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CNA as a premed - balancing both

manifestpiano02manifestpiano02 4 replies5 threads New Member
Is there anyone who has worked as a CNA while being a full time undergrad pursuing a major and minor as a premed and working to apply to med school? As it is, maintaining a perfect gpa in order to be competitive for med school is difficult but what are the chances of being able to balance school work and working as a CNA? Also, it doesn't have to just be CNA, EMT, CMA, etc. works too. Bonus is you're at Pitt!
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Replies to: CNA as a premed - balancing both

  • 2plustrio2plustrio 302 replies5 threads Member
    Yes, I know many who worked very limited part time while going premed.

    Are you a CNA or EMT already? Whats the goal with working? (money or trying to get hours of experience logged).
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  • manifestpiano02manifestpiano02 4 replies5 threads New Member
    I'd say my goal is both - money would be nice while trying to fund both undergrad and possibly med school and I'd also love the experience I can get from the job. I'm just worried about balancing it with school and wondering if it's possible. I'm not certified already but I'm planning on doing that.
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  • aunt beaaunt bea 10271 replies70 threads Senior Member
    When will you have time to do the CNA work? When will you have time to study?
    What "premed" freshmen don't understand is the limited amount of time you will have to dedicate to your studies to have the best grades in EACH and every course. If your GPA tanks, then you tank.
    Earning money as a CNA is not the same as volunteering in a low SES Community Clinic and receiving top grades in all subjects.
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  • SybyllaSybylla 4756 replies59 threads Senior Member
    If I were you I would pick CMA/EMT over CNA as the work will be more pleasant. CNA is very likely nursing homes with a lot of physical labor.
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  • MistySteel27MistySteel27 88 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I work with lots of CNA college students with various majors in my Pediatric Rehab hospital. It’s definitely doable due to needing 24/7 coverage and offering 8 hours to 12 hours shifts, so very flexible. What it really helps with is teaching the students about the real world of health care. Many have changed their majors which is great because they’re finding out what suits them before dedicating too much of their lives. I highly recommend you get some experience like this. I did patient registration through all departments at a large inner city hospital and got to really see the big picture while in respiratory therapy school. Stay away from nursing homes. Look for jobs as an ER tech or nurse aide in a large hospital.
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  • 2plustrio2plustrio 302 replies5 threads Member
    Note that EMT training is often a whole semester course itself and is very time intensive and often offered at community colleges or tech schools. CNA training can often be done in the summer with a 2 week program. Some facilities will train you if you agree to a certain number of shifts. I agree that nursing home work can be physically demanding but hey, not much else gets you more respect than being able to say you worked your way up from the trenches. :)

    Remember that most healthcare shifts are going to be typically set 8 or 12 hour shifts and not much flexibility so likely you wont be able to work 1pm-6pm for example but rather stuck working 3pm-11pm or 7am-7pm.

    Do not work night shift when you have class the next day. You may think you are young and can handle it but you wont retain information as well and being overly tired makes you a risk to your patients too.

    I agree that working in healthcare does open your eyes and I too have seen many change their major because of their work experience. I myself started in housekeeping at a hospital in high school and if you keep your eyes and ears open and are polite and kind, you learn much about people and healthcare in general.
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  • oldlawoldlaw 324 replies14 threads Member
    edited April 8
    Is there anyone who has worked as a CNA while being a full time undergrad pursuing a major and minor as a premed and working to apply to med school?

    Maybe I'm being too conservative, but I would encourage you to re-think this plan.
    First, not sure why you want both a major and a minor; having the minor will add very little to your medical school application.
    Second, it appears that you are deciding among three schools. All are fine colleges which send plenty of students to medical school every year-and all will have plenty of intelligent, goal oriented, dedicated pre-meds. In other words, it will be very competitive everywhere.
    Third, all HS students need a bit of time to adjust to the rigors of college coursework, and as a pre-med you'll be taking some of the most challenging courses offered. Wouldn't it be better to take the time to adjust to college life before taking on a physically demanding job?
    Four, college also isn't like HS in that there are no "gimmee" classes for pre-meds, and you can't take a semester off; all your grades count. So the expectation is that high grades are expected from the start, if you are planning on applying after junior year.

    Work over the summer as a CNA, and get a work study job if that's part of your FA package. Balancing work and school otherwise could be a very big challenge.
    edited April 8
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