Certified nursing assistant careers are for those who have a passion for taking care of sick people…
The healthcare service, being one of the top employer-industries in the United States, continues to give more opportunities for individuals who are up to creating their niche in various positions open for employment. Hospitals and other healthcare service facilities have been creating excellent employment opportunities for certified nursing assistants and other healthcare service occupations as well. Despite the low general employment prospects in the United States, jobs in the healthcare service industry remain strong.
What they do
Also known as nursing aides, nurse aides, hospital attendants, unlicensed assistive personnel, geriatric aides, or certified nursing assistants, nursing assistants give routine care assistance and perform tasks for patients who constantly need help such as eating, bathing, dressing, getting them out of bed, walking them, accompanying to examining or operating rooms, making the patients’ beds, tidying up their rooms, serving meals, and delivering personal messages. They can also be tasked to take the patient’s blood pressure, respiration rate, or pulse rate. Other tasks may include storing and moving of medical supplies, setting up of medical equipments, and other forms of assistance. Creating certified nursing assistant careers, particularly in nursing care facilities, also mean being able to establish a closer and more positive relationship with patients.
What to expect
Work as a nursing assistant is stressful and demanding. Because they are often relied on to care and do extra tasks for patients who need them, their work and presence in most healthcare service facilities are invaluable and significant. Under the supervision of other medical professionals and the management, they are the go-to persons when extra help is needed around the facilities or hospitals, especially in patient care. They usually spend forty-hour work weeks, and in some cases may be asked to work nights, weekends, and holidays.
Qualifications and job prospects
A high school diploma or its equivalent is required for a nursing assistant, while some States have other specific qualifications. Training is available in nursing care facilities, vocational-technical facilities, and community colleges. Those who work in nursing care facilities are required to complete at least seventy-five hours of training as approved by their State as well as complete a competency evaluation before they can finally qualify as certified nurse assistants (CNA). Some States may ask for more requirements. Some of these may include a physical examination and disease tests and a criminal background check. Certified nursing assistant careers can start off at nursing care facilities which had around 41 percent of the total number of nursing assistants working in 2008, while the remaining 29 percent worked in hospitals.
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics reveals the same May 2008 data has nursing assistant employment growth prospects of “faster than average” from 2008 to 2018 at 19 percent. Excellent job opportunities await all who clearly qualify and get the necessary academic and relevant training for the job. The job growth is largely a projected response to the increasing population of the elderly sector that is creating this demand for more patient care. Nursing care facilities, residential care centers, and community care centers have the highest demand for nursing assistants as compared to hospitals.
The BLS data also showed that for certified nursing assistant careers, the median hourly wages of nursing assistants by industry was highest in employment services at $12.10, while general medical and surgical hospitals was second highest at $12.05 an hour. Nursing care facilities, community care facilities, and home healthcare services were third, fourth, and fifth in ranks with $11.13, $10.91, and $10.58, respectively. Overall, the median hourly wage was at $11.46. The highest 10 percent earned over $15.97 per hour, while the lowest 10 percent had less than $8.34 an hour.
Other career prospects
Some certified nursing assistants tend to go for a much higher healthcare service occupation and use their experience and basic CNA training as entry-level points. Nursing assistants who continue to study while working use their experience as a gauge if they would want to pursue an advanced career in the same field or in another. Those who get to work in healthcare facilities or hospitals that offer advanced training and education can have the chance to study as licensed practical nurses, medical assistants, or as registered nurses. Others stay on to gain more experience and often are able to establish a more secured working relationship with other healthcare service professionals.