Because most people simply do not know what a CNA “certified nursing assistant” is or actually does, here’s a quick overview.
Essentially they assist a Nurse in charge with care of the nurse’s individual patients.
This require “hands on care” of between 8 to 50 patients who are recovering from a serious illness or are reaching the end of their life and require help 24/7 completing simple chores for their personal comfort, always following established “care guidelines” per the doctors order and the individuals nursing "care plan".
If you’re working with someone at their home normally it’s at a much slower pace than a facility since you’re concentrated on 1 or 2 people instead of a dozen or more.
In a facility it’s common to have multiple situations manifesting at once which can become very stressful for the concerned caregivers and care recipients.
Long term facilities or “nursing homes” also have extensive computer or paper charting with each patient to help tie all the various threads together and keep the involved medical team members organized and on the same page.
Being a compassionate person and enjoying helping others is mandatory.
For many older patients you’ll be the main caregiver or human face they will interact with during their final chapter on earth, ranging from a few days to several years.
The nurses of today’s modern world are wholly inundated with their critical duties involving every patient on their floor and simply aren’t able to visit everybody as desired unless personal monitoring is required, so a nurse visit amounts to a few minutes per day, in most instances.
Aspiring CNAs should understand the job isn’t very sensational and can be sketchy at times.
From dressing wounds to cleaning a patient after a toileting mishap, CNAs are often put to the test on a daily basis.
CNA jobs can cause burn out in short order if you’re not prepared for the unexpected.
And due to the nature of the medical field, the likelihood you’ll be asked to work irregular hours (nights, weekends and holidays) is quite high.
As the world’s population continually ages the very role of a CNA proliferates and employment needs intensify, meaning a job is obtainable for those willing to work, and can pass a detailed background check.
Working conditions are not up to standards established in most healthcare fields yet, so keeping a sunny outlook is imperative.
On a positive note, there are many stepping stones to a better paying job if you’re willing to attend higher education, with some medical facilities offering in house training benefits while you’re working with them as a CNA.
I go more in depth about CNAs in Book 1 and Book 4 of my “Homecare” series.