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The Hard Part About Being a CNA

Uncovering the hardships of working as a certified nursing assistant

Written by Melissa on October 4th, 2011

In today’s economy the certified nursing assistant position is highly sought after and is quickly becoming one of the most popular post-high school career positions. What many people fail to consider are the difficult tasks required of a CNA and how they might feel about performing this type of work.

Many CNAs are employed in some type of assisted living center and take care of elderly patients who are suffering from one or more diseases or conditions limiting their health and ability to care for themselves. The duties of a CNA will typically include providing basic care for such patients, but can also include many less desirable “clean-up” jobs, which can be very trying at times. For example, when a patient vomits on themselves the CNA might be called upon to perform a thorough clean up of the output as well as the patient’s body and the affected area. This can be a grueling task to say the least. Similarly, when a patient experiences diarrhea symptoms and cannot physically make it to a toilet the CNA is often required to assist the patient and/or clean up the consequences. CNAs are also charged with measuring output on a regular basis. This requires examining and handling urine and feces specimen as part of their daily activities, which can be highly unpleasant.

These are things that most people do not fully consider before pursuing a career as a CNA. When people think of nursing they often associate a nurse’s job duties with taking temperatures, bandaging wounds, measuring height and weight, etc but one must also consider the less desirable duties that come with this job title.

Another difficult aspect of the CNA profession is the demand for night shift workers. Many healthcare facilities require a large staff of overnight care takers and nursing assistants. Working long overnight shifts can cause problems with sleeping, become inconvenient for running errands and be a general disturbance to the working of an individual’s everyday life and personal relationships. Since night shifts typically pay more there is a strong temptation for many CNAs to accept positions that require such shifts.

The Certified Nursing Assistant career position is still highly desirable for several reasons, such as short amount of training required, simple licensure requirements, low cost of training and certification, strong job market and above-average wages and compensation. However, when making a career choice it is always advisable to fully consider all aspects of the career position before making such an important decision.

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Written by Nurses Link