The job of a certified nursing assistant can be physically demanding and taxing. CNAs should be fit and physically able to spend many hours standing, walking, and lifting and assisting their patients as the need arise. This is why it’s important that they are trained very well through CNA classes and know the proper procedures for lifting and moving patients. One wrong move and a lawsuit may be on its way. Nursing assistants also face health hazards from minor viral infections to major diseases from direct contact from patients who are already infected. It’s important that they follow certain protocols and proper procedures to avoid infections.
Certified Nursing Assistants work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, mental health care facilities, and retirement homes. They also work with patients who are injured, disabled or infirm but they generally work alone, or with their patients with occasional visits from their supervisor. Their supervisors normally give them detailed instructions at the start of the day explaining when to visit patients and what jobs to perform. These are some of the many tasks of a certified nursing assistant. They’re not always pretty. The job entails long hours Most full-time CNAs work about 40 hours per week, and sometimes even working nights, weekends and holidays because patients need care 24 hours a day. And most nursing assistants work with a number of different patients, each job lasting a few hours, days, or weeks. But the pay is decent.
Right now, 50% of CNAs work in nursing homes and residential care facilities, 29% work in hospitals and the rest are scattered around other health care facilities like psychiatric wards and substance abuse facilities.
The job outlook for a Certified Nursing Assistant is expected to grow 28% between 2006 and 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is primarily due to the high demand for healthcare in the elderly population. They may find themselves working in nursing and retirement homes and communities rather than the hospital sector because job openings are expected to be much more numerous in nursing homes and residential care facilities than in hospitals.
Also due to limited opportunities for advancement, many Certified Nursing Assistants are expected to leave jobs to pursue higher formal training to become registered nurses or licensed practical nurses. So job openings for CNAs are expected to grow because of old CNAs leaving to study another course in the medical field.
Jobs in health care are often fast-paced, difficult but challenging and rewarding at the same time. Not all people can handle a job in health care. By taking the time to evaluate your own skills and goals, you’ll be sure to find a career in health care, particularly as a certified nursing assistant.