Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) can be a life-changing experience. Your work will introduce you to an array of fascinating people you can form bonds with, and you gain a sense of pride to be able to care for others who need it. Caring for seniors can make for a truly gratifying and humbling experience, giving you a new perspective on life you won’t soon forget. Aside from being one of the most important roles in a healthcare team, CNAs do more than help other medical staff—they provide invaluable assistance to the patients as well.
The importance of CNAs
CNAs are responsible for the direct care of patients or residents of the company they work for, meaning they provide daily care and assistance, including helping patients eat, get dressed, or bathe. They’re also the ones who are likeliest to notice something amiss with their patients, enabling them to stay on top of their care and health by reporting developments to the other specialists on the patient’s healthcare team when they arise.
CNAs typically report to nurses or other healthcare professionals; however, these other members of the medical team rely on CNAs for observations about each patient’s condition, along with their vital signs and any test results. This makes the CNA’s job crucial to the continuing care of patients, especially since they’re also responsible for coordinating schedules with other healthcare professionals on the team.
You’ll be of great importance to the overall care of the patients you see, but there are other reasons why the experience of being a Certified Nursing Assistant is such a life-changing endeavor.
You’ll learn more about yourself and others
Becoming a CNA is both an emotionally rich experience and an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others. You won’t just be improving the daily lives of your patients, either. The work you do for your patients also connects you directly with their family, and in many cases, you’ll work with the patient’s family as you oversee their needs and care.
You’ll work closely with patients, and although being a CNA can be a very demanding position, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped make people feel better. You’ll be able to develop a rapport and relationship with your patients that many in the healthcare industry simply don’t have. Most of the patients CNAs work with are elderly people who’ll require continued care for the remainder of their lives—and that makes you an important part of their life.
Those who become CNAs also find they mature much faster than some of their peers. It’s no surprise: being responsible for several dependent people at a time can be challenging, but it will force you to adapt and learn quickly. You’ll also be dealing with sick people frequently, and since illness can take a noticeable toll on the personality and mood on a person, you’ll learn not to take things personally while still providing the quality care your patience needs.
You’ll have a flexible job and training is very affordable
CNAs are afforded incredible flexibility when it comes to scheduling work. While there are plenty who might work in regular clinics or have a standard 9-to-5 job, CNAs can generally set their schedules as it suits them. This makes it easier to cut back on work to pursue other things or spend more time with your family. You can also make more money scheduling yourself for several shifts/patients according to your financial needs and goals.
Demand for CNAs will always exist, which offers fantastic job stability for those searching for it. Further, the training and education required to become a CNA is affordable. CNAs have certifications—not degrees—and are able to fulfil most of their educational requirements online or from local community classes, some of which may even be offered at no cost. This makes the process quicker and less expensive than someone going to school for a degree.
Two of the biggest professional perks of being a CNA is the ability to gain a wide variety of experience from different medical fields, and a chance to work in any number of sectors, from big hospitals to small retirement communities. There are even opportunities to work in private clinics or assisted living facilities if that is worthwhile to you.
Becoming a CNA can also be a good way to start a more specialized nursing career. The work and responsibilities associated with the profession allow one to become very familiar with the healthcare world, making it easier for you to decide where you’d ultimately like to end up.
You’ll become a better caretaker
Your professional knowledge and experience can be put to work in your own personal life. When you learn how to care for people who are sick, disabled, or elderly, the experience teaches you patience, compassion, and how to handle challenges without breaking a sweat. Once you’re a CNA, you’ll be able to take care of friends and family alike, should they need someone like you.
In many ways, being a CNA is like getting a bunch of new grandparents. That’s how strong the bond between CNA and patient can be. You’ll share stories with each other and ensure that their needs are met. They’ll come to rely on you for more than just care—they’ll value your company as well. Although it can be a difficult job or a path laden with obstacles, becoming a CNA will teach you the sensitivity, medical know-how, and time management skills you’ll need to be a great Certified Nursing Assistant. More than that, you’ll find yourself becoming a better person in a career you adore.