Deciding to Become a CNA
Are you considering a career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), yet find yourself unsure if the decision is right for you? The process of becoming a CNA requires a commitment of time and, sometimes, financial resources. So how can you be sure that certified nurse assisting is a good fit before you make a commitment?
One way to ensure your decision is the right one is to “try it out”. As a CNA, you will fill the role of teacher and caretaker to those who are ill. Your duties may include assisting with feeding bathing, dressing, and toileting. You will also aid doctors and nurses in the performance of assessments and treatments. Participating in the care of a child or elderly person in your family or community will give you an idea of the nature of the job, and provide insight into your ability to handle some of the more difficult aspects. Working as a CNA is not without its challenges; however, men and women who provide direct patient care will tell you that the opportunity to help others when they are most in need far outweighs the less pleasant aspects of the job. If you find helping others to be rewarding and satisfying, then Certified Nurse Assisting is likely a good occupational choice for you.
Another question you will want to ask yourself before you make the commitment to become a CNA is: “am I a good teacher”? Whether you work in a clinic, hospital, assisted living, nursing home, or group home setting, your duties will involve providing instruction and answering questions. Your patients will look to you for the answers to the “when”, “what”, “why” and “how” questions. The answers you provide will calm your patient’s fears and promote their cooperation with treatment. While you won’t be required to discuss complicated diagnosis or medical care, you will be expected to provide instructions regarding treatment processes and procedures. Explaining a patient’s dietary restrictions, use of the nurse call system, or preparation for diagnostic tests are just a few examples of the valuable teaching you will provide. An informed patient is more calm and cooperative, and is better able to assist you in the performance of your duties.
As you consider if certified nurse assisting is the right career choice for you, ask yourself if you enjoy teaching and caring for others. If the answer to these questions is “yes”, you will likely excel in the role.