blessed1

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Hello everyone!

I know that this may have been posted before and if so, please tell me how to find the thread(s).

Has anyone here worked as a CNA(Certified Nursing Assistant) for the hands-on experience, before applying to med school? If so, was it beneficial and/or satisfy your need for basic patient care prior to med school?

Thank you!

P.S. I plan to post this in other forums as well (i.e. Pre-Osteopathic, etc.), so please don't think that I am just trolling or whatever it's called here on this site. :laugh:

Thank you in advance!
Blessed1
 

samboo

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I got my CNA for the direct hands on patient care and have worked in a skilled nursing facility as well as in home health. It definitely takes a patient person. I have dealt with more poo than I ever cared to. The most medical thing you do is taking vitals, but it was defiantly worth the patient interactions! Working with the elderly you see so many different types of personalities and illnesses. You will also experience death. It is easy to become attached to your patients, so if you are looking for continuity of care this is a good option. There are also job opportunities in the hospital which may include less dirty work. Getting your CNA is easy and fast. It took me about a month at a community college. If you are just looking for a job do not go the CNA route! The avg pay rate for starters is like $7-8 an hour, so not worth it! All my interviewers reacted positively to my experiences working as a CNA and I feel that I have a much stronger sense of empathy!
 

gujuDoc

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From what I understand, if you are going to do a certified tech kind of position, it is better to do EMT or Patient Care tech route, because you get to do a lot more doing that. They allow you to do things such as catheters, sorry about the misspelling.

But anyhow, if it were me, i probably would have done the EMT or patient care tech route.

That's just my opinion. Also a little of shadowing. But I'm sure a CNA route will allow for direct patient contact too, as so will medical missions in other countries.
 

LSUwannabe

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I volunteered in an ER (charity, teaching facility) for a year or more then was hired there as a clerk.

This was similar to a Tech but I entered orders into a computer. Anway, the job demands were easy and I was able to experience a lot of patient care helping MD's/nurses/PA's/NP's etc.

After a short time and earning a little trust, residents/staff occasionally let me do procedures (sutures, I and D abscesses, etc.) as did nurses (injections, start IV's). On some cases they let me take an initial history or assist on pelvics or codes.

I never HAD to deal w/ code browns or whatever but often did just to help...same w/ charcoal lavage and vomicking. I loved my experience there.

CNA's cleaned a lot of crap as noted above, took vitals and wheeled pts around. I did some of that but not b/c I had to. That's a big difference IMO.

Agreed w/ above that unless you need the $$$ (which sucked) go w/ another position or volunteering.
 

Docta "O"

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Yea I did CNA for a while, official turd cleaner they called me. Really not as hands on as I was led into believing. And if you work in a sub-par nursing its really depressing to watch the conditions they live in.
 
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blessed1

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Docta "O" said:
Yea I did CNA for a while, official turd cleaner they called me. Really not as hands on as I was led into believing. And if you work in a sub-par nursing its really depressing to watch the conditions they live in.

Thanks for the responses, I appreciate it! Will probably go the EMT-B route and/or a volunteer opportunity in a community clinic or a hospital.
 

fateema368

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If it's about money CNA's depending on location can make a comfortable living, and there always needed-who wants to clean poo for 8-14 hrs straight. But for experience EMT is the best, :( I'm broke so will be going the CNA route, in my area they can make 15+hr. EMT's usually need more certification (in my area at least), to get the well paying positions.
 

JimmyMallo

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I've worked as a CNA for 1.5 years and it sucks! The pay is ****ty and the experience you get is o.k but after 6 months I was bored and hating it! The patient care is great but in my area they stretch you so thin you have like 16 patients and they all have to have a bed bath and their a$$ cleaned 4 times per day each! I've been out of work twice because of back injuries at work and every time I get hurt they pull me in the office to talk about how it is all my fault that I got hurt and if I can't stay healthy then healthcare might not be the right field for me!!! Let me get this straight, nurse puts dude in a chair without a belt and when I go in he falls out headfirst and I CATCH him and keep him from wrecking his skull and I need to look for another line of work!!! Some of the techs have had multiple patients injured on their shift and they don't even get counseled!! Anyway now I'm ranting, working CNA in an ER is OK, lot's of skills (some even start IV's) but stay away from acute care!!!!!!!! :mad:

just my 2¢
 

45408

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Well, by me, the CNAs start close to $11 an hour, and as an EMT, I started at $8. However, you can tell which one I chose. With the brief exposure I have had with CNA-type duties, I have no regrets about being an EMT. We need CNAs, bless their hearts, but it is NOT for me.
 

BDiesel

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Hi, this is my first post! :)

I got my CNA through a class at my HS and have been working at a hospital ever since. I'm from MI, and to become a CNA in MI, you need to have 40 hours of clinical experience in a nursing home plus pass an exam on clinical skills and a computer-based knowledge test. After doing the clinical hours in the nursing home, I knew that it would be really hard work. Luckily, I was able to get a job at a local hospital as a Patient Care Assistant (glorified butt-wiper)

After a year, the hospital trained me to be a patient care tech, which is much better than being a plain ole CNA. I can start IV's, draw blood, insert foleys, and suction trachs along with all the standard nursing assistant stuff (vital signs, foley emptying, poo, etc.) I personally love it. The more I learn, the more I'm sure I want to be a physician.

Working as a CNA or tech is a really good way to gain confidence interacting w/ pts and other hospital staff. I've learned a lot from dr.'s and nurses by observing and asking questions. I can't imagine going to med school w/o some sort of clinical experience such as this... walking into a real pt's room for the first time would be absolutely terrifying! :eek:

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blessed1

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BDiesel said:
Hi, this is my first post! :)

I got my CNA through a class at my HS and have been working at a hospital ever since. I'm from MI, and to become a CNA in MI, you need to have 40 hours of clinical experience in a nursing home plus pass an exam on clinical skills and a computer-based knowledge test. After doing the clinical hours in the nursing home, I knew that it would be really hard work. Luckily, I was able to get a job at a local hospital as a Patient Care Assistant (glorified butt-wiper)

After a year, the hospital trained me to be a patient care tech, which is much better than being a plain ole CNA. I can start IV's, draw blood, insert foleys, and suction trachs along with all the standard nursing assistant stuff (vital signs, foley emptying, poo, etc.) I personally love it. The more I learn, the more I'm sure I want to be a physician.

Working as a CNA or tech is a really good way to gain confidence interacting w/ pts and other hospital staff. I've learned a lot from dr.'s and nurses by observing and asking questions. I can't imagine going to med school w/o some sort of clinical experience such as this... walking into a real pt's room for the first time would be absolutely terrifying! :eek:

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BDiesel,

It sounds like you were able to take your CNA certificate and really benefit from it. I like your approach. :thumbup:

Thanks for the reply! :)

Blessed1