Since RN's supervise the CNA's I feel it is only fair that I have walked in their shoes and can do their job when necessary for the patient's care.

I take care of what I have to do for the patient, and do it the best that I can. But, I will NOT work in a facility like this ever again!

Good luck, and know that it will be over soon!

renerian, BSN, RN

5,693 Posts

Specializes in MS Home Health.

Summer since when I was taking my training we had no aides or lpns. The RNs did the entire care. We passed waters, trays, did all the transfers, beds everything. So I already knew that........I think they could learn the same thing in a nursing semester 1 course. I think they are trying to generate revenue for the college...



586 Posts

I feel like I can relate to your situation. For me, LTC was bad, but not terrible. The total care kind of sucked if you hadn't done that kind of work before, but it does teach you some organization, time management, and basic nursing type stuff. I don't think I could do LTC. I like Med-Surge, ER, OR, etc, except for ortho-neuro (it could just be the unit of this particular hosptial, at the other hospital ortho patients are cake) and TCU. Last year during my first year, I wondered if I was really cut out to do this since I hated a few of the units. Now, I am so sure that this is what I want to do right now.


4 Posts

I've always said it takes a special kind of nurse to work in ped's and long term care. I have been in long-term care for 10 years and love it! (I started as a CNA) But I can't imagine working in pediatrics. Did med-surg for a year when I first got out of nursing school but knew geriatrics was my calling.

We all have our own special niche, thank God. I'm sure you'll find yours too.

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