Entering Healthcare as a Certified Nursing Assistant

nursing-assistantBy Sally Keskey

Have you been wanting to work in healthcare, but not really sure where to start? A certified nursing assistant works one on one with patients and is right on the ground floor of promoting patient safety and dignified patient care. Working as a CNA gives you’re a direct, intimate look into the healthcare industry, without having to devote four uncertain years to another degree.

What Does a CNA Do?

Most CNA jobs require their personnel to perform all non-invasive procedures such as washing and changing patients, providing oral hygiene, and promoting client exercise. However, a CNA’s scope of practice may vary state to state. A CNA often acts as back-up to other staff members and becomes an integral part of the care team.

Education and Certification Required to Become a CNA

There are a few basic requirements to become a certified nursing assistant. You must be 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and a valid social security or state ID.

Most states will require that you take a CNA instruction course to prepare you for the exam that will provide your CNA state licensure. If you live in one of the states that doesn’t require a training course, you may consider taking one anyway, so that you will have an appropriate understanding of the material to be presented on the test, and so that you’ll know if a career as a certified nursing assistant is right for you.

Once you’ve accepted a position as a CNA, you will likely be tested for substance abuse and have a criminal background check performed to make certain that you are a safe practioner. Home care CNA roles are also growing in demand, as populations age and in-home care becomes more popular.

How to Get Hired as a CNA Professional

Getting hired as a certified nursing assistant can be completed in a variety of ways:

  • Some hospitals, nursing homes, or clinics will only ask for your resume at the office itself, while others may require that you register with a staffing agency to help you get started.
  • Online websites like Indeed.com are available to help you find positions in your area.
  • Your training course instructor is a great resource and may have ideas on how to find the right position and placement for you.

If you’re drawn to the healthcare industry for the ability to offer compassionate care to those in need, working as a Certified Nursing Aid might be your calling. There are thousands of CNA jobs open today, waiting for well-educated, professional, and caring people to fill these roles.

Sally Keskey is a Registered Nurse who has worked with several varied specialties, from maternal-infant health to medical-oncology. She has a passion for empowering medical teams, including nurses and nurses’ aids alike. A great workforce is like a well-oiled machine and through education and positivity, Sally believes we can get our hospitals running like clockwork.

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