I’m currently taking a gap year and preparing to apply for PA school when CASPA opens up in April 2020. I have a question regarding direct patient care hours. I’ve been working as a home-health CNA for the past 3 years, racking up 2000+ hours. With that being said, I’ve always had this anxiety eating away at me that home-health CNA’s are looked down upon in the terms of what they’re able to do as opposed to CNA’s working in SNF, hospitals, etc.
I’m often misrepresented as a home-health aide even though I have my CNA license. I’m always afraid this will hinder me when applying to PA programs simply because I’m viewed as more of a “maid” than a healthcare professional. However, I do more CNA tasks than what people assume. I have bed ridden clients I care for, I have clients that require lifts, and I have clients that are on ventilators. On the other hand, I do have my fair share of clients that are on respite care and my time is solely spent there as a comforter and person to talk to.
At a recent open house for a PA school I’m interested in, I voiced my concern for this and they assured me that it’s quality over quantity and as long as I was caring for someone it would suffice them. However, that’s just one of the many schools I’m interested in. With this being said, I also have some volunteer hours working as a CNA in a free clinic in my hometown where I’m doing more of the assessing and treating PA schools are looking for. However, majority of my hours are from my CNA job.
I chose home health because I knew the company I was going to work for was very flexible with hours and I needed that while I was in college. I’ve been with them for so long and grew so close to patients that I haven’t thought about leaving and going to a hospital or SNF to get more/different exposure.
I guess my question for anyone reading this is: would you consider my home health CNA job direct patient care?