Certified nursing assistants, also known as CNAs, or advanced CNAs known as PCS (Patient Care Specialists) provide basic nursing duties for patients who are temporarily or permanently unable to care for themselves. CNA duties range from helping with a patient’s personal hygiene to taking the patient’s temperature readings. Patient Care Specialists will also have those duties as well as advanced skills such as, end of life, dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer and rehabilitation care. In some institutions, PCSs and CNAs provide most of the care for patients. The job is demanding but highly rewarding. In this post we share 9 key reasons to make nursing your career and to start a cna program!
- Emotionally Rewarding Career
A CNA/PCS career is rewarding for those who enjoy caring for people. The job may be demanding, but you can get a sense of satisfaction from helping patients feel comfortable and loved. Because they spend a lot of time with patients, they have the opportunity to develop close relationships, particularly with those individuals who need long-term care.
- Exposure to Other Health Careers
CNA/PCS work closely with LPN’s and RNs. This offers an opportunity for you to understand their work, which is helpful if you plan to advance to these positions in the future.
- Benefits in a Nursing Course
If you choose to become a CNA, PCS, LPN or a RN, your school may apply your experience towards some of the cna classes in the training program. This reduces the number of classes you need to take and may help you complete the program earlier.
- Affordable Training
You could complete a course at a hospital, community college, vocational college, regional occupational school, high school or with a private institution. Many employers also train candidates free on the job or pay for the cna training if the candidate commits to working for the employer for a specified amount of time.
- Short Training Programs
CNA/PCS training programs are relatively short; about 24 weeks in length.
- Different Work Environments
CNAs/PCSs can choose from various work settings, depending on personal preferences. Many work in hospitals, some choose to work in hospices and others care for patients in their homes. Each work environment offers different benefits. For instance, the hospital environment offers structure and the opportunity to work with a variety of patients, while the private home environment allows you to work with one patient for a longer period.
- Flexible Schedules
CNAs/PCSs typically work full-time schedules. However, because patients require care at all hours of the day and night, you can find a position that offers a flexible schedule. Some may need to work on weekends and holidays, depending on the employer.
- Job Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a job growth of 20 percent from 2010-2020 for nurse assistants because of a growing population of aged individuals. In addition, the physical and emotional demands of the job lead to a high turnover, which creates opportunities for new nursing assistants.
- Preparation for Other Positions
The experience you gain from working as a CNA/PCS is also helpful when you are ready to switch to a related career. Because you face physical and emotional challenges on the job daily, you can adjust to a similarly demanding job in a shorter period.