How To Become A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Career Video: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Do you want a career that would help you alleviate the pain of people who are suffering? Do want to work in a healthcare setting without having to spend a long time in school? If the answer to both these questions is yes then you can consider a career as a nursing assistant. In this profession, you will be assisting patients so that they can do the activities of daily living. You will be working in hospitals, nursing homes and other residential care facilities.
In a typical day, your tasks will include helping patients or residents take a bath, go to the toilet and put on their clothes. To perform these tasks, you may have to assist and turn the patients from one side to another and even physically carry them if they are unable to move on their own. You also serve food to patients and regularly monitor their temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate and other vital signs. Depending on the state where you work in, you may be asked to give medication to patients. In case there are changes in the patient’s condition, you will need to immediately inform the nurse in charge.
If you work in a nursing home, you can expect to serve as the primary caregiver of the residents there. It’s not impossible to develop close relationships with the long-term residents of the home since you are going to be spending a lot of time with them each day. This is a career that requires empathy and understanding so that you can provide the best care to the patients.
You also need to have patience and compassion since there are patients who can really be difficult to manage. You also need to be physically fit since a lot of lifting and carrying is involved in this profession.
Why Become A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Those who would like a career that would put them in a position to help the sick and the ailing each day they go to work will find fulfillment in being a nursing assistant. It is also a chance to work in the healthcare industry without spending a lot of time in school. The employment prospects for this profession are also very positive in the next few years.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Work Environment
Majority of nursing assistants work for nursing care facilities. They are also employed by hospitals and residential care facilities while others work for companies providing home health services and government agencies. The job is physically demanding and puts them at risk for work-related injuries and illnesses. Nursing assistants hold fulltime jobs and may be asked to work in shifts which can include evenings, holidays and weekends.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Assistant Salary
The Occupational Employment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of nursing assistants is $26,020 while orderlies received $26,340 a year. These are slightly lower than the $28,300 paid to healthcare support occupations in general.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the job outlook for nursing assistants is expected to be very positive in the next few years. In the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate for nursing assistants is projected at 21 percent, a rate that is faster than the average for all job types. The demand will be fueled by the increase of the number of retirees who will need to seek nursing home services. This will be tempered by limitations to government funding.
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Degree
To enter the profession, aspiring nursing assistants must get the educational preparation they need to do their tasks effectively by finishing an educational program sanctioned by the state. These programs are offered in vocational schools, technical schools, nursing homes, high schools and community colleges. After finishing the program, they would then need to pass a competency exam so that they can become certified. Passing the exam is their ticket to employment. Only those who have passed the test will have their names written on the state registry which is a requisite to be able to work in a nursing home.