Most of us are familiar with the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) opportunities that are available in the hospital setting. From emergency room, to pediatrics, intensive care, and hospice, the options for CNAs in hospitals are the most well known. But there are many, many more!
If you prefer to care for one patient at a time, you might consider work as a personal attendant. In this position, you will provide care and supervision to your patient in their home. These opportunities can be found through home health agencies and hospices. Private duty nursing provides an intimate one-on-one experience, and is generally more slowly paced than the hospital environment.
If you prefer to work with a group of patients, performing in a supervisory role, you may be better suited for work in a home for the developmentally disabled. Here you will provide minimal support and direction as your patients go about their daily routines. You will oversee activities of grooming, dressing, meal preparation and chore work, providing less “hands on” care. Your duties may also include accompany patients on outings to the grocery store, doctor’s office, city zoo, or sporting event.
Do you enjoy working with different age groups? You may be well suited for work in a doctor’s office. Here you will escort your patients to the exam room, take vital signs, and record symptoms. In this setting, you will also have the opportunity to learn about a variety of medical conditions. If you respond well to stress and thrive in situations that require a high level of alertness, you may be well suited for work in the prison or mental health environment. Here, in addition to your traditional CNA duties, you will supervise and record the behaviors and personal interactions of your patients.
If you have a love for the elderly, a long term care or assisted living facility is the place for you. Patients in long term care facilities (also known as nursing homes) generally require more care and assistance; whereas, residents of assisted living facilities are usually more independent and are able to provide more of their own care with less supervision.
As you launch into your career as a CNA, remember that you will likely always have employment options. CNAs provide valuable, personal services that machines and computers cannot provide. You will become a valuable part of the healthcare team, and will have the flexibility of working in a vast variety of healthcare settings.
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