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Where to work as a CNA if not in LTC during nursing school?

Posted

I know this is gonna sound terrible, but its the way I feel, so here goes.

I've been a NA in LTC many, many years ago. I just can't see myself working in LTC again for many reasons.

However, I am a nursing student (haven't started clinicals yet), with a large family to consider and my husband and I have come to the conclusion that I need to work as a CNA while I am going to school. Yes, I am completely crazy, I know its going to be very hard to do all of this but we absolutely need the income if I am to stay in school.

Anyhow, my CNA course starts in a few weeks, the clinical days will be in a LTC facility, which I am fine with for the clinical days, I'm not fine with LTC as a long term job situation. Maybe you all will think I'll make a terrible nurse, but the things I experienced working LTC before are not things that I think I could tolerate on a regualr basis. LTC is just not my cup of tea, and I think I'd be miserable there.

Anyhow, just looking for suggestions as to which areas would make for an interesting job as a CNA during nursing school.

After getting my RN, I will most likely work L&D & Mother-Baby, and would love to work in NICU also. Maybe even try ER or Oncology nursing. Maybe Peds.

rach_nc_03

Specializes in PICU, Nurse Educator, Clinical Research.

I know this is gonna sound terrible, but its the way I feel, so here goes.

I've been a NA in LTC many, many years ago. I just can't see myself working in LTC again for many reasons.

However, I am a nursing student (haven't started clinicals yet), with a large family to consider and my husband and I have come to the conclusion that I need to work as a CNA while I am going to school. Yes, I am completely crazy, I know its going to be very hard to do all of this but we absolutely need the income if I am to stay in school.

Anyhow, my CNA course starts in a few weeks, the clinical days will be in a LTC facility, which I am fine with for the clinical days, I'm not fine with LTC as a long term job situation. Maybe you all will think I'll make a terrible nurse, but the things I experienced working LTC before are not things that I think I could tolerate on a regualr basis. LTC is just not my cup of tea, and I think I'd be miserable there.

Anyhow, just looking for suggestions as to which areas would make for an interesting job as a CNA during nursing school.

After getting my RN, I will most likely work L&D & Mother-Baby, and would love to work in NICU also. Maybe even try ER or Oncology nursing. Maybe Peds.

First off, if you're raising seven kids, working and going to school at the same time should be a piece of cake for you! :chuckle

There's no need to work in LTC if you don't want to. I certainly didn't; I took a job in a neurology ICU while in school, and, outside of the usual office politics, I loved it. I got to assist and/or observe in so many interesting situations....several codes, PICC and Central Line insertions, bronchoscopies, intubations, etc.....I saw things first-hand I would never have seen in clinicals- just last weekend, a patient with bacterial endocarditis threw a clot in his arm, and the nurse called me in so I could auscultate the pulses in various areas with the doppler and see the patient's hand and arm turning progressively blue and black (yes, they were treating him!). We once had a head-injury patient in restraints who somersaulted out of bed and pulled out his ventricular drain; as I was closest to the room, I got to hold the patient down while the doc did an emergency craniotomy. *that* was something I'd never see in clinicals! We had patients with strokes, aneurysms, cancers, organic neurological diseases....and many patients had complex medical histories (lots of DM, HTN, CAD, sometimes COPD or CHF). I learned something new and significant every time I went to work.

in addition to seeing interesting pathology and interventions, my responsibilities were more varied than those of my fellow students working in LTC. I inserted foley catheters, gave tube feedings, set up iv's, and things like that. I also dumped foleys and did a urine dip every 4 hours, and occasionally the random oral temp (most patients had temp foleys). When a new admission came in, I assembled all supplies, set up the room and all the iv's, and helped get vitals, insert a foley, etc.....many of our admissions came from Emergency Life Flight and most were not alert and oriented when they got to us. When our patients died, I was often involved in postmortem care.

as for bedbaths, i did a few on shift, but 99% of the time, I was working with the primary nurse, since the patients were usually on vents and couldn't be safely turned by one person. I *did* have to clean up an immense amount of human excrement, though; since many of these patients had brain bleeds, it was important that they didn't strain to move their bowels....so they were given lots and LOTS of stool softeners. Add to that the fact that so many were on tube feed diets, and there were days where all I *did* was clean the patients...the bed...the floor....the walls....

being a CNA in an ICU reinforced my belief that I wanted to work in ER or ICU. I had to float out to the neuro floor two or three times, and I absolutely hated it. But a few of the CNAs there loved it and would *never* float to the ICU. Regardless of what specialty area you plan to pursue as an RN, you should look into hospital CNA work. Opportunities and education requirements vary from state to state, but I'd definitely check it out.

Also, I have a friend about to start medical school who's been working as a medical assistant in a primary care office. she wants to be a family practitioner, so she absolutely loves her job.

I hope that was helpful...let us know what you decide, and good luck!

DZcarrie

Has 10 years experience.

Hospitals hire CNAs and many hire summertime help as student aides in specialty areas. Check with your school's career services, they may also have options for you. You'll probably be in all kinds of settings with a variety of patients during clinical, so a CNA position on any floor would probably be beneficial.

stressgal, RN

Specializes in CCRN.

I too have worked in LTC and understand where you are coming from. I never felt that I was able to give the client's the proper care due to many factors out of my control. Some of my classmates work part time at local hospitals as PCA's and PCT's. I, and others, have found that we perfer to work in home health. I have found HHC to be very flexible and I personally like the one on one attention given to the clients. Some agencies even offer on call bonuses. During the last quarter I was very busy with school and worked entirely on call. Yes, you are doing alot of ADL assistance, even running errands for clients, but I have found that it works for me. There are many options for you, pick the one that works best for you and your family.

Good Luck!

I know this is gonna sound terrible, but its the way I feel, so here goes.

I've been a NA in LTC many, many years ago. I just can't see myself working in LTC again for many reasons.

However, I am a nursing student (haven't started clinicals yet), with a large family to consider and my husband and I have come to the conclusion that I need to work as a CNA while I am going to school. Yes, I am completely crazy, I know its going to be very hard to do all of this but we absolutely need the income if I am to stay in school.

Anyhow, my CNA course starts in a few weeks, the clinical days will be in a LTC facility, which I am fine with for the clinical days, I'm not fine with LTC as a long term job situation. Maybe you all will think I'll make a terrible nurse, but the things I experienced working LTC before are not things that I think I could tolerate on a regualr basis. LTC is just not my cup of tea, and I think I'd be miserable there.

Anyhow, just looking for suggestions as to which areas would make for an interesting job as a CNA during nursing school.

After getting my RN, I will most likely work L&D & Mother-Baby, and would love to work in NICU also. Maybe even try ER or Oncology nursing. Maybe Peds.

I;m starting as an ED tech in a few weeks and I will do lots of cool things--bandages, splints, foleys, ekgs, get certified in phlebotomy. I am not a CNA but they hired me because I have experience as an MA (not certified!) in an ambulatory care and mostly because I am nursing student. YOu may get a job based on the fact you are a student and you may not need the CNA certification--the first semester is usually the exact same thing you learn as a CNA as far as baths, linens, lifts, etc. Maybe you can apply for tech jobs in the hospitals near you and highlight your skills and experience on your resume as well as your status as a nursing student. Around here, a TON of techs are nursing students.

We have CNA's in our acute care which includes med/surg, post-op and post-partum.

We love our CNA's.

steph

I know this is gonna sound terrible, but its the way I feel, so here goes.

I've been a NA in LTC many, many years ago. I just can't see myself working in LTC again for many reasons.

However, I am a nursing student (haven't started clinicals yet), with a large family to consider and my husband and I have come to the conclusion that I need to work as a CNA while I am going to school. Yes, I am completely crazy, I know its going to be very hard to do all of this but we absolutely need the income if I am to stay in school.

Anyhow, my CNA course starts in a few weeks, the clinical days will be in a LTC facility, which I am fine with for the clinical days, I'm not fine with LTC as a long term job situation. Maybe you all will think I'll make a terrible nurse, but the things I experienced working LTC before are not things that I think I could tolerate on a regualr basis. LTC is just not my cup of tea, and I think I'd be miserable there.

Anyhow, just looking for suggestions as to which areas would make for an interesting job as a CNA during nursing school.

After getting my RN, I will most likely work L&D & Mother-Baby, and would love to work in NICU also. Maybe even try ER or Oncology nursing. Maybe Peds.

what else I forgot...some schools certify you for CNA after completing the first clincial semester. Maybe that will help and then you can save the dough spent on the CNA course?

Or maybe a job at your school? Maybe it wouldn't be nurse-related but maybe there is a tuition discount or something?

Just some thoughts to put out there.

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