Any CNA's Work In A Hospital?

Any CNA's Work In A Hospital?

Joined: March 10th, 2007, 1:24 am

March 10th, 2007, 1:27 am #1

I was interested in becoming a CNA. Where I live in WA they have many positions open in Hospitals. I was wondering if any of you who do work in a hospital can give me some feed back on how you like it and the type of work you do in that enviornment as opposed to a nursing home. Many of the jobs offered here are in surgery and oncology.

Thanks!!!

Misty
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Joined: February 13th, 2004, 5:08 pm

March 10th, 2007, 10:39 am #2

I'm retired as of last August, but worked about 2 years in a hospital, in med-surg/oncology as it happens. Also worked in LTC and ambulatory clinic, so I have the various perspectives.

The answer is fairly long. There is very LITTLE similarity from LTC to a hospital. I did not like LTC at all, but did like the hospital (but it's not for everyone).

In hospital, you will do some cares as in LTC as bathing, changing, diapering, making beds, toileting, commodes. BUt in LTC, I found that toileting and diapering along with bathing was 90% of the job.

In hospital, you do literally 20 times the tasks as LTC --- NO, not 20 times the work, infinitely more tasks. I was dealing with IV's, heart monitors, suctioning, SCD's, computerized monitoring units (stepdown), at least 25 sets of vitals per shift, collecting and bottling feces/urine/blood, emptying and measuring catheters, running to the lab with test tubes or fetching blood, a huge amount of hooking/unhooking machinery and monitors from patients in order to ambulate them, assisting nurses to small degree with procedures, entering a lot of data directly into a computer system (that is, full computerized charting of cares, i/o's, tests, etc.), transfer from ER carts to beds, setting up room for new patients, breaking down rooms for discharges. Also did (especially on Oncology) post-mortem care (you don't like dead bodies, you won't want this).

I describe hospital work as very 'technical'. You will be expert at vitals, learn how to work with the various machinery, enter onto computerized systems all day, learn a whole lot about meds, treatments, disease states, handle isolation --- a lot of communicative diseases. I was getting TB tested every 2 months. I have stated before that if you're intimidated by learning many things, doing 25 different things on every shift, or don't like computers, you'll not make it in a hospital.

I had 2 weeks, full-time, classroom training before going on floor. Was on floor with preceptor for another 3 weeks. Took at least 6 months to finally have some comfort level with the job --- there is just so much to learn.

Major difference of hospital to LTC is that you only see patients for 1 day or maybe up to 2 weeks. You rarely get to 'know' your patients. You don't get a comfort level --- knowing what you will do that day because EVERY shift, your patients change. You might have 1 or 2 you have the day before, but very little overlap day-to-day. I thrived on that. Many people can't handle that because it is continuous 'stress'. There is NEVER any planning your shift as in LTC. There is always someone coding, discharges, new patients, changes in conditions requireing new monitoring or tests. You have a meeting before every shift to discuss the patients. You're always learning something new on a day-for-day basis.

I liked it. Rarely had breaks or lunch though. Pretty much worked 8 hours, straight shifts with a minute or 2 here and there to get some coffee.

Another very large differenc

Basically, the
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Joined: February 13th, 2004, 5:08 pm

March 10th, 2007, 7:24 pm #3

I was interested in becoming a CNA. Where I live in WA they have many positions open in Hospitals. I was wondering if any of you who do work in a hospital can give me some feed back on how you like it and the type of work you do in that enviornment as opposed to a nursing home. Many of the jobs offered here are in surgery and oncology.

Thanks!!!

Misty
One more major point about hospital (I cut off previous answer). A very large area of complaints by CNA's (on this forum) are with the nurses. In the hospital, you worked a large portion of every day one-on-one with the nurses, unlike LTC. I have been a 'cheerleader' for the nurses as opposed to continual complainer. But, nurses at my place 'only' had 4-5 patients a shift --- not 20 to 30. Nursing, and therefore, nurse assisting, is totally different in a hospital. Nurses work one-on-one with patients, as CNA's do. No, not all --- some bad nurses, some unhelpful nurses, some cranky ones, etc. But nurses were more 'peers' in the hospital. In LTC, there always seemed to be an adversarial relationship if there was any 'relationship' at all. I could go an entire shift only seeing a nurse once. On a hospital shift, you're in constant communication, if not working directly, with them.

So, if you can handle big-time multitasking, like to continuously learn, accepting that your routine is constant interruption (not just call lights, but had phones ---
I often had multiple phone calls going on and had to prioritize), have priorities literally change every 10 minutes, continually meeting and discharging patients, and can deal with ALL bodily fluids from EVERY orifice, can deal with isolation procedures, and have the day go by in 'minutes', it's for you. It's a 'rush'.....

If you have difficulty with the 'textbook' portion of the CNA class, you may struggle in the hospital with the 'technical' info you will need to learn. Cares I struggled with, bigtime, but you can improve those easily. If you do poorly in school, with bad study habits, you won't learn what you need to succeed in the hospital.
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simone
simone

March 10th, 2007, 10:06 pm #4

Completely agree!
I loved LTC. Worked it for 10 years. I felt I needed a change so I went to one of the local hospitals and have been there ever since(10+ years)! I have learned so much and have been given opportunities that I would have never got in LTC. I do think that any new CNA should work in LTC for at least 6m-1y. The CNAs that I see with at least that experience has more orginizational skills and can prioritize better. Crutial skill as a CNA period, never mind in a hospital.
The RNs are your peers. There is more teamwork in that sense. Of course, there is always the one or two RNs that the CNA's prefer not to work with and neither do some of the other RNs for that matter.
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Misty
Misty

March 11th, 2007, 6:57 pm #5

I was interested in becoming a CNA. Where I live in WA they have many positions open in Hospitals. I was wondering if any of you who do work in a hospital can give me some feed back on how you like it and the type of work you do in that enviornment as opposed to a nursing home. Many of the jobs offered here are in surgery and oncology.

Thanks!!!

Misty
Wow,

Thank you so much for your responses. I think Hospital work is definately for me. I get bored really easily if I have to do the same thing over and over again. A routine is not good for me. I like a fast paced enviornment. I love the fact that you learn so much. I thought about doing the CNA work for a while and getting experience. Then maybe going back to school for my RN. We'll see. I may really love just being a CNA! Thank You again for your input. It gave me a lot of insight on where I want to be.

Misty
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Joined: February 5th, 2004, 12:21 pm

March 12th, 2007, 2:54 pm #6

I was interested in becoming a CNA. Where I live in WA they have many positions open in Hospitals. I was wondering if any of you who do work in a hospital can give me some feed back on how you like it and the type of work you do in that enviornment as opposed to a nursing home. Many of the jobs offered here are in surgery and oncology.

Thanks!!!

Misty
I have been a CNA for thirty yrs. I never worked anywhere except a hospital(2) or a Drs. office (only 3yrs in the office). I have been at this hospital for 20 yrs. I worked in the Trauma/Surgial ICU for 17 yrs and now am incharge of the education for 350+ CNAs who work here. From reading the post on this web site I we all work hard we just work diffrent. Rance was right in the hospital we do more tech. stuff but we also have more opportunities. We can work any floor from Reharb to Pedi. Or as in my case move away from bedside to do diffrent things. I still work in the ICU a couple of times a months because I miss the pt. contact. I've gotten the feeling over the yrs that some people don't think of us as "real" CNAs because we don't work in LTC but I couldn't see myself working anywhere but a hospital. I work hard and I love it.
Mary
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Anonymous
Anonymous

March 21st, 2007, 8:42 pm #7

I'm retired as of last August, but worked about 2 years in a hospital, in med-surg/oncology as it happens. Also worked in LTC and ambulatory clinic, so I have the various perspectives.

The answer is fairly long. There is very LITTLE similarity from LTC to a hospital. I did not like LTC at all, but did like the hospital (but it's not for everyone).

In hospital, you will do some cares as in LTC as bathing, changing, diapering, making beds, toileting, commodes. BUt in LTC, I found that toileting and diapering along with bathing was 90% of the job.

In hospital, you do literally 20 times the tasks as LTC --- NO, not 20 times the work, infinitely more tasks. I was dealing with IV's, heart monitors, suctioning, SCD's, computerized monitoring units (stepdown), at least 25 sets of vitals per shift, collecting and bottling feces/urine/blood, emptying and measuring catheters, running to the lab with test tubes or fetching blood, a huge amount of hooking/unhooking machinery and monitors from patients in order to ambulate them, assisting nurses to small degree with procedures, entering a lot of data directly into a computer system (that is, full computerized charting of cares, i/o's, tests, etc.), transfer from ER carts to beds, setting up room for new patients, breaking down rooms for discharges. Also did (especially on Oncology) post-mortem care (you don't like dead bodies, you won't want this).

I describe hospital work as very 'technical'. You will be expert at vitals, learn how to work with the various machinery, enter onto computerized systems all day, learn a whole lot about meds, treatments, disease states, handle isolation --- a lot of communicative diseases. I was getting TB tested every 2 months. I have stated before that if you're intimidated by learning many things, doing 25 different things on every shift, or don't like computers, you'll not make it in a hospital.

I had 2 weeks, full-time, classroom training before going on floor. Was on floor with preceptor for another 3 weeks. Took at least 6 months to finally have some comfort level with the job --- there is just so much to learn.

Major difference of hospital to LTC is that you only see patients for 1 day or maybe up to 2 weeks. You rarely get to 'know' your patients. You don't get a comfort level --- knowing what you will do that day because EVERY shift, your patients change. You might have 1 or 2 you have the day before, but very little overlap day-to-day. I thrived on that. Many people can't handle that because it is continuous 'stress'. There is NEVER any planning your shift as in LTC. There is always someone coding, discharges, new patients, changes in conditions requireing new monitoring or tests. You have a meeting before every shift to discuss the patients. You're always learning something new on a day-for-day basis.

I liked it. Rarely had breaks or lunch though. Pretty much worked 8 hours, straight shifts with a minute or 2 here and there to get some coffee.

Another very large differenc

Basically, the
cna
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BARBARA
BARBARA

April 5th, 2007, 2:27 pm #8

I have been a CNA for thirty yrs. I never worked anywhere except a hospital(2) or a Drs. office (only 3yrs in the office). I have been at this hospital for 20 yrs. I worked in the Trauma/Surgial ICU for 17 yrs and now am incharge of the education for 350+ CNAs who work here. From reading the post on this web site I we all work hard we just work diffrent. Rance was right in the hospital we do more tech. stuff but we also have more opportunities. We can work any floor from Reharb to Pedi. Or as in my case move away from bedside to do diffrent things. I still work in the ICU a couple of times a months because I miss the pt. contact. I've gotten the feeling over the yrs that some people don't think of us as "real" CNAs because we don't work in LTC but I couldn't see myself working anywhere but a hospital. I work hard and I love it.
Mary
RESPONDIN TO WORKIN IN THE HOSPITAL I MUST AGREE WITH U THAT C N A'SDO MORE TECHNICAL STUFF. I WORKED IN IT FOR 1YR. THE WORK VRY HARD AN STRENOUS AT TIMES BIT I MUST SAY I LEARNED ALOT DURIN THE TIME I WAS THERE.AN WHAT'S GREAT ABOUT WORKIN IN THE HOSP. IT'S GOOD TO HAVE THE OPPERTUNITY TO BE ABLE TO WORK IN A DIFFERENT TYPE OF NSG SETTIN I DID ENJOT THAT PT. THE ONLY PT. THAT THIS HOSP. WOULD'T LET THE C.N.A. WOR ON WAS THE LABOR\DELIV FLR DUE TO THE FACT THAT AT TIMES THERE WOULD HAVE TO BE INTREVENOUS STUFF DONE SO THAT FLR WAS OUT FOR US AN ALSO THE EMER.RM
ONLY E.M.T. TECH'S WERE ALLOWED TO WORK THERE. BUT AGAIN I MUST SAT I DID LEARN ALOT.
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Joined: April 8th, 2007, 4:33 pm

April 8th, 2007, 5:10 pm #9

I was interested in becoming a CNA. Where I live in WA they have many positions open in Hospitals. I was wondering if any of you who do work in a hospital can give me some feed back on how you like it and the type of work you do in that enviornment as opposed to a nursing home. Many of the jobs offered here are in surgery and oncology.

Thanks!!!

Misty
I work in an inner city hospital in Canada. I did most of my training in long term care and I honestly can say I love the active treatment perspective much more than LTC. The change of pace and variety of patients is one of the reasons, but the main one has to be the extreme load and heavy emotional factor of LTC. When you are working with patients that are 75++ and incontinent, and needing medi-lifts and transfers and supervised bathing and feeding and all the rest that goes along with elderly care, then you are talking about a job that will take it's toll. My hat goes off to all those that choose LTC.
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konnie
konnie

May 9th, 2007, 7:08 am #10

I was interested in becoming a CNA. Where I live in WA they have many positions open in Hospitals. I was wondering if any of you who do work in a hospital can give me some feed back on how you like it and the type of work you do in that enviornment as opposed to a nursing home. Many of the jobs offered here are in surgery and oncology.

Thanks!!!

Misty
I worked for St. Peter's there in Olympia. I really enjoyed the people I worked with and the department. Telemetry is an awsome place to start. St. Peter's is a teaching hospital and you literly start with orientation with a pt that came in an you with walk through the whole process. I even got to watch a 5 way by pass. I think you have a great hospital system in Providence there. Try there.
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