I could use some advice, please.

  1. Thank you in advance if you are offering advice.

    I think I want to pursue the accelerated Second BS RN program, but I want to be sure, so I want to explore and test myself first. I feel like one of my biggest challenges will be needles and blood, so in a way I think I should first take a Phlebotomy class and maybe Medical Terminology as well as make a 4 month commitment to volunteer in a local hospital. This is one idea.

    My other idea is to become a CNA and volunteer in a hospital and try to become employed as a CNA, then maybe take Phlebotomy and Medical Terminology.

    Incidentally, I want to take Medical Terminology so when I take Anatomy I will better understand how the systems interact rather than have to focus on learning all the new words.

    In a nutshell, does anyone have any advice as to which of my ideas above is better? Should I try to do them all at once? Does anyone know if the CNA courses teach phlebotomy? I assumed no, but I will call and find out.

    Thank you for this amazing website. The people who volunteer and contribute to this site are special and appreciated.

  2. Visit HeatherAnn profile page

    About HeatherAnn

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 9

    9 Comments

  3. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from HeatherAnn
    I think I want to pursue the accelerated Second BS RN program, but I want to be sure, so I want to explore and test myself first. I feel like one of my biggest challenges will be needles and blood, so in a way I think I should first take a Phlebotomy class and maybe Medical Terminology as well as make a 4 month commitment to volunteer in a local hospital. This is one idea.
    Well, if you're looking for feedback, I think you're going to an extreme over a concern about blood and needles. Many, if not most, people have a natural aversion to sharp pokey things and bodily fluids....but the vast majority of them get over that pretty quickly when exposed to it, too. If you are REALLY terrified, then gaining exposure before nursing school (in some capacity) might be a good idea. But I don't know that I'd really dwell on it. The medical terminology class is unnecessary for nursing school: you'll learn what you need quickly at the time you need it. Again, if it makes you feel better to do it you can, but none of my classmates suffered for not having had that, including myself. Making a committment to a hospital as a volunteer is ALWAYS a great idea; out of curiosity, why a "four month" committment? Why that particular time frame?



    My other idea is to become a CNA and volunteer in a hospital and try to become employed as a CNA, then maybe take Phlebotomy and Medical Terminology.
    CNA experience is valuable, and definitely a good idea before nursing school. I did not do this, but seeing how comfortable my first-semester classmates were in that setting compared to those of us without that experience, I would recommend it. Some schools even require it now, but most do not. Again, about the other two classes: not necessary.

    Incidentally, I want to take Medical Terminology so when I take Anatomy I will better understand how the systems interact rather than have to focus on learning all the new words.
    Ah, now I see why you're thinking of the Terminology class. If that's it, don't bother. You won't be any more distracted during the learning in A&P by not knowing those terms; actually, most of a "medical terminology" class is NOT anatomy terms. There's LOTS more to know beside that


    I hope this helps you decide some things, or gives you more food for thought anyway.

    What you really need to do is check into schools of nursing in your area and find out what their requirements are NOW. Waiting lists are not uncommon, and many do not admit students until pre-requisite courses have been successfully passed. Depending on your prior education, this can take a year or more. You don't want to waste time on courses you DON'T need if you can work on courses you DO!

    Best of luck to you
  4. by   arciedee
    I agree with the above poster. Medical terminology certainly isn't a BAD thing, but I never took it and don't feel that I was at any sort of disadvantage in my pre-reqs or my current nursing courses. As for needles/blood... we don't even learn blood draws here. I don't know if it's the regional culture (?) or what, but that seems to be A) something the phlebotomists do in the hospitals where we do clinicals and B) if nurses do it they've been specially trained by the hospitals after they are hired. So it hasn't been a problem. And I did my first injection last week and honestly thinking about it was way more stressful than actually doing it. And I did finger-sticks for blood glucose monitoring with an LNA and, again, thinking about sticking someone is way worse than actually doing it.

    That being said, if you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist or a CNA then certainly pursue those goals. But not having them will not create a major setback. It sounds more like you want to be sure that you want to be a nurse. So I would recommend volunteering at a hospital, or taking a CNA class, or just taking some pre-reqs, find out whether the material is interesting to you, talk to some healthcare professionals and find out their take, explore the schools you're interested in, peruse the forums here. There are lots of ways that you can research the field and decide whether it's right for you.
  5. by   HeatherAnn
    Thank you both. If anyone else reads this and wants to comment, feel free. I will print this page as a PDF and take it to my meeting Thursday (I meet with a nurse mentor for the first time). Our local hospital has a federally funded program where members of the community can meet with nurse mentors who basically do what you do on this forum - offer support to nurses and nurse-wanna-bees.

    RNsRWe asked why the 4 month volunteer idea. Sorry for the confusion. I wrote 4 months, simply because the HR guy from a local hospital said this morning that 4 months is the commitment they ask of their volunteers.

    Again, I appreciate the feedback. Both of you offered me valuable insight during an important step in my life. The Internet is so amazing, and this forum does such a great job (I have been reading this forum for a few months now).

    Thank you!
  6. by   Tweety
    I would go the CNA route myself. This will get you used to direct patient care, give you some hands on and help you to become comfortable with hospital routines.

    Skip the Phleb thing, you will get plenty of practice with needles in school and on the job. Drawing blood is different than starting IVs and giving injections.

    The medical terminology isn't necessarily going to help you in anatomy. Antomaty & Phys. is the study of the normal function of the body. It's when you get in nursing school and study "Patho" and Fundamentals of nursing that they are going to teach you all the medical terminology you're going to need to function.

    Perhaps a course in dosages and calcuations will serve you better than medical terminology (which is basically a course for transcriptionists) but it certainly won't hurt.

    Good luck to you in all that you do!
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I agree w/Tweety. Going the CNA route is much more likely to prepare you for nursing. Good luck and whatever you decide, hope it turns out well.
  8. by   HeatherAnn
    Thanks Tweety and SmilingBluEyes.

    The CNA classes I am finding are mostly long term care where the clinical part of the class is in a long term care facility, not in a hospital. I think I will do as you suggest and take the CNA class this May 7th, then try to get trained in this acute care class coming up in June. Also I will volunteer in a hospital. My hope is that I gain enough insight and understanding to determine if I can be a good nurse and if I want to be a nurse.

    Thank you.
  9. by   buddhak0n
    Hi Heather... I'm currently taking a Phlebotomy class and hope to be working at a local facility as a phlebotomist. Then I'll decide where to go or what to do to reach my "educational" goals.

    The needles and blood part of it are not as bad as you may fear. Try not to concentrate so much on that part of it and you'll find that over time it becomes much less of an obstacle.

    I'm in my second week of clinical and I am by no means proficient at it yet but I'm getting much better... I've found that within the facility everybody is just about as helpful as could be ... Once you actually are THERE and working it's just a whole different ball game... Everybody works together to get the job done...

    I, like you don't know what I'll do as far as getting my actual Nursing licensure but just thought I'd let you know that the phlebotomy path for me has been great so far.
  10. by   buddhak0n
    Quote from arciedee
    And I did my first injection last week and honestly thinking about it was way more stressful than actually doing it. And I did finger-sticks for blood glucose monitoring with an LNA and, again, thinking about sticking someone is way worse than actually doing it.

    That being said, if you are interested in becoming a phlebotomist or a CNA then certainly pursue those goals. But not having them will not create a major setback. .
    I couldn't agree more... If you don't have any interest in actually becoming a Phlebotomist .. then it's not something that you have to do.

    I want to get some exposure to the entire health care setting prior to making any decision to go further and pursue anything as far as becoming a Nurse and find that Phlebotomy may be something I want to do for a bit before moving on to something else.

    My main interest is in the ER and would like to be trained as an ER nurse but I would like to have some actual exposure to the ER and what it is like to be in that type of setting prior to embarking on a second degree path which to me I just absolutely dread the entire concept..... having to go COMPLETELY back to school all over again.... Don't know if that's for me ... I'd be so much happier if I could be admitted to a program and simply complete my educatational requirements on a piece by piece basis but frankly don't see any program admitting me that way.. I guess i'll keep praying they bring back facility sponsored training programs .. LOL
  11. by   HeatherAnn
    Thanks, buddhakOn. I appreciate your reply.

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