My state board exam is scheduled for January 10th… I am employable now but the problem I am running into is the opposite of everyone I know: I need part-time work and every home or rehab facility is looking for strictly full-time.
Clinicals were a little trying… for every time I felt it was very rewarding there were two where it really tested my mental stability. Every resident on my floor had dementia on some level, and you must either use every fiber of your being to exhibit compassion or risk becoming extremely bitter.
All and all, however, this was a very worthwhile experience. It made me a much stronger person, and adequately prepared me for a career in medicine by forcing me to see the less glamorous aspects first.
Let me also add that I came into this experience with a disdain for long term care facilities, and looked forward to the day when I could get the necessary certification to work in acute care (in the state of Oregon, there is a CNA Level 2 cert that is needed for hospital work).
I no longer feel this way. Long term care offers you a chance to develop a bond with your residents, a chance to both become personable with them as well as provide better care by becoming knowledgeable with their care-plan. Hospital worked seemed rushed and ineffective; patients come and go while you don’t so much as learn their name, much less if the one person transfer order scratched on their whiteboard is correct or not.
I am definitely using my education and diving into a job as a CNA right away. I will then hopefully get my CMA (medication aid) while I wait to be accepted into an LPN program.
My advice: just go for it.