Nursing assistants are one of the few people who devote their lives to the wellbeing of others even if the job pays very little and the work is exhaustingly back-breaking. A CNA’s dedication to their work is remarkable and indeed commendable.
Not everyone who embarks on this journey stays for good. In fact, in the healthcare industry, CNAs take the no. 1 spot for having the highest number of turnovers. According to the 2019 National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report, hospitals have a hard time retaining CNAs. The turnover rate for nursing assistants is 31.9%. This number means that about 32 in every one hundred nursing assistants quit during a certain period of time.
As a CNA, you are such a valuable member of the healthcare team, and for that, you are worthy of all honors just for staying on the job. You deserve the undying gratitude of everyone - the patients themselves, their family, and those who need care one way or the other.
Please take time to love yourself and be proud of what you do. Here are some reasons to continue your chosen career:
1. You are a selfless giver.
You are human and so you get tired like everyone else, but you still give it your all. That's the hero in you. In fact, it's likely that you even feel embarrassed to complain.
Missed lunchbreaks are nothing new to you. You eat whatever you can grab while on the go, running from one room to the other, as long as you meet your patients’ needs.
You do the extra mile even if those additional hours are unpaid, and your efforts are unrecognized. You are a fountain of kindness. You feel happy and fulfilled that you can help the weak, the sick, and the old.
2. You touch people’s lives.
In an internal newsletter by Penn Medicine, Mary Rogers, MSN, Director of Nursing Operations, emphasized CNAs' priceless contributions. Quoting her, she said, “You impact patient outcomes by performing primary patient rounds or demonstrating good listening skills addressing needs.” According to Rogers, nurse assistants earn the patients’ trust, which, in turn, positively affects the way they feel about the care they receive.
And yet, not everyone is keen on recognizing a CNA's importance as part of the healthcare team. In the poem “Only” a CNA?, author Dawn Mazzola, a nursing assistant, writes about how undeserving CNAs are of this kind of belittlement.
Mazzola describes how unique a nursing assistant’s job is and how profound the way that they touch their patient's life. She powerfully urges CNAs like you to be proud of who you are and what you do. You are significant. Let nothing and no one tell you otherwise.
3. You are instrumental in improving the patient's quality of life.
Whether it is the patient's recovery process or just their everyday progress in a home or facility, the services you render contribute to their quality of life. You always do for them what they cannot do for themselves to perform activities of daily living. Every patient under your care who gets discharged will be part of your success story, and every recovery story will include you as well.
4. Nurses need you.
Let’s face it. RNs are admirable workers, too. But they already have a lot on their hands, and without you to help them, they won’t be nearly as efficient.
You are a nurse’s ‘muscle worker’ or ‘miracle worker’ to put it in a better perspective. Other than taking on the physical demands of the job, you also give them emotional support. Your service as their assistant is just as important.
5. Your job is in high demand.
You will always have work waiting for you in the near and distant future. The US Department of Labor says that a nursing assistant career has a good outlook and a much faster growth than other professions. This projection means that job hunting would be easier for many years to come than in other fields.
You also have a variety of options when choosing your place of work and working conditions. For example, if you think that hospital grind is too much for you, there’s always a doctor’s clinic with much more predictable tasks and work hours looking for an assistant.
CNAs face daily discomforts, but they always leave a part of themselves smiling and still giving to help a patient in need. It is not easy being a CNA, and this is exactly what makes this job a noble career. So as you put on your scrubs today and look in the mirror, tell yourself, “You are precious, and your selfless service is invaluable.”
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