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A CNA/PCT's story. A Memorandum by c0mpletec0ntrol

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by c0mpletec0ntrol, Mar 28, 2007.

  1. c0mpletec0ntrol

    2+ Year Member

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    I am a patient care technician, and whether you refer to my position as a nursing assistant, PCT, co-worker, servant, or what have you, its
    become blatantly clear to me that I am low man on the totem pole. I have a difficult time living in the present and not constantly focusing all my attention on the future (which is probably a characteristic of most dedicated pre-meds), and its hard for me to see the ends. I realize that its an incredible opportunity, and I'm unbelievably fortunate to have been given this position in such a unit, in such a hospital, considering the circumstances, but its extremely demanding physically and emotionally, which anyone whom has ever worked in the position will know. In the job's defense, it has allowed me to learn bedside manner which is extremely important, discover the inner workings of a unit, shadow residents and fellows, network, learn more clinical schtuff than I ever would have thought at this age and the list goes on. Therefore I would recommend it to any of you, however if you're just looking for something to get you into med school, the position will not hold your enthusiasm and after a couple months you will be doing it out of pure good will and dedication.

    As of right now, all I can think about is that I cannot wait to surpass the position and be calling the shots someday. The medical aspect is lacking because aside from a few select procedures, the position doesn't call for it.

    Any advice to keep me looking up would be appreciated.

    AKA, Anyone who can live and appreciate the present rather than constantly looking towards a "better" future could also make an appreciated post.
     
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  3. rachmoninov3

    rachmoninov3 Senior Member
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    I have worked as a nursing assistant for the gulp...8 year's I've been in college. I not only do I love working with patients and come from a long line of nurses, so that part's sorta in my blood, but I see my job as pre-residency. Yeah, I'm treated like **** and make squat per year (40K), but I've gotten to work numerous codes, I'm now told that nothing flusters me, and all my nurses love working with me rather than the other CNA's b/c I understand the importance of daily wt's, fluid restrictions, I&O's, vitals, etc.
    I also work night shift, and have had the opportunity to get into the charts when I put in the commulitive labs every night. Great way to learn lab values, and therefore check orders, progress notes, and H&P's. You may not be able to do this if you work days.

    But here's my advice if you'll take it:

    Learn as much as you can. Ask your nurses, especially those who you hate, any questions you have. They'll love to teach, and it will take you out of the "I'm a premed know it all" position in their eyes. I swear it works real well. I even have nurse friends who I go to breakfast with after work. I swear I got a 12 on the BS portion of my MCAT b/c of talking and listening to these guys.
    If for any reason your nurses are just b*tches, then there's always Tabers. Get your cardex, and look up anything you don't know. Look at what fluid and antibiotics your patients have and look those up. Learn to read tele strips. Need more reasons to go to work?

    Like I said, love the patient care, and that's why I do this low level work with a college degree. But it also allows me to see things and be more prepared for medical school and residency. One school I pay tuition at, the other pays me $15/hour to go to.
     
  4. mrgq912

    mrgq912 Junior Member
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    Its always nice to see other PCT's or NA's on this forum.

    What department did you guys work in?

    I worked in the ER. And I agree the job is extremely demanding and you do start on the bottom, ie. transportign and changing bed sheets. But as long as you stay on your feet and keep moving, you will find things to do. Pretty soon you wont' be doing the grunt work, and you will be called upon for the code blues. Near the end of my four years in the ER, I was always the tech called on code blues and near the head of the bed assisting with cpr and intubations.

    All my friends thought I was crazy for getting up at 6am every weekend to work for 12 hours straight, but if you are serious about being a physician than you should really get out there and find one of these jobs. This was my only major activity in college, I never got excited about joining our schools pre-med club and doing bake sales. I always looked forward to a day in the ER personally.
     
  5. gotmeds?

    5+ Year Member

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    I've got no advice for you. I chose pre-hospital medicine to avoid having to do hospital scutwork. But I have to tell you that your avatar cracks me up every time I see it.
     
  6. NickRiviera

    NickRiviera MS-Never
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    I'm going to do the opposite so feel free to ignore the rest of this post. What was the point of this? Is this a blog? I don't get what your problem is with the job and how you honestly believe being a doctor and "calling the shots" is going to fix that. If you're not happy working in a hospital now, regardless of what clinical level you are at, why would you expect to be happy later?
     
  7. GuzzyRon

    GuzzyRon Son of the Son of Man
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    Nice post, Complete and Nach! I have also gained invaluable experience as well working as a PCA. It is especially true that you can learn a lot in this position that will become very valuable during medical school, residency and beyond. However, I will be quitting my job within the next few months as I am blessed to be going to medical school this summer/fall. But my time as a PCA is one that I will continue to treasure for years to come.
     
  8. GuzzyRon

    GuzzyRon Son of the Son of Man
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    It's apparent that you're completely ignorant of the demands of the said position so you can say whatever you want. And if you can read, the point of the thread was clearly stated in the last two statements of the original post but if you don't like it, then that's too bad. :rolleyes: You need not only appreciate but also respect the fact that not everyone on SDN is interested in discussing school ranking, what-are-my-chances or writing-a-letter-of-intent. You honestly don't have to read this thread if it offends you that much and you definitely don't have to post. Leave all that to those of us who share similar experiences, interests and perspectives and can connect with the OP. ;)
     
  9. HopkinsOne

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for your insights - they are useful even for those of us who are already med students. :luck:
     
  10. c0mpletec0ntrol

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    The thread was simply to host discussion on ways to keep looking forward during more trying times. Aside from missing the point, you failed to see that I was describing the position to be demanding considering the pay and co-worker appreciation. I LOVE the position for what its shown me, but you end up learning all there is to know in the first month whereas treating a patient as an MD might be a tad different ;)
    I'm going to be honest right now and tell you straight out that I loathe wiping asses, but when a patient really connects with you, trusts and appreciates your presence (ie. holding your hand during a femoral artery sheath pull) its something that really tells me that I should be in medicine.


    Thanks for that response GuzzyRon. I'm glad some people are here to support one another.
     
  11. c0mpletec0ntrol

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    Yeah! Thats exactly what I'm hoping will happen. I'm actually in cardiology right now and I'm applying for shifts in the cardiac ICU.

    Funny you mention code blues, there were 2 yesterday within 10 minutes of eachother and they were forced to call the second one twice because the everybody was at the first code!
     
  12. NickRiviera

    NickRiviera MS-Never
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    Nope, I've worked in a hospitals for over 5 years. I'm just not a baby. :rolleyes:
     
  13. wutwinb

    wutwinb Junior Member
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    i am thinking about becoming a Patient Care Technician/Nursing Assistant for my year off. could anyone describe exactly what kind of patient care you do? also, do most hospitals provide training for these positions or would I have to have some sort of certification?
    also, if someone could describe a typical day as a PCT i'd appreciate it. thanks!
     

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