I am working as a CNA while I am taking prerequisites for the nursing program. I figured not only would it give me a solid idea if nursing is truly the right path for me before I spend thousands on an education but it would also help me to gain experience for future employment (money doesn't hurt either). The quick CNA classes I took for licensing was enough to give me a good base but not enough for me to be fully ready to go. Most of this I had a general grasp on anyways so I learned by trial and error and really good CNA's in my first few days. Thankfully I am getting very good feedback from the patients, their families, and the staff. I was even told by the nurse supervisor that I should stick around so I could take over her job one day.
Anyways, I think I had glamorized the nursing profession so much that I thought they would be in with the patients and truly getting to know them and their needs but come to find out the nurses at our facility basically pass meds and change dressings and the CNA's do everything else! This is just from observation, I know they are doing a lot more like communicating with doctors and the pharmacy among many other things. The CNA's are getting to know the patients, anticipating needs, communicating their needs to the nurses, taking all the vitals, repositioning, bathing, changing, feeding, transferring, etc. Some of the CNA's are even having to help some of the nurses with procedures because they completely forget how to do it or do it incorrectly every time (for example one nurse always forgets to hook up a feeding tube before turning it on and the food goes everywhere and the CNA has to completely change the entire bed if she is not in the room to remind the nurse to hook it up). It is backbreaking but very rewarding. I love every minute of it even when I am elbow deep changing a dirty brief. I just thought the nurses would be much more involved.
Am I jaded with this facility or is it like this in most rehab and ltc facilities? I know it would be impossible for the nurses to do all the combined work and that is the point of having a CNA but will I lose touch with patients if I was an RN instead? Will I get to have both?