See What it Takes to Become an Excellent Nurse Aide
By Sybil Morneau
If you want to get started in the health care industry and take advantage of the many available jobs, becoming a nursing assistant (or a CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant) is a great place to start. You can complete your education quickly and get into the workforce in a very short time. Due to aging baby boomers, there is a huge demand for trained health care professionals. CNA’s are needed everywhere! This is a great opportunity for you to make a difference in someone’s life every single day you are on the job!
How Can You Be a Great CNA?
1. Finish high school! This is the first thing you will need to do because you will need a high school diploma to enroll in a nursing assistant program.
2. Enroll in a reputable CNA course. Look for a program that is certified, to start off. Look for a school that offers courses taught by professionals who have real life experience- their experience will be invaluable!. Schools that offer work practicums can also help you get started in a job faster.
3. Focus on being a health advocate. Set your mind to providing excellent service for patients. You should be aware of the fact that you will need to complete background check and drug test. These are part of the requirements to be in most nursing assistant programs, as you will be responsible for the care of others, some of whom may be vulnerable people.
4. Be ready to handle some stress. Remember that not all stress is bad but sometimes you will need to deal with rushed nurses and doctors or unhappy patients. Being a good team player will go a long way to making yourself a valued member of any healthcare team.
5. Have great communication skills. Being able to communicate effectively with patients and health care professionals will help make you great at your job. Learn to adjust to those you are working with according to their needs. Doctors and nurses will need information relayed quickly and promptly. Patients may need a kinder and gentler tone of voice. Knowing how to communicate in different situations will serve you well and help your days go more smoothly.
6. Be comfortable working different shifts. Most nursing assistants will work a variety of shifts from early mornings to afternoons and sometimes, late into the evening. This takes physical and mental preparation and part of that is taking good care of your own health. Exercise and eating right can also help reduce stress, both while you’re in school and when you start your new career!
7. Practice good hygiene. As with any health care professional, cleanliness is critical. You will work directly with patients that are ill and have lowered immune systems so keeping yourself and anything you touch clean is very important.
If you keep these tips and guidelines in mind, you are on your way to becoming a great CNA. Certified Nursing Assistants are an important part of our healthcare system, and you can find great rewards in a nursing assistant career!
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