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Certified Nurse's Aide?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by NKMU, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. NKMU

    NKMU Senior Member

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    I'm a soon-to-be college graduate planning to apply to med school either this spring or next. I need a job (and some experience) in the meantime. Any thoughts on becoming a certified nurse's aide and working in a nursing home? I think it would be a great way to get some experience in patient care. Has anyone else done this, or do you have any other healthcare-related work ideas for a non-science major who currently has no medical training? Thanks!
     
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  3. tedsadoc2002

    tedsadoc2002 Senior Member

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    I think it is a very good idea to get some hands on patient experience before going on to school. It exposes you to the health care team, patients, medical terminology and it will give you an idea of what goes on in health care.

    All of that said, I'm not sure if a nursing home is the place I'd recommend. I worked as an aide in hospitals as well as nursing homes in my undergrad days. I think (and remember this is strictly my opinion) that working in an acute care setting will expose you to a variety of patient types (from pediatrics to geriatrics), varying degrees of pathology (from acute to chronic), the different specialties (newborn nursery, Emergency department, medical floors), working with a vast array of allied health professionals, and of course residents and attending physicians. Personally, I think that the experience gained in an acute care setting would be the better deal, giving you a chance to view first hand the environment where you will spend your 3rd and 4th years in medical school as well as the major portion of your residency. As always, JMHO.

    Best of luck to you! :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
  4. too-sweet-phat-cool 4-life

    too-sweet-phat-cool 4-life Way too Sweet for you!!!!

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    I agree with tedsaddoc. I worked as a aid in the hospital floors and as a AUA ER Tech. For the ER I had to get a little extra training, but it was very easy compared to anything I took in undregrad. It was a awsome job and I was exposed to many things. I put in foleys, drew blood, EKG's, assisted with codes, and was exposed to many different types of patients. If you can, check with the VO-Techs in you area and ask about Authorized Unlicensed Assistant for the ER. You will get twice as much experience as a CNA.
    Luke
     
  5. drchris33

    drchris33 MSIV

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    I too began working as a nurse's aide, while finishing up my pre-recs for med school (I decided to go to med school after I received my Bachelors of Science). I learned so much about the way hospitals operate plus interacted with every department. I work at a rural hospital, so we don't have ER techs and such. One other possibility is to become a phlebotomist. I did it. All you do is take one class (mine was over the internet during the summer), then fulfill a number of blood draws, take your exam and you are done. Also another thing I did was take an EMT class, during my undergrad. The class is relatively easy, but you get a sense of working in the medical field.
    I am currently a student respiratory therapist; I am finishing up a correspondence course from California College, so I have worked in RT for one year now. I have received so much experience from drawing blood gases, setting up and maintaining ventilators, intubating, giving breathing treatments and participate in codes.

    Hope that helped

    Chris
     
  6. jrich15

    jrich15 Member

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    I also did the nurse's aid route. It definitely is a plus. You get exposed to so much that will benefit you as a med student and doctor. I was primarily on the pediatric ward and really enjoyed it. If you tell the doc's your plan, they may let you assist on routine stuff like wound care and physical exams. I also worked in the ER, as well. I would try to go acute before nursing home though. I would rotate through an extended care facility when the census was low. It's not fun. They are under staffed so all you do is crap work. I must have had a code brown on every patient. It is also frustrating to see people in that condition...ie several hours without a diaper change or a foley with slime in the tube. Along with the options mentioned in the previous posts,you could also look into being a scrub tech or anethesia tech if you are interested in surgery.
     
  7. NKMU

    NKMU Senior Member

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    Great info so far, thanks everyone. glad i found this forum! jrich, what do you know about training to be a scrub tech? i'm graduating next week, and need to be working relatively soon after. i can get a CNA certificate in two weeks from a nearby training center, and then i could probably get a job at a hospital/nursing care center.
    i'll be working for a year or two before (hopefully!) entering med school, so it might be worthwhile for me to train for something more involved. those of you who have gone the EMT route, etc-- how long does it take? i could possibly work at some random job to pay the rent while training for something.
    sigh... back to studying for finals-- biochem and orgo are both tomorrow! looking forward to hearing more, thanks ya'll
     
  8. jrich15

    jrich15 Member

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    NKMU,
    The length of the programs vary from a little over a year to two years. Look up surgical technology programs in yahoo. Most are at community colleges or hospital affiliated, and some give advanced standing if you have taken some of the basic courses. You would definitely make more money than a NA. Plus, you could work as a NA while finishing the training. I hope this helps.
     
  9. BadVB750

    BadVB750 Senior Member

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    EMT is the way to go! I run for a volunter resque squad in a big city and see a lot of intersting stuff. The class is only one semester and is offered at most communtiy colleges. The great thing about being an EMT is that you get great patient exposure. I am looking forward to becoming a medic and then it's off to med school.
     
  10. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    Does anyone know how much you earn as a CNA? I am applying to med school next year and need to pay the bills between now and then. Will being a CNA pay the bills for an independant student?
     
  11. jrich15

    jrich15 Member

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    The rates vary. The hospitals here in Baton Rouge start you at around minimum wage. Check the hospitals in your area to see what they are paying. EMT route is the best all around especially if you are interested in Emergency Medicine or IM. I wish I would have done it. You could also be an EKG tech. I did that as well and made around $8 an hr. My roommate was making $12 an hour in Oregon. Plus an EKG tech gets on the job training, and you don't have to worry about code brown's or baths.
     
  12. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    Is a code brown what I think that it is?
     
  13. conmantlc

    conmantlc Member

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    Yes, code brown is not pretty. I have been an EMT and an ER tech for three years now and it has been tremendous exposure. I have worked in ambulances, at a big ER, and at a smaller yet slammin' urgent care. I prefer the urgent care because the intimate setting allows me to work directly with the docs. I start IV's, bandage, splint, do airway management in codes (bagging,suction, etc.), and help manage various patient transfers and computer data entry. I am very close with the docs and when they know you have med school aspirations, they try to teach you as much as they can. EMT school was 6 months, a couple of nights a week and all day saturdays. Mine was very hard, but most classes are pretty easy. I have learned so much about being a doctor, I work with DO's so that is great too. I feel like I am going to start rotations with a distinct advantage over someone who hasn't had this type of clinical exposure. Go for the EMT. It will be worth it.
     
  14. UHS2002

    UHS2002 Senior Member

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    Do NOT go the CNA route! It is a complete waste of time. Why do you think that it only takes a couple of weeks to train you?! Most people do not need much training to know how to bathe, feed, clean a nursing home resident plus make beds, remove poop and other bodily fluids, and so on. CNAs do not do any medical stuff, unless you really consider taking a blood pressure such a special skill in terms of medicine...

    Go EMT, telemetry tech, ER tech or even phlebotomy and you will learn a lot more useful skills for your clinical years in med school.Scrub tech, RT or paramedic would be terrific, but it takes between 1 and 2 years of training for either, so it would not leave much time do go through the training and work. Do not waste your time being a CNA.
     
  15. ld106588

    ld106588 Member

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    Well...I started working in a pharmacy and soonthereafter got a technician's license. I think that the job will serve you well. In my state, getting certified is very easy...you just fill out his short application (I think all it says is that you can't have any drug convictions and you have to have a high school diploma or GED) and you can get the certificate...you learn everything on the job. But, in other states, you may have to take a test and get certified.

    Anyway, I've been doing it for three years...and you can learn alot. You learn medical terminology, and consequently how to read and write prescriptions. You learn the brand and generic names of drugs as well as what classes most of them are in and what they are used for. I've also learned a ton about insurance billing, processing, and just a ton of other stuff about insurance. And, it's cool cause most pharmacies have day hours (even though some are expanding) and you can try to get the pharmacists to buddy up to doctors for you. That's my two cents.
     

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