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Any Pre-Meds here ever work as Nurses Aides?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by orthoman5000, May 14, 2002.

  1. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    Well I went the non-traditional route to getting into medical school. I finished up all of my prerequisites (a year after graduating) and took the MCAT but had absolutely no clinical experience. So what did I do? I called up a friend of the family who worked in Human Resources at a hospital to see what she might be able to get for me. So what did I get to do for my year off while I applied to medical school? Night-shift nurses aide! Well I got accepted to medical school and I'll be quitting in 2 months (not a day too soon), but oh the stories I could tell from this crazy job.

    Has anyone else here ever done this type of work? It's about to drive me crazy! All I know is I feel a lot of sympathy for the nurses. I hope when I'm a doctor I'll treat them really well, because I see the sort of things they have to put up with.

    If anyone reading this is a future classmate of mine at UAMS I'll be the big guy with the nervous twitch!

    Hey maybe I should have called this the pre-med nurses aide support group!
     
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  3. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    Anyway, If you have done this type of work post your stories. I've got some myself, most that probably wouldn't be fit to post on this website :D
     
  4. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina
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    I worked as a Nurse's Aide right after High School thru my second year of college. I was in the NA program in HS so I got a Diploma and a NA certificate.
    I feel you with the sympathy for (ALL) nurses issue. They get treated really badly by some doctors. I actually wanted to do nursing but I changed my mind after I saw what some of them have to go thru. My mother has been a nurse (midwife) for over 22 years in different countries and she knows more than these new cocky doctors know. They think because they are "doctors" (never mind that they are not experienced and just stepped out of med school last week) that they are the ****.
    I will never be that type of doctor.
     
  5. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    I never did the NA thing and have always regretted it. Maybe I shouldn't? I'd be really interested in hearing your stories. :)
     
  6. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    You want stories eh? Well how's this for starters, it's pretty tame.

    At the end of one of my shifts I was collecting I&O's. I was walking into a room of a patient who had been very good that night, he hadn't got on his light at all, didn't ask for anything, so I hadn't seen him since midnight when I took his q8 hour vital signs. When I walked in I saw why he hadn't been on his light. He had filled up his urinal, then started urinating in whatever else he could find. He filled up a 20 oz styrofoam cup, a 8 oz cup, a milk carton he had opened up at the top, and probably some other containers I've forgotten. I asked him why he didn't call us to come empty his urinal? He said "I didn't want to bother anyone"
    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  7. mbkatz

    mbkatz Junior Member
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    I think that anyone that wants to go into primary care should do this type of work. I have learned so many different things as a NA. It is great experience...If anyone has any questions, you can IM me. You can get a free class to become certified at a local nursing home and work there for at least 6 months. If you don't like it after that you can get a job wherever.
     
  8. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    mbkatz,

    I think you might be right about the primary care thing. Myself? Well I WANT to be one of those "cocky surgeons"! When I say that I don't mean I want to be cocky, just that surgeons get labeled that way (often fairly) by nurses all the time. I get along with the nurses really well, but they tell me all the time that they see the surgeons mentality in me! I took a personality type test once, and on the thinker/carer continuum I was definately a thinker, so nurses aide work hasn't been my cup of tea for the last year. Having said that I am still really glad I've done it because it has been a humbling experience and I get to see a real view of what the nurses have to go through. It can be awfully frustrating at times, but I still love the patient contact.

    Oh yeah. Sometimes when I'm kidding with the nurses I'll say things like "Is that Dr. Romano still on ER? He was always my favorite character." :D
     
  9. lady bug

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    I don't know of the job opportunities in your area, but where I live jobs for nurses aids are mostly in nursing homes cleaning up the residents. I wanted to do some hands-on medical work, so I decided to pursure phelebotomy instead, and it was great. Just another option for you to think about.
     
  10. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lady bug:
    <strong>I don't know of the job opportunities in your area, but where I live jobs for nurses aids are mostly in nursing homes cleaning up the residents. I wanted to do some hands-on medical work, so I decided to pursure phelebotomy instead, and it was great. Just another option for you to think about.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Are you leila? :confused:

    If you recently changed your name, can you please put aka whoever in your signature? It's easy to do it from your profile. Otherwise people like me get confused. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  11. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    Phlebotomy was one of my options but they were only hiring on a PRN basis and I needed some steady income to pay down my undergraduate loans, so I took the NA job instead. I work the night shift at a hospital so I don't have to do baths (except when they need them) but I have to do a lot of taking vital signs, collecting I&O's, lot of charting, and just generally being the errand boy and tidying things up. Oh yeah, I also learned that nurses have to take it from the Doctors and the patients, but some of those Nurse managers are the most condescending, arrogant people I've ever seen (and they wonder why they can't keep nurses). What makes my job difficult at times is the number of people I'm assigned to. It's usually around 20, but I've had an entire floor before.
     
  12. goldie

    goldie Senior Member
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    I've worked as a medical assistant in a derm clinic for the past 8 months, and it's been an invaluable experience. 100% patient contact, have learned diagnoses, medical shorthand, the realities of @&$#^@#* HMO's, et al. Definitely worth it if you can handle the lousy pay.
     
  13. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by orthoman5000:
    <strong>You want stories eh? Well how's this for starters, it's pretty tame.

    At the end of one of my shifts I was collecting I&O's. I was walking into a room of a patient who had been very good that night, he hadn't got on his light at all, didn't ask for anything, so I hadn't seen him since midnight when I took his q8 hour vital signs. When I walked in I saw why he hadn't been on his light. He had filled up his urinal, then started urinating in whatever else he could find. He filled up a 20 oz styrofoam cup, a 8 oz cup, a milk carton he had opened up at the top, and probably some other containers I've forgotten. I asked him why he didn't call us to come empty his urinal? He said "I didn't want to bother anyone"
    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"><img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
    That's hilarious!!
     
  14. Brian20

    Brian20 Member
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    i worked as an aide for about a year. i feel for the nurses, but some of them are no better than the docs. they **** on the nurses aides as much as the docs **** on them. thats the way life is. i certainly plan to treat nurses with respect and compassion, but i also realize that they too **** on those beneath them.

    i hated being an aide for reasons mostly of ego. i had a four year degree and was making ****...while cleaning ****. it was a great experience and i loved it at times, i saw a great deal and learned a great deal about people and the medical profession.

    i met some great docs and nurses that wrote me great letters of rec. i miss working with a lot of those people. i also worked as an aide in a cardiac cath lab....that was by far the best. i miss those nurses so much. I F*#$ING Hated working in the ICU....most of the nurses were a*&holes.

    its definately a job i recommend ALL premeds to do. volunteering is good but doesnt really expose you to the world of medicine.
     
  15. lady in red

    lady in red Senior Member
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    i did CNA for two years. Oh man, that was pure HELL. Not the patients or nurses though, but your co-workers! Uneducated, very crude, rude to patients, very rough, some were recovering addicts from all drugs known to man. I was the youngest one there, they knew i was in college, so they felt a need to boss somebody around, and that was me, of course. Some worked as a CNA for freaking 20 years--i could never understand how you can just sit there and not want to move on to AT LEAST an LVN. I loved my patients; the toughest part was seeing them die (i've seen about 15 deaths) and then seeing the reaction in relatives (the fact that many of them just didn't care). it was a great experience though, i won't trade it for anything.
     
  16. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lady in red:
    <strong>the toughest part was seeing them die (i've seen about 15 deaths) and then seeing the reaction in relatives (the fact that many of them just didn't care). </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">that's horrible! is this normal?
     
  17. BushBaby

    BushBaby Nipplelina
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by johnM:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lady in red:
    <strong>the toughest part was seeing them die (i've seen about 15 deaths) and then seeing the reaction in relatives (the fact that many of them just didn't care). </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">that's horrible! is this normal?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Some family members are pretty terrible. WHen I worked as an NA, an old lady died and it took two days for her family (who lived in the same) to come for her.
     
  18. WSUreds

    WSUreds Senior Member
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    I am a master of the a$$-wiping arts too. I decided that I needed to get some clinical experience before I applied to medical school and this seemed to be the obvious choice. Phelebotomy was not option since the aides now do most of this work. It has been a great experience and learning opportunity and I am grateful for the experience it has provided me. But, right now, I am really frustrated with cleaning up sh#$ since I know I start med school in August. I work nights about once a week since I do not graduate until June, so I have been able to suck it up for now, but I don't know what I will do once I will have to start working more frequently. Basically, I am PRN and get to make my own schedule and I need some money. But I am hoping some graduation money kicks in and helps me through the summer until loans come, so I can work as an aide as little as possible. I want to enjoy my last summer, I worked as an aide last summer and it was not much fun.
     
  19. Jessica

    Jessica Senior Member
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    I also did a transition for nursing to pre-med, I was in a BSN program, and I worked as an NA and Unit Secretary in the Trauma ER and Medical ICU for ~2 years. It was an awesome experience... I can relate to being **** on (both literally and figuratively :p ... I'll have to tell you all about the wacky person who pulled out their rectal tube and thought is was a lasso and that they were a coyboy... or the person who fancied finger painting the walls with their feces.. guess who got to clean that up? <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> Ahh... memories :D ) and that part sucked, but I definitely have a lot of respect for nurses and other support staff. I wouldn't trade the clinical experience for the world, it helped me to mature and grow in so many ways.
     
  20. shorrin

    shorrin the ninth doctor
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Jessica:
    <strong> ... I'll have to tell you all about the wacky person who pulled out their rectal tube and thought is was a lasso and that they were a coyboy... or the person who fancied finger painting the walls with their feces.. guess who got to clean that up? </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I have been a volunteer nurses asst. in a peds ER for a year. not the same a CNA I know and I thought that getting projectile vomited on was the worst thing there was - obviously not :oops:
     
  21. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member
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    Oh how nasty the human body can be!!
    I've been "lurking" on SDN for a long time, but when this topic came up, I couldn't resist.
    I'm a paramedic and have seen a lot of the nasty stuff (nothing beats a GI bleed at 4 AM), and the sad stuff (the horrible care our grandparents sometime get in the nursing home). but, all-in-all it's made me grow up and has been valuable.
    have any of you had a single experience that really made you decide to become an MD?
     
  22. wanderbray

    wanderbray Junior Member
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    I'm not a pre-med, but I may be soon.... I'll be non-traditional, with a BS in engineering and NO pre-med pre-req's out of the way yet, but someday..... For now, I've been volunteering in in the clinical engineering so I'm pretty nasty-stuff free. With occational exception of smelly body fluids leaking out of equipment thats broken during surgery. :p (not very yucky at all)

    But for those of you who have done nursing stuff (CNA=?NA, volunteering NA, ...) how much training does one need? Is it a semester at a community college? A certification course? Nursing BS/MS? And what aspect of nursing has been the most eye-opening to you as far as you med-school direction is concerned?

    Thanks for the info & Good luck to all of you who've just gotten in! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> Keep hanging in there!
     
  23. Optimistic

    Optimistic Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by lady in red:
    <strong>i did CNA for two years. Oh man, that was pure HELL. Not the patients or nurses though, but your co-workers! Uneducated, very crude, rude to patients, very rough, some were recovering addicts from all drugs known to man. I was the youngest one there, they knew i was in college, so they felt a need to boss somebody around, and that was me, of course. Some worked as a CNA for freaking 20 years--i could never understand how you can just sit there and not want to move on to AT LEAST an LVN. I loved my patients; the toughest part was seeing them die (i've seen about 15 deaths) and then seeing the reaction in relatives (the fact that many of them just didn't care). it was a great experience though, i won't trade it for anything.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ditto! luckily got a position in restortive and therapy so didnt have to deal with as many rude coworkers.
     
  24. lamyers1

    lamyers1 Senior Member
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    I was a CNA, too. Again, there is a lot of death, which is depressing. However, on the "lighter" side, there is nothing like an exploding coloscopy bag at 4 am!

    On the other hand, when I have a chance,I get to go with my friend on tissue harvesting runs. I usually go at night, and there I am, in the morgue at 2 am, arm deep in a donor, thinking about a car deal I have lined up for the next day! Can't wait to be back in school!
     
  25. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    Yeah, there really is nothing like "burping" a colostomy bag to get you going in the morning! Only 2 more months!!!
     
  26. </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    [/qb]</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Are you leila? :confused:

    If you recently changed your name, can you please put aka whoever in your signature? It's easy to do it from your profile. Otherwise people like me get confused. :([/QB][/QUOTE]

    nope, i'm still here! i know, i know, a lot of people wish they could be me, but there can only be one leila. :D

    i've been working since november as a "nurse technician" which is really just an aide, and i can't WAIT til june 26 - my last day. it's a miserable job. it can be rewarding at times, but mostly it's boring mindless scutwork, and you're definitely at the bottom of the totem pole. buried underneath it, really. but at least i will never look down on or mistreat any of the other people i work with once i'm a doctor!
     
  27. orthoman5000

    orthoman5000 Senior Member
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    I'm really looking forward to my last day of Nurses Aide work myself, July 19th. As much as I sometimes hate the work, everyonce and I while it does feel much more rewarding.

    Last night we had a patient (with DNR orders) whose blood pressure was very, very low, like in the 40/20 range. This mans wife asked me what that meant, and if he could die. Well, when you aren't really trained for those type of situations and questions you don't always know what to do. All I could say of course was "yes, he could." She then started complimenting all of the staff for being so competent and caring, I think she was really glad that I gave her a straight answer and didn't skirt around the issue. About 15 minutes later the man did die, so I was very glad I had been straight with her. While working as a nurses aide these situations have come up from time to time, where you are the only one in the room and it's the family members asking you questions that you may not feel comfortable answering. It's times like that I get a small feeling of what it will be like in the future when I'm the doctor.
     
  28. Raptor

    Raptor Found one
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    I am a sophomore right now and I have been working as an Central Patient Transporter in my local hospital for a year. And I had an experience with a patient urinating but not only urinating in a urinal, but on me... :mad: long story. Believe me that wasn't a nice experience but he didn't do it intentionally. Anyways I was wondering if the whole EMT thing is played out for pre med majors. I was planning on getting my lisence during my junior year but should I waste that time and money. I am wondering if that would look good on my application. :confused: Will this make me seem unique to the ADCOMS. Please help me with this inquiry.
    PS--This is my first time on here, I am so proud to be part of the SDN family. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  29. johnM

    johnM Senior Member
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    Premeditate, welcome to SDN! I like the screen name, much more creative than mine. :)

    I don't think that being an EMT would make you unique, but I still think that it's a cool thing to do. It should expose you to real situations in medicine, and give you a better idea what this is all about. That way, when your interviewers ask you "why medicine?" you'll be able to answer with some experience.
     
  30. Raptor

    Raptor Found one
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    Thanks for answering my question. I am just surprised by the generosity displayed by you all for other inquiries.
     
  31. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member
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    Hey Premeditate!
    i'm from columbia, SC and i'm an EMT in a central rural county in the state. i did the EMT class thing after i graduated and loved it so much i'm now a paramedic...things just kind of happen in life i guess. i did EMT to see if i could stand sick people (i had my doubts). as a basic EMT i hated life. as a paramedic -more responsibility, more understanding, more ablity to help people-i love it and am so ready to go to medical school.

    The class is not hard nor that expensive--$500 i think--but you can get a rescue squad to pay your way. (with a bit more info i could give specifics, but i'm not sure how this PM thing works as i am new too) i think there are a good number of basic EMTs applying to med school these days, but it can't hurt.

    you learn a lot and get to interact with every step of the patient care chain. i would suggest not working for a huge system like you have in Spartanburg/g'ville. you get lost and don't make connections as easily (plus i think you have to work full time for these systems).

    it is so great to go to work and know you've made a difference. as a EMT/paramedic, you are all that the patient has-you are the doc on the scene. they trust you to help them and you pray that you don't screw up. don't get me wrong, you get days where all you do is take BS from one place to another and they walk out of the ER before your paper work is done, but there is plenty to learn in that too. And the first "save " you get will stay with you forever. it makes up for all the ones you can't help.
    anyway, i've gone on way too long...what can i say, i love my job right now, but i want more... being an EMT really shows you what it's going to be like as an MD. it's scary.
    streetdoc
     
  32. La Fiera

    La Fiera Member
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    I would have to say that being a nurses aid was the worst and bes job that I ever had. I worked in a nursing home when I was 18 and it changed the way I viewed life. I consider that job as the "trenches" of medicine. Not only was I paid peanuts, but overworked in every way possible. I really felt that I made a huge difference to the patients there though. So many of them just wanted someone to talk to, unfortunately often I was pressured into getting on with things, instead of doing what I considered more important.
     

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