Saturday, May 14, 2011

CNA Jitters

I am soo freaked out for my CNA job!

First it started out a couple days ago, while I was sitting in the computer lab at my school waiting to walk over to the hospital to take my drug test.  I overhead a few 1st semester seniors talking about the differences from one floor to the next and their CNA work experiences.  One female was a brunette, saying she was used to taking care of 6-8 patients at a time. While a boyfriend/girlfriend blond couple was saying that on the floor they’re lucky if they have less than 10 patients at a time.  Yikes, I can’t imagine taking care of 10 patients at a time and that being normal…
So I promptly texted a girlfriend who recently got a job on the floor I’ll be working on as a nurse and asked her if this seemed right or are these students overreacting?  (I had hoped she would assure me of the latter.)  She said what they were saying was correct, even on the floor I’ll be working.  OH NO!  My only other experience is from the nursing home and we did total cares, including showers and I KNOW we never had 10 patients at a time (that’d be way too much work). 

Then while I was working last night, I have a girlfriend who used to be HUC and CNA up on the floor I got hired and she said it’s a floor full of tubes, rectal tubes, NG tubes, chest tubes, tube feedings, and lots of drains, also TPN and lipids. 

Even the department manager I interviewed with said they’re grateful when the remodeling was done and their floor didn’t receive carpeting because of the mess the patients can make when walking with all their tubing.  Yucko!

Lastly when I went to church last Sunday, I walked up to a friend of mine who has been a nurse for over 20 years and told her my good news of getting the CNA job and she looked at me in surprise and said “that’s a challenging floor, but a great experience for student nurse”.  How do I take that comment? 

After hearing all of this I’m not sure I’ll be cut out for this job?  I wonder if it’s too late to withdraw my interest and stay at my current job.


  1. It is not permanent, keep the goal in mind of becoming an RN. This will be a good learning experience and with your wonderful personality you will rock.

  2. Give it a try! I think it will be fine!

  3. I take it as be prepared to work work work. But you'll see so much more there than you will just during clinicals. You may be too busy to see much of what the nurses do, but usually they need a hand on dressing changes or with tube placements. So youy'll get some pretty good experience with the yucky stuff ;-)

    Oh and BTW in LTC where I worked as a Nurse our CNAs had 12-14 people each. Now that was crazy. These were mostly hoyer and pretty much all total care.

  4. It's only a temporary assignment on the path to being an RN, and you'll get good experience interacting with all sorts of patients.

  5. Don't worry, do the best you can. One thing it will teach you is organizational skills...and that is a biggie in the world of nursing!

    I have never expected newbies to function on the level of experienced won't take long though until you are realizing that you *are* doing it!

  6. Don't let it bother you yet. Don't over analyze it right now. Just get in there and see for yourself what is up. If it doesn't pan out, I am sure your other job will be waiting with open arms. On the other hand, if you never walk in these shoes, then when you become a nurse you can't empathize with those that make CNA a career. I think it's very important that you can be able to say that you've been there before. Once you get in a zone, you'll be fine. And I bet it will help with keeping you in shape, you can skip working out now! ;0) Take care, good luck

  7. NPO-thank you for helping me keep the prize (becoming an RN) in mind.

    RNRaquel-I’ll try it alright.

    Christine- Thanks I plan to be busy, but I guess it’ll be just do what needs to be done and move on to the next patient. And that 12-14 per shift in your experience IS insane, how can proper care get done?

    Unreasonable Sin-You hit the nail on the head, interacting with all sorts of patients was one of my main reasons in turning to the CNA job.

    CC-I would love to learn to be more organized, and I think the sooner I learn the better it will be on my tired muscles at the end of a shift.

    Dominique-Aww my sister with a fountain of wisdom, thank you for your kind words! I couldn’t agree with your words more. Thanks for your support.

  8. You'll do great, Zazzy. And any hospital experience is a huge plus in this economy. It also may lead to a nurse tech position in the next semester or two or even an RN position when you graduate.
    Networking. It's a good thing. ;)