Once you have been working as a CNA in a hospital or nursing home, you may find yourself longing for a change of pace. One of the great things about certified nurse assisting is that the occupation paves the way for a wide variety of opportunities. Your education, experience and skills as a CNA qualify you for duties in several “specialty areas”.
Do you have an interest in surgery? If so, you are well suited for a career as a surgical technician. While some employers require a special certification, many hospitals and surgery centers hire CNA’s, providing “on the job training”. As a surgical tech, you will be responsible for setting up the operating room, “scrubbing in” and assisting surgeons, and ordering and stocking supplies.
Does the site of blood make you squeamish? Then you might be better suited for a job as a “psych tech”. Psychiatric technicians are responsible for the basic care, comfort, and safety of patients recovering on a psych unit. Here you will interact with mentally ill patients, assist with therapy groups, and help to ensure a safe and secure environment.
Do you thrive in an exciting, fast paced environment? Working as an emergency room technician might be the perfect fit for you. ER techs take vital signs, transport patients, draw blood, perform EKG’s and assist with procedures in the emergency department. In the ER, no two days are the same, and CNA’s who prefer that rush of adrenaline enjoy working as an ER tech.
Many group homes that house developmentally disabled adults hire CNA’s as care attendants. Since many of these clients can feed and bathe themselves, job duties in this setting include supervision of daily household chores, leisure activities, and meals. As a care attendant you may also be asked to drive a van to transport patients to doctor’s appointments, ballgames, picnics and shopping trips.
Children with physical handicaps who attend school often require an assistant. As a personal care attendant to the school aged child, you will assist them during class time, lunch time, and bathroom breaks. This can be very rewarding work for those who love children and appreciate the opportunity to work with one patient at a time.
As you advance in your knowledge and experience as a CNA, you may eventually have the desire to go back to school to become a nurse. CNA’s make great nursing students. As you study different disease processes in nursing school, you will relate back to patients you cared for as a CNA. Many CNA’s have a unique benefit that is not available to most nursing students. Many hospitals and nursing homes offer “tuition assistance” or “tuition reimbursement” to employees willing to work a year or two after completing nurses training. By taking advantage of this bonus, your tuition and textbooks may be paid for at 100%.
Certified nurse assisting has been a great start to the careers of many great nurses and doctors!
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