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Working as a CNA during pandemic?

Students   (678 Views | 8 Replies)

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Hi everyone, so I'm a nursing student in New England. Currently, my classes have been modified to an online format and our clinical component is going to be completed through a series of ATI modules and SIMs. After going over the demonstration on how to complete our clinical requirements, I'm concerned that it's going to be more time consuming than it was when I was completing 5+ hours of clinical prep, a 12-hour shift, and all my post-shift write-ups and evaluation.

At this point, I am currently unemployed. Up until two weeks ago, I worked through school as a server in an upscale restaurant, and I know I have a job to return to once our current situation clears up. In the meantime, I'm struggling with whether to just ride out the storm, and apply my free time toward school, or whether I should accept a job as a CNA and use that experience to supplement my education. At this point, I'm not sure I could devote more than two shifts per week to work, and my wages would be minimally more than what I could make on unemployment. There is also the concern that I would only work as a CNA until I am able to return to my old job.

My question is whether or not it would be beneficial to start work as a CNA. I don't want to waste my time, or anyone else's, and while the experience would be great, I'm concerned about having 24 fewer hours to devote to school when I'm making minimally more than I would have made not working.

Has anyone faced a similar situation? What would you do in my shoes? All feedback/suggestions are welcome.

Edited by YouCanCallMeFrank

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3 Posts; 55 Profile Views

If I may ask, what requirements do they have for the online simulation?

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2 Posts; 7 Profile Views

@Callmefrank, 

Hi, what did you decide to do? Did you take the CNA job? Are you still unemployed? A the moment, I'm trying to decide if I should take a CNA job with  a travel agency, but I'm hearing terrible things about travel CNA and nursing jobs right now. I'll decide after asking for advice here. If you haven't found a job yet, maybe you could deliver food or work at a supermarket. Not sure if you will make as much as the restaurant, though. Let us know how you're doing, and good luck.

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Nurse SMS has 9 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

7 Followers; 6,339 Posts; 49,470 Profile Views

Yes, it would benefit you to take a CNA position if one has been offered to you. However, getting one at this time can be pretty tough. Most hospitals are on a hiring freeze due to low census volumes.

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@ Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

Hi, 

I could use some advice.  I'm not sure if that advice was for me or for YoucanCallmefrank. I'm working with an agency now who is recruiting CNA's specifically for Covid affected nursing homes. I haven't signed anything yet.

This would be my first job in a post acute skilled nursing facility. It would also be  my first CNA job. Before that I was a home health aide in assisted living. 

My goal is to go to nursing school and keep working as a CNA while in school. If we were not in the middle of a pandemic I wouldn't hesitate to say yes.

Should I take this job, given that I could really use the experience and recommendations for nursing school and  nursing Scholarships? Or should I wait until after the pandemic is over? 

As a new CNA during a pandemic, would I just slow down everyone else who already works there? What would you do, especially since I'd be locked into a contract. 

What red flags should I look out for in the contract? I've had a chance to talk to two people who work there but not in detail. They're happy there, despite the current situation. Reviews online are mixed.

If anyone else is getting recruited right now for covid 19 affected nursing homes, or is already working in one; can you share your experience? 

 

 

 

 

1 hour ago, Nurse SMS said:

Yes, it would benefit you to take a CNA position if one has been offered to you. However, getting one at this time can be pretty tough. Most hospitals are on a hiring freeze due to low census volumes.

 

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On 4/29/2020 at 11:01 PM, Mimiftrlpn said:

@Callmefrank, 

Hi, what did you decide to do? Did you take the CNA job? Are you still unemployed? A the moment, I'm trying to decide if I should take a CNA job with  a travel agency, but I'm hearing terrible things about travel CNA and nursing jobs right now. I'll decide after asking for advice here. If you haven't found a job yet, maybe you could deliver food or work at a supermarket. Not sure if you will make as much as the restaurant, though. Let us know how you're doing, and good luck.

Travel CNA? I never even heard of this before! Interesting!

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12 Posts; 222 Profile Views

Hey, I’m not sure if you’ve made any decisions yet, but if I may offer my 2 cents, I would absolutely not go for a job in a nursing home right now during this pandemic. 
 

I am an ICU CNA in a New England hospital and we have seen SO MANY nursing home/group home patients and staff on our unit with severe COVID. 

 

The PPE our local homes are using is ridiculously inadequate and staff are just not nearly as protected as they should be. 
 

Collect the unemployment (Unemployment is a hell of a good deal right now, if I was furloughed, I’d be making double what I am now), use the time to study and stay healthy. 
 

Sure, being a CNA while in school is great experience.  Right now is not the time I would advise you to start. 

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On 4/6/2020 at 5:33 AM, 1990Ashley said:

If I may ask, what requirements do they have for the online simulation?

Each week, we were required to research our patient's primary diagnoses as well as any potential complications, medications, and any tests or procedures performed, and for the follow-up, we had to submit an SBAR report and a reflection. For the VSIMs themselves, it was like an interactive video. Sometimes you have to select what the next appropriate action would be, you might have to modify a report to SBAR format, or you might have to select the correct sequence of actions for a procedure. It was pretty straightforward, but tended to cover more acute patients than we were responsible for in our actual clinical.

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24 Posts; 219 Profile Views

On 4/30/2020 at 2:01 AM, Mimiftrlpn said:

@Callmefrank, 

Hi, what did you decide to do? Did you take the CNA job? Are you still unemployed? A the moment, I'm trying to decide if I should take a CNA job with  a travel agency, but I'm hearing terrible things about travel CNA and nursing jobs right now. I'll decide after asking for advice here. If you haven't found a job yet, maybe you could deliver food or work at a supermarket. Not sure if you will make as much as the restaurant, though. Let us know how you're doing, and good luck.

I didn't actually end up working as a CNA. The changes that resulted from working online and having VISMs were a lot, and I decided I would benefit the most from being able to focus on my classes. My job is expected to reopen June 1, so rather than train and work for a job for less than a month, I decided to just take the time for myself and tackle any projects I need to do around the house and get a head start on studying for next semester. My state wasn't really hit hard with COVID cases (knock on wood!), and a lot of my CNA friends have mentioned that they're working fewer hours.

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