Nursing assistants are a vital part of the healthcare team. They are there, not just to assist nurses and the medical staff, but to truly care for patients. In most cases, CNAs spend the most time at the bedside. If you are career hunting or possibly rethinking your role as a CNA, you may want to take this path after reading this article.
Here are some excellent takeaways from a career as a nursing assistant:
1. The paycheck’s good.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for CNAs was $ 13.23 per hour in 2017. Considering that the minimum wage is set at about $7.25, earning $27,510 per year is a pretty good deal.
2. You’re practically promised a steady job.
The demand for CNAs remains high in the coming years, as the US welcomes more older people reaching retirement age. There will be a place for you in a variety of settings, without having to worry about a lot of competition or vacancies filling in a hurry.
3. CNA training is shorter and more affordable than other professions.
CNA classes last for as short as 4 weeks depending on the state where you’re applying. Some institutions offer the flexibility of taking courses online and undergoing the hands-on training in their lab. Some schools have evening or weekend classes available. Also, the education and training are relatively cheaper compared to other fields.
4. Wide variety of work settings.
CNAs can choose from a variety of work environments such as nursing homes, assisted living, hospice, hospitals, community-based long-term care, correctional institutions, and other long-term care.
If CNAs want more flexibility and change, they may become home care workers or travel companions. Not many professions give you so many options!
5. Opportunity for career progression.
There’s a lot to look forward to as a CNA when it comes to advancing your career. You can opt to train in special courses such as telemetry, where you learn how to use a cardiac monitor and care for patients in the telemetry unit.
The CNA course could also serve as a stepping stone to becoming an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) or an RN (Registered Nurse), as most courses taken during CNA training are credited once you enroll in a nursing course.
6. It’s a job that lets you help people, and that can boost your morale.
We all know that helping someone in need is one of the best feelings in the world, and nurse assisting opens this door for you.
When you see patients getting better while under your care, you satisfy your longing for deeper purpose. You feel good about yourself and fuel your sense of accomplishment.
7. You learn skills you can apply at home.
You may have noticed how your CNA skills have been helping you around the house, ever since you underwent training.
Maybe you have parents or children to take care of, and you find yourself more organized than ever. Since you know about basic nursing, you are more confident in caring for your child if they get sick. You understand symptoms better.
You'd know what to do when they have a fever without being totally dependent on a physician's recommendation. Since you also trained in accomplishing activities of daily living, your days off are a lot more productive than before.
8. You’ll learn to value health and relationships more than anything else.
When you start to see that illness affects people regardless of age, gender, or social status, you consciously and unconsciously exert the effort to live healthily and tend to your family’s wellbeing more seriously.
You also realize that, as you care for patients who are well-off yet wish for nothing else but the presence of their family, relationships are much more valuable than material things.
9. You’ll learn skills that improve your life in general.
Multi-tasking, prioritization, communication . . . the abilities you develop from nurse assisting is not limited to routine chores and daily tasks alone. More than those responsibilities, we learn other skills that are just as important.
As you stay in your job, you become more accepting of the differences in other people and learn how to communicate better. You discover life's lessons as you interact with your colleagues and patients.
The life of a CNA has its ups and downs, but the perks are clear. Should you decide to embark this great journey by taking on nurse assisting as a career, congratulations! If you currently working as a CNA, the perks mentioned above is a wonderful reminder that as a CNA, you're never on the losing end!
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