My First Month After CNA Training – A Case Study

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Becky Sturgess is a CNA training with almost a year of experience. She can vividly remember her first month after CNA training, though. We love to talk to CNA training graduates who have “Wish I would have known,” or “Wish I would have done this differently,” stories. Here’s Becky’s candid look back at her first weeks after CNA training.

CNA Training – The First Month on the Job

Once you enter your new career after CNA training, it’s really like a whole new world. Although CNA training is valuable for the basics, nothing could have prepared me for my first job after training. I was locked in with a nursing home as a prior agreement with the school I attended. Although it may be a good idea for some, I wish I would have looked for a job myself instead of just relying on the job placement offered after CNA training.

Okay, so let’s take a look. If you are placed into a position after CNA training, chances are high that your school has an ongoing relationship with this institution. What does this mean for you, the CNA training graduate? Well, take a look at it realistically. If I were a health care facility and I was guaranteed to receive a steady stream of new employees every three months, I probably wouldn’t be too keen on paying a high rate of salary. I also may get a bit lax when it comes to CNA training (continuing to train, evaluate and grow my staff). Needless to say, that was the situation I walked into.

I may as well have been a number, because I certainly didn’t feel like I was treated with any amount of genuine respect. My employer knew that if I didn’t like something, or if I requested less patients, or a lighter workload, because 8 patients to one CNA training graduate is a pretty ridiculous ratio, –they could just replace me before my 90 day probationary period was over with someone from the next batch of CNA training graduates. Is every institution like this? I’m sure it is not, but this is definitely what I experienced. Okay, here’s some details:

My First Month After CNA Training

  • Week 1 – I found myself in charge of 8 patients on more than one occasion. This proved to be too overwhelming for me to handle with my newly acquired skill set.
  • Week 2 – I was penalized (by having my hours cut) for complaining about the amount of time each resident was allowed to eat their dinner. Some of my patients needed extra assistance and instead, their trays were simply thrown away after the 20 minute period ended. Was my hour cutting situation a result of this? I can’t prove it, but I feel like it was.
  • Week 3 – I started looking for a new job since I didn’t really fit in with the regulations at the facility I was placed in after CNA training.
  • Week 4 – I landed a job in our city hospital.

Should I have reported some of the things I saw during my first month after CNA training? Maybe. It’s not that any abuse was occurring. It was just too much to handle for new CNA’s, very little support, and very little concern for the overall well being of the patient, in my opinion.

Bottom line? Be careful with CNA training centers that offer the perk of job placement.

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