Being a CNA is not all about hard work. Looking at the bright side, caregiving is also about having wonderful experiences. So, when the going gets tough at work and you feel like dashing out the door and leaving behind your scrubs for good, take a moment to unwind and look at the best this job can offer. Give it time to sink in and you'll realize that being a CNA comes with perks that reward you for life.
Here’s six of our best:
1. You get to be a giver—continually.
This tops our list, as being a CNA is a job that never stops giving. Daily, you take on tasks that most consider unpleasant. You give your time to others, like when you miss your coffee and lunch break just to assist patients. As the saying goes, “The best gift you can give someone is your time.”
2. You touch lives and leave a lasting impact.
You may not realize it, but you do create an impact on a patient's life. How do you know?
Their simple thanks and appreciation say it all. You may hear patients or their family say, "You really were great!" or "I couldn't have done it without you." These are indications that you and your efforts mattered.
3. You learn how to be a part of a team.
Caring for a patient is a team effort even when each member has their own tasks to accomplish. You get to collaborate with people of diverse personalities, beliefs, and cultures. You learn from each other, too!
4. You’ll have a rewarding and practical experience.
Everything you learn as you care for patients and work with colleagues will translate well into life outside work. As a nursing assistant, you become equipped to cope with many types of stresses.
Is a family member sick? You may not be a doctor, but your training and practice taught you a lot. You can better manage on your own and without ending up a nervous wreck. And the people skills you learn will serve you well. You know better than to lose your cool over petty things.
You’re also a great listener, thanks to your favorite resident who never runs out of stories. If you have kids and bring those great communication skills home, you'll definitely earn your badge for exemplary parenting skills!
5. You see your efforts pay off.
Unlike working in the corporate world, where it’s harder to know how well you contribute to successes, being a nursing assistant provides constant opportunities to appreciate the positive results of your hard work and sacrifices. When you see patients improve or feel a bit better amidst sickness and pain, it’s a feeling you won’t forget!
6. You have a great career outlook.
CNA jobs will never become obsolete. In fact, nursing careers are on the rise and the demand will even be higher in the coming years.
The US population is aging, with more baby boomers retiring by the minute. An increase in the number of older people also means an increased need for long-term care, which equates to a variety of employer options for CNAs. You can also choose from many work settings including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health, and skilled nursing facilities.
Also, there are many opportunities for career advancement. You can work toward becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse and there are many programs that support your transition without having to stop working. This paves the way for you to level up your nursing skills and earn a heftier paycheck.
The nursing assistant job is not easy, but if you have what it takes to make a patient's life a lot more comfortable as they go through a difficult time, you are indeed a miracle worker. And this is what makes the job noble. It’s also a good reason to be proud of yourself!
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