Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ode to a CNA

It’s been about a month and a half now since I quit my job as a CNA and moved on to the big, bad world of being an RN.  During my last few months as a CNA, I promised myself that I would never be “that” nurse.  The one that under-appreciates, talks down to, thinks they’re better than, has no respect for, shows complete disregard for the time of, or just plain treats their CNA like they own them.  Unfortunately, “that” nurse is more common that you’d think.  And surprisingly enough, the “that” nurses that I’ve worked with were never CNA’s before they became nurses.  Intriguing, eh?  Judge as you may.

But since I think that the majority of people don’t know what a CNA really does, I decided that I would soon write a blog post about the truth.  “The Truth about being a CNA – Secrets uncovered!”  What a glorious title it was!  But it sounded too dramatic, so I scrapped it.

During my last few weeks of being a CNA, during the wee hours of the morning on night shifts when I was most disgruntled and exhausted, I came up with a few slogans that should be used on posters or advertisements to draw people in to the exciting field of CNA-ery, whilst correctly informing.  They are as follows:

  • If you want ALL of your coworkers to think they’re your boss, become a CNA!
  • If you want to be the absolute bottom of the totem pole, be a CNA!
  • Do you want to work the hardest you’ve ever worked in your life for the littlest money you’ve ever earned?  Then be a CNA!
  • Don’t you want to be wildly under-appreciated by everyone you work with, then you should become a CNA!
  • If you love bodily functions, you should consider becoming a CNA!
  • If you think you can see the parts of people that no one wants to/should ever have to see without vomiting your brains out, being a CNA might be right for you!  (Don’t these sound like ITT Tech or Steven's Henager commercials?)

(p.s. That picture is nothing like what CNA classes are like.  My program was in the back of an old building in old Midvale, run by a husband and wife, and my instructor was a 65 year old LPN that smoked and was named Esther.  I was one of the only people who spoke English in the class.)

This all sounds all kinds of negative, doesn’t it?  I would like to be very clear here: I absolutely adored my job as a CNA.  I was able to work with the sickest of the sick in a Level 1 Trauma Center Surgical ICU, and with old people in two different sub-acute rehab centers.  I did it during both bachelor’s degrees over 3 years total.  I worked days, nights, weekends, holidays, and back to back with school and class all the time.  There was one instance where I didn’t sleep for 3 days and 2 nights straight because I had school during the day and work during the night.  So I think it’s fair to say that I’ve earned my right to make credible statements about what it’s like to be a CNA.

Being a CNA is the absolute hardest job I’ve ever had.  You work long hours, you’re on your feet the entire time, and depending on where you work, it can be extremely stressful.  Sure, being a nurse is hard too, and you’re on your feet constantly too.  But now that I’ve been both, there’s a reason why very few people are what we call “career CNA’s.”

Career CNA’s are a rare breed.  They are the people who are CNA’s as a career and don’t intend on moving on to a different position.  You see, the majority of people you run into that are CNA’s are planning on doing to nursing school, medical school, or something related to the medical field and are using the CNA position to get their foot in the door and get experience.  But there’s a reason why they move on – because being a CNA is rrrrrough!  That’s why I have even more respect for the career CNA’s; because in some instances, they are the best CNA’s I know and could work a 18-22 year old in their prime into the ground.

Since I feel like it’s my duty to pass along the knowledge I’ve gained, I would like to give a few points of advice both to people considering becoming CNA’s and to people considering becoming RN’s.  They are as follows:

  • Should you become a CNA if you’re considering/trying to go to Nursing school?  A resounding YES!  I didn’t learn how to be a nurse from nursing school.  I learned how to become a nurse from my job as a CNA and from my on-hands internship (capstone) my last semester.  Working as a CNA also let me see what being a nurse was like and cemented the decision to become a nurse in my mind.
  • Why should you become a CNA first?  Because there is no doubt that CNA’s make the best RN’s.  If you already know the basics, you’re that far ahead of the competition.  I pretty much didn’t have to study the first few months of nursing school because I had been a CNA.  Plus, nursing schools are more likely to accept you if you were a CNA first.
  • Should you continue to work as a CNA through nursing school?  Everyone is different, but I would say yes.  The reason why is because you get to see the things you’re learning about first hand, and if you’re a visual learner like me, reading about it in a book or hearing someone talk about it isn’t near as good as seeing and doing it yourself.  Also, many places will hire their CNA’s when they graduate nursing school, so you have a foot in the door and a guaranteed job!
So now that I’ve talked about the many different facets of being a CNA and gone off on little side tangents, let me summarize.  Being a CNA is hard, but it’s rewarding.  You’re under-appreciated, underpaid, and play in poop all day, but you’re also the person your patient sees the most and you get to interact with them more than anyone else.  So here’s to the CNA’s!  You’ll never be under-appreciated to me!  Without you, nurses could never do their jobs.  They’d crash and burn.  You’re the sturdy foundation that has allowed nurses to elevate the profession and take it to the level it is today.  This has been my ode to CNA’s.  Bless them.

Monday, August 27, 2012

This Just In:

Adele and Ingrid Michaelson have a love child!



 If any of you know me at all, I have probably raved to you about either Ingrid Michaelson, Adele, both simultaneously, or some other singer/songwriter that makes me hot and gets my undercarriage all sweaty.  Why it is that music has that effect on me is a topic for a whole other post entirely, which I'm sure will come one day.  But on to the subject of this post: I am obsessed with a 16 year old girl!

Now before you get all weirded out on me, that's not how I roll.  Calmin' it down, calmin' it down... The reason why that notion is absolutely preposterous is also the topic for another post, another day.  Nay, I am obsessed with this new girl that I stumbled upon on YouTube a fortnight ago, and she is just so darn talented!  Here's the sitch:

- Name: Birdy
- Age: 16!!  (are you kidding me?  Yup.  She's really only 16.)
- Nationality: British (so of course she's automatically super hip)
- Style: Adele's soul meets Ingrid's acoustic heavenlyness.  It really is like they had a love child and hid her in an old converted mill in the UK.
- Why's she so good?  See for yourself.

Want some more?  Liked that feeling of your soul squirming and sailing and weeping all at once?  I bet you did.  Sicko.

More!  More!  It's like Music Crack!  Mrack!

Granted, all of these songs are covers of songs written by other people, but that's not what is so amazing.  It's her talent mixed with the sincerity and genuineness that reaches somewhere inside your soul and makes your gut twist and a tear come to your eye.  Needless to say, watch out for this chica because in 10 years when her voice fills out even more, Imma lose it in mah pants.

Summary: I love her.  Also, I'm not a pedophile.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Books to read after I graduate

School has been my life for literally the last 8 years.  Minus the two years that I took to serve a mission from '05-'07, I have been in school almost every semester, including summers, since I graduated high school.  I know, I just threw up in my mouth too.  So needless to say, I haven't had a whole lot of free time to read books for pleasure.  Hence why I've been compiling lists of things to do, see, etc. when I graduate, and one of those lists is "Books to Read."  This list is made up almost entirely of books that have been recommended to me throughout the years of student-dom/academic servitude/hell:

  1. Catcher in the Rye
  2. My Name is Asher Lev
  3. Hunger Game Series (Trendy?  Too late?  We'll see)
  4. Ender's Game (I know, I may be the only Utahn of mormon descent to NOT have read this book)
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird (don't ask me how I graduated high school w/out reading this book.  Whatever, I'm from Herriman, UT.  Don't judge)
  6. Jane Eyre
  7. Kite Runner
  8. Brave New World
  9. 100 aƱos de soledad (Jess, eets een Espaneech)
  10. A Time to Kill
  11. The Witch of Blackbird Pond
  12. The Sookie Stackhouse Series (Which I just found out the series True Blood is based on)
  13. The Uglies
  14. Dracula
  15. The Name of the Wind (courtesy of my barber)

This is the extent of my list as of right now - I would like to cordially invite any and all to make suggestions to add to my list.  Since I'm going to be working three 12 hours shifts a week once I graduate, I expect to have some free time to catch up on living.  Readysetgo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Beginning and an Ending

I'm doing it!  Right here, right now, I'm joining the ranks of bloggers.  I'm becoming one of the masses of people that have so much to say to so few.  I'm going to send my words out into the interwebs and it's going to make me feel fulfilled.  I love lists, so here's a list of the reasons why I'm starting a blog:

1) I want a place to talk about my opinion on difficult/complicated issues.  Facebook just doesn't cut it.
2) Somewhere to mention the music that makes my soul go boom-badoom-boom-boom-badoom-boom-hey.
3) Keep up/improve my writing skills, since Imma be done wit da nursin' skool in a week.
4) Update the world on my life, because Facebook will probably become trashy and turn into the next MySpace any day now.
5) Honestly, I want somewhere to grumble and bellyache a little.  (I would like to make a note that I looked up synonyms for "bitch" in my thesaurus just now and got "bellyache" and "grumble."  I didn't want to be that person that says the word "bitch" in their blog and turns people off, ya know?  Not on my first post.  Besides, I'm sure some family members are going to read this and I can't let them know that I cuss sometimes.  But look, I'm already improving my writing skills by expanding my vocabulary!)

Please stay tuned for more posts, because I'm about to have much more time coming up here soon.  I'm in the last leg of my program - the final sprint!  I'm almost done!  But obviously I'm super motivated to do my homework and study because instead I'm starting a blog at 2 a.m.  Bless me.