Confessions of a CNA

#1: if you're sixteen and you want to become a CNA, do not take an accelerated class.

I never slept because my brain refused to shut off the random facts about bed baths to catheter care (and everything else in between) and when I did fall asleep I was dreaming of taking someone's temperature or miscounting someone's pulse. Not to mention the one morning I went hysterical at 3am and bawled alone in the living room as I clutched the cat for comfort.

#2:You stress...a lot.

I can handle stress when I'm not expecting it. When I actually arrived at the nursing home and walked into the resident's room - I was ready for whatever would be thrown at me...even if I still knew I would never find their socks (apparently socks are not kept in the dresser drawer...which is another way of saying they're kept no where. So annoying.) However, back at home after peeling off my scrubs and falling asleep I completely fretted until I was a nervous wreck. I hated the anticipation of tasks I knew were waiting for me the next day. I didn't want to give a stranger a shower. I didn't want to ask for help AGAIN when I was too weak to support someone into their recliner so they could comfortably watch the TV. I couldn't stand having to do a task that I didn't know how to do and the instructor was no where to be found. I didn't like being yelled at. I hated lying to patients who were in their wrong minds.

#3. Mealtimes are the best.

It took me three clinicals to finally muster up the courage to feed someone. It's not exactly the ideal way to spend two hours. It's messy. It's kinda gross. You could potentially have to keep them from choking. After I finally took a seat next to the sweet grandmother, I found it a piece of cake. It was actually enjoyable. Mealtimes were the best things about clinicals, and I found it ridiculously fun to chat about old times, gossip with the ladies, or talk about their favorite food. Sometimes I felt like Pollyanna; I'd imagine a yummy dish of food as I spooned that weird green mashed up stuff in their mouth.

#4. If you don't like being a CNA - for heavens sake don't get licensed as one.

I don't know what I was thinking. But I passed, got my license and have less than a year before it expires.

#5.  Nobody hires sixteen-year-old CNAs.

It's true. And annoying.

#6. A Dietary Aide sounds like heaven.

Unfortunately, the only open position is almost an hour from where I live. Rats.

#7. After all my bad experiences and CNA nightmares...I'm still thinking about going into nursing.

I'm still not sure if that's a good idea. I want to be a nurse, but I hate the idea of being a nurse. It's a weird, complicated mess of emotions and thoughts.


  1. You make me smile just so. :)) And for the record, I won't become a CNA. Never.

  2. I'm actually taking nurses classes now at this technical school . . . today was supposed to be the first day but school got called off because of the weather. I kinda wanted to go. I don't really want to be a nurse, though the idea of it is fascinating. I'm basically saying the opposite of what you're saying. Anyway, the main reason I'm taking them is because it's good to know some basic first aide stuff (that's one of the classes) and medical terminology. Especially since I wanna have kids and feel led to go overseas with them. It would be nice to just know some things.

  3. This is how I feel about snowboarding.

    But seriously...it sounds like your main love of sitting with the patients and being able to help them is still there and glowing. You just don't like the awkward in between time when you're still learning. Give it time, wait it out. You'll be a pro, and even if you don't like giving strangers showers, hunting socks, or settling elderly people into recliners, you'll be so good at it that it won't be traumatic.


  4. My Mom is a nurse (she has her BSN and is a certified Lactation Consultant). She gets to help deliver babies and take care of them and their mommies. That's the best job in the hospital, in my opinion. Sometimes it's really hard for her though--especially when she has to take her turn in the NICU.


© Everyday Memoirs
Maira Gall