One of the greatest things about becoming a CNA is the variety of work opportunities offered in this profession. Unlike careers such as data entry or fast food, that offer the same tasks day in and day out, work as a CNA allows you to explore a variety of specialty areas. Hospitals, long term care facilities, clinics, rehabilitation programs, home health care and hospice agencies all utilize CNA’s. As you consider where you’d most enjoy working, ask yourself what age group you most enjoy interacting with, and what type of care you’d like to provide. CNAs who are employed by hospitals have the most choices, and the larger the hospital, the more specialty care areas there will be to choose from. If you thrive in a fast paced work environment, caring for people in a critical care (ICU) unit or emergency room may be a great fit for you. If you enjoy working with babies and children, you might consider applying for a position in pediatrics. If you are looking for a great opportunity to see very ill patients experience a “second chance” at life, consider applying for work in a burn or transplant unit. Other options include post surgical care, orthopedics (caring for people with broken bones before and after surgery), post partum care (caring for new moms), psychiatry (caring for patients suffering with mental illness), telemetry (caring for heart monitored patients, pulmonology (caring for patients with lung diseases), oncology (caring for patients with cancer) and nephrology (caring for patients with kidney diseases).
If it is important for you to have your evenings, weekends and holidays free, you might consider applying for work in a doctor’s offices or clinic. Here you will monitor and record the vital signs of patients and may be asked to gather information about the illness that brought them in that day. CNAs in nursing homes and assisted living facilities provide help to the elderly or disabled by assisting them with bathing, feeding, and dressing. If you enjoy working as a more independent, solitary member of the health care team, you might explore employment with a home health or hospice agency. Though duties are similar to those performed in the nursing home setting, working home health and hospice allows you to care for one patient at a time in the patient’s own home. Many of these agencies will allow you to create your own work schedule in exchange for agreeing to see a set number of patients in a given day.
No matter where you decide to “plant and grow” as a CNA, you will find countless options in the world of caring.
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