(Closed) Medical Assisting… Waiting for my RN program. Needing advice!!! LONG

posted 6 years ago in Career
  • poll: Should I do the medical assisting program?
    Yes (please explain) : (5 votes)
    63 %
    No (please explain) : (3 votes)
    38 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    66 posts
    Worker bee

    I’ve done medical assisting, and if money is not of great importance, I think not only is it fabulous, but necessary! You will learn if patient care, and the field is the right fit for you ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus you can acquire a great deal of autonomy- drawing blood, injections, x-ray set up, etc etc.

    For instance: my boss let me scrub in with him on surgery cases at the hospital, and I fainted ๐Ÿ™‚ That let me know pretty quickly that bright lights, facemasks and really disgusting things not only take time to get used to , but you may never get used to ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m glad I had that before being halfway through a nursing or PA program ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, you could look into being a CNA ( nurse assistant) / PCA ( patient care associate) at your hospital? Depending on where you live, it usually involves a certification- but takes much less time than an accredited MA program. The money is less, but you get a lot of hospital experience as opposed to lets say private doctors offices and sub specialties that you would get with the MA.

    Post # 4
    Member
    5547 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2011

    Edit: Well. Apparently half what I said is totally pointless because I thought medical assisting was the same as our nurse techs/aids and apparently it isn’t?? 

    As a nursing student, I don’t know that having hands on experiance would have helped that much beyond the first day of clinical jitters. What you are doing is quite different, while as a first semester you frequently do most of what the techs do (changing positions and changing linens) after that there is a lot more to it anyway and they start teaching with the assumption you have no exsperiance anyway.

    There were people in our class who were techs, or EMTS or worked in nursing home already but it didn’t give them any advantage really to those of us who came straight from HS or from totally different fields. 

    However, job wise, it can help. It is much easier to get hired as a nurse somewhere you already work. And it does allow you to get more comfortable in the patient rooms. I do know we have several profs who did this, worked their way up from the bottom. But now there are lots more people who are simply going straight to RN programs.

    The only thing I would say is that if you have the ability once you get your ASN and have been working, get an RN-BSN degree. Its cheaper and faster even with having to get the ASN between, but if you really want to advance in the hospital, at least around me, the hospitals much prefer BSNs. So if you want to charge nurse or manage. Which is stupid because the main differences are that we had to sit through extra English and history classes for the Bachelors, which has zero to do with nursing ability. But, the buracracy is stupid.

    On the pregnancy thing, in case you are worried about it, we have every semester had a new mama (they are always the women/children class favorites) and there are LOTS of people with kids, and while a few have older kids, most of them are parents of kids less than 6. 

    Good luck with it all!! Nursing school is incredible. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    785 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    As a nurse, I feel that it is necessary to work as a patient care tech/CNA/MA prior to school. Prior to going to nursing school, I worked as a paramedic/EMT for 6 years and then also part time as a tech in the emergency room for 3 years. Your training and patient care experience may not help you persay in school itself, but it will help you overall. Not only do you get hands on training, but I feel as a nurse, you should know how to be a tech first. I feel that the nurses (most of them anyway) that have never worked in the medical field prior to becoming a nurse abuse their techs. If it’s possible for you to do the program and it would work out good for you, then I say go for it. Like another PP said, you can always advance later to get your BSN, which usually isn’t too many more classes. I also agree that BSN based programs seem to be more focused theory based and doesn’t focus on bedside nursing as much as an ASN program.

    Post # 8
    Member
    5547 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2011

    @ChuckNorris:  You’re quite welcome! It is really a lot of work but it is 110% work it. I want to be an FNP, I’m looking at a couple online places for that too, where you work with local people in your field for clinicals. I love it so much. Any idea once you get into nursing what area you want? It is so funny, I went in thinking I would NEVER in a million years be in either an ICU or the ER, I didn’t think I would like trauma. But wow.

    I loved those clinicals more than anything. It was tough because some of those people will never leave… but I had one who came in so sick, no one exspected her to make it through the week, vent, feeding tube, the works. 2 weeks later, I got to be there the first time she got to talk to her husband again after he was preparing for her to die. She was so worried that her hair wasn’t going to look pretty enough for him and we used this shower cap that has instant shampoo stuff and comb it out for her and she sat and primped in this tiny little mirror trying to look good for him. She got to say she loved him again for the first time in two weeks. And she had been totally out for most of those days. Suddenly I knew exactly where I needed to be. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    335 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m an RN and worked as a patient care assistant for two years while in nursing school. Not only did it help me become comfortable with patient care and tasks, it helped me acquire time management skills that were imperative for providing complete and adequate patient care. It also helped me feel more comfortable during clinicals and nursing lectures because I could think back to real life situations instead of hypotheticals. I’ve noticed that “new” nurses who didn’t have much experience with direct patient care prior to or in nursing school tend to struggle more than those that did internships etc. I think it’s a must!

    Post # 12
    Member
    5547 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2011

    @ChuckNorris:  Oh man. Wound care was rough. Around here it was lots of sad old patients from the nursing homes with diabetes related wounds who weren’t getting taken care of the way they needed at the nursing home. Gnarly nasty stuff. But the hyperbaric chambers were stinkin’ cool. I realize the news tells us that diabetes is an epidemic, but honestly it didn’t hit me how bad until I realized I have had MAYBE 1 patient in 3 semsters of nursing school without it. 

    I really want to go into practice as an FNP, like primary care. I also want to work internationally (3rd World) so having the NP skill set will be super helpful. Our school is close to the headquarters for the Mercy Ships, they have always had a draw to me. I have been on a couple medical mission trips before, my church took a group of 3 docs, 6 RNs, 3 nursing students and a bunch of support staff to Ecuador last spring break to remote Andes mountain villages and we saw 400 something patients. Many of them were kids who had never seen a doctor, and they were 7 or 8 years old. So no shots, no vitamins, no nothing. The first person I ever gave a shot to was a little 6 month old baby who had a raging, draining ear infection… and had for 5 months. All it took was a rocphen shot in the bum and she was going to get better. And things like tylenol for their aching backs or tums for their stomach were worth more than gold. They went back this year with more nurses and a couple more doctors and saw nearly 700 people in 5 days. I think people sometimes take for granted that we can get medicine, even though our medical system is broken, it could be much worse. I love nursing so much!! 

    Post # 15
    Member
    5547 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2011

    @ChuckNorris:  

    I’m starting my last semester on my BSN this fall!! So excited.

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