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Old 07-02-2008, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Johnson City ,Tennessee
54 posts, read 200,495 times
Reputation: 66

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Hi everyone,
It's been a while since I"ve posted, but you know how it is we got to work to eat...I have a question. I am considering becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and was wondering about the pay rate, what places or homes would be best to work at, basically the pros and cons of the job ...thanks
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Old 07-02-2008, 11:42 AM
 
Location: East TN
1,025 posts, read 2,534,365 times
Reputation: 631
Howdy,

Welcome, you've been here 6 months if I recall correctly, that's about how long I've been here. I'm working as a CNA right now, so I can answer some questions, these answers are based on what I've seen.

A few questions:

1. Have you been a CNA before? Any healthcare experience?

2. Do you need a job with benefits?

A few possible answers

1. Pay w/o experience can be as low as $6.25 to as high as $8.50, a little more with experience.

2. Benefits: some places have limited benefits, some give you 20% more on your salary if you skip any bennies (that's what I do).

3. Training: You can go to a comm college and pay ($500??) or you can attend a free course given by a local long term care place or hospital. Some want you to work for them afterwards, some don't.

4. Work wise: I'd stay away from LTC, very hard work, generally heavy patient loads, Hospitals are a little better, and home health is generally easier as you have one patient to deal with.

I'm working as a CNA for grocery money and as experience to go further, I am to start LPN classes in Sept.

The job consists of taking vital signs (blood pressure,etc), helping the nurses with anything they need, walking the patients, feeding the patients, wiping the patients that poo/pee themselves, shave them, bathe them, wash their privates, massage them, clean their mouth, wipe crusties from their eyes, deal with demented patients, upset relatives, patients can be scared, anxious, mean, needy, or other wise upset about their situation.

All this for the grand sum of $6.25 to $8.50 an hour with little to no benefits or retirement and a heavy work load. I usually have 11 to 14 patients to take care of on a 12 hour shift. I actually like helping my patients, but if I stop to think how little I make and the amount of work that I do, often I will not get a break or lunch during my 12 & 1/2 hour shift. The half hour is unpaid as that is the lunch break, but I don't usually get to take it as we are too busy.

Funny story that'll make you think if this is something that you want to do, I stand up a patient that is far from fully lucid to get his weight, take off his diaper, he starts peeing from the front and as I'm at the back wiping his butt, he starts crapping in my hand What can you do, you catch as much of the crap as possible and laugh about it later. They DO NOT pay enough for this job, NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Have I painted a clear enough picture for you? If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

And to answer the obvious question, yes this job is about helping people, not making money, I'm good at helping my patients and I bust my tail, just like everyone else, health care is generally steady work, but it is hard nasty job that may or may not pay very well depending on your wrung of the ladder. Doctor is the top wrung, CNA is the bottom.

Good luck!

Tony
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Johnson City ,Tennessee
54 posts, read 200,495 times
Reputation: 66
Default Thanks for your input, Tony...

I have been a dental assistant for over 18 years. To coincide with my husband's work schedule and the fact that I home school my youngest, I thought the Cna would allow me a better paying job. My friend in Newport is an LPN and she says that her agency is willing to pay up to about 10.00 for private or hospital care.
I realize that the job is not pretty but someone has to do it! My husband has worked as a garbage man for over 15 years and talking of "POO" one day he picked up a trash can with a hole in it, full of rained on watery poo, and he came home livid, looking like and smelling like a cowpie. I like helping people too ,and I agree with you it might not pay much, but in God's eye's you are a hero, in caring for the less fortunate you and others like yourself are serving Him, just remember that... God Bless
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:53 AM
 
Location: On the plateau, TN
13,669 posts, read 7,212,208 times
Reputation: 8585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookin4myMountain View Post
I have been a dental assistant for over 18 years. To coincide with my husband's work schedule and the fact that I home school my youngest, I thought the Cna would allow me a better paying job. My friend in Newport is an LPN and she says that her agency is willing to pay up to about 10.00 for private or hospital care.
I realize that the job is not pretty but someone has to do it! My husband has worked as a garbage man for over 15 years and talking of "POO" one day he picked up a trash can with a hole in it, full of rained on watery poo, and he came home livid, looking like and smelling like a cowpie. I like helping people too ,and I agree with you it might not pay much, but in God's eye's you are a hero, in caring for the less fortunate you and others like yourself are serving Him, just remember that... God Bless
Very nice perspective of jobs, money isn't everything.....

Enjoy every day, and remember to smile......
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:52 PM
 
Location: East TN
1,025 posts, read 2,534,365 times
Reputation: 631
Never know how short life is, couple of days ago, I was helping a 55 yo patient who was having a heart cath, highly invasive and he had just had on 2 weeks earlier, he didn't feel very good about this one. Well he went down for the procedure, ran into complications, emergency open heart surgery, coded, opened back up and died.

Just like that, 55 yo, lots of time left to live, nice man, having a procedure that he wasn't sure he needed and now dead. The nurse took the news pretty hard, at least I can look back and know I did the best that I could do for someone and treated him like I would want to be treated.

Good luck and God Bless, I'm getting older and I'm tired of floundering, need to do something, just don't know what.

Tony

p.s. I'd only do CNA long enough to get a higher position in health care, the work is too hard for too little, you can help people as a nurse and feel good about yourself, yet make enough to help not only your family but the local economy. Kind of hard to buy homes, cars, dollywood tickets, etc when making low wages.
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:35 AM
 
9 posts, read 45,426 times
Reputation: 20
CNA i feel that anyone in the medical field should a CNA title at some pount in their career. it gives you a better respect for the field and your first line of defense. CNA's are a very criticle part of the diagnosing process. it may not seem that way most of the time when you are cleaning backs and fronts and feeding and walking patients but that time with them allows you to pick up on little changes in behavior or condition. so i suggest you try it and maybe it will keep you motivated to continue your education. GOOD LUCK.

bryan
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:57 AM
 
1 posts, read 28,098 times
Reputation: 10
well, i only have 3 months experience as a cna, i found a new job and they started me out at 9.25, which is two dollars more starting out at my other job, i think it just depends on the facility and how bad they need people. Its a really rewarding job, sometimes its really stressfull and crazy, but its worth it.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:22 PM
 
135 posts, read 252,131 times
Reputation: 94
i did my CNA certification with the redcross for relatively cheap less than $100
I worked 1 week as a CNA and quit (never looked back) . It is a lot of physical work and maid-service like others have said. It might be a good stepping stone to something higher in medicine.
it's been 12 years since I got my CNA and I'm currently a practicing physician.
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Old 05-30-2009, 09:49 PM
'M'
 
Location: Glendale Country Club
1,456 posts, read 1,482,373 times
Reputation: 1962
Due to the economy, I am working as a homecare "caregiver" (night job), as well as at a clinic (day job). There are women in my small community who work independently as caregivers and make around $15/hr. They have quite a following and do quite well. I am only doing this temporarily until I find a really good job like I had before. Not in any rush because I want to find the right job, and having 2 jobs, I can wait. Have also thought about going to nursing school, but haven't decided yet.

A CNA/caregiver job is just what has been said in this thread. Never in my life did I think I would be wiping poop as part of my job and having patients be very rude, physically abusive. Not to mention lifting...thanks to this job, my back has been injured (I'm hoping not permanently) so I can no longer lift patients (I refuse). Very humbling. Yes, you do meet some very nice, and some equally mean, patients. It is definitely a job that you can use until you decide where you REALLY want to be. I believe most nursing programs require a CNA now.

I am enjoying some of the patients, and am learning a lot about healthcare. The caregivers/CNA's that I work with are typically very intelligent, and a lot are college-educated, as am I. I enjoy interacting with these gals on our shift changes. But we all agree, if we didn't choose to live in this beautiful, small mountain community, we would NOT be doing caregiving for a living
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:37 AM
 
81 posts, read 188,806 times
Reputation: 52
I work as a Certified Nursing Assistant On the gulf coast of mississippi. I started my career in the health field unlicensed as a care taker for a state program sposored by the state that houses develpomentally disabled individuals.I did that for 2 years and then went to college. Paid $300.00 to take cna classes.

After i passed all that and got my lic. i got hired by a hospital. and they paid $2.00 more per hour. I have been a cna for 5 years. been in the health care field for 7 years. I only make $11.00/hour now. and I have so much experiance and so much training and i am a very good cna. it's more than just cleaning up patients all day everyday. you have to know what to look for when monitoring their vital signs. you need to know when you care for your patients if they are going into distress.

there is something that you gain from the experiance as a cna that RNs straight out of nursing haven't a clue about.the nurses i work with appreciate me and respect me on my floor. it feels good to know that when i tell a nurse somethings not right this patients respirations are in the 40's that they actually listen to me and act on it.

it wasn't always like that. I have been mistreated by many nurses who thought well i'm the nurse your the tech so i'm not going to bath a patient or help clean them up. or your the tech you go get them ice water i'm busy passing meds. i hate working for those types that treat me as if i am beneth them. and with most nurses no degree no respect.

if i get pulled to a diff floor thats how i get treated. but those nurses forget that my job is to ASSIST them in the care for their patients. many things are outside of my scope of practice b/c of my lack of a degree but there isn't any excuse for them b/c patient care is patient care and it is not outside of their scope of practice to clean and bath a patient. if i don't show up for work then it all falls on them in the long run.

and yes us nursing assistants do work under our nurses lic. and if your nurse doesn't want you doing something inparticular to their patient, like disconnect them from an iv or stop the dobutrex from running b/c the iv is beeping and the patient is complaing. . its not in our scope of practice to do such things . as long as you are working under their lic. their job is on the line if you screw it up.

if they tell you this patient is a turn Q 2 then be sure to take the intiative to turn them every two hours. if you can't do it yourself ask the nurse to assist you. you are there not only there for the patient but do help the nurses do certain things in their job as well. we can't do their job but they can do ours. if the nurse tells you this certain patient has to have a foley catheter emptied and measured. then do it they might be on strict I &O for a good reason. and it won't take to much of your precious time.

if the nurse tells you a patient is diabetic and on a strict diabetic diet and they need blood sugars every 4 hours. then do the sugars every for hours and report it of to her as soon as you get the results in. and don't give the patient coke and ice cream because they want it.no matter what they ***** about.

tell the patient the nurse orderd me to only give you saltine crackers and diet coke b/c of your diet. and the patient argues with you. tell them to speak with the nurse. and let the nurse explain to the patient what the doctor orderd their diet to be. it is their job to explain their orders &
medications not yours. it is their job to explain their diets not yours. so do not take the place of the nurse and discuss such things with patients b/c you are not qualified to do so.

Ive seen some CNA's trying to discuss with the patients what meds the doctor ordered them. which is none of the CNA business and we aren't allowed to discuss such things not in our scope of practice.nor are we alowwed to discuss lab results. nurses can tell pts that the doctor ordered this lab and this xray to be done for this reason. but are not allowed to discuss the results with the patient. that is for the doctor.

I don't know where some CNA's get off at. but in any case i guess thats why most nurses don't repect CNA's and vice versa.
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