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Special Qualities of Certified Nurses Aides (CNA)

what it takes to be a certified nurses aideIt takes a caring, compassionate person to do this job

Certified Nurses Aides—also called nursing assistants—are a special kind of person. Their jobs can be physically and emotionally demanding, and can require a great deal of patience. CNAs work directly with patients, and in this role, need to maintain a positive and altruistic attitude toward work.

Why is the job so demanding? CNAs are responsible for caring for patients and helping them with their basic needs. Basic needs can mean anything from brushing a patient’s hair or feeding them breakfast, to helping them use the restroom, assisting them with bathing, and helping them move from their beds to their wheelchairs. CNAs also change bedclothes, straighten up patients’ rooms, and help the nursing staff with any other tasks that may need to be done to keep a patient comfortable.

Many CNAs work in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities where they serve patients who are elderly or who are facing physical or cognitive disabilities. CNAs are there to help patients with the things they need to make their lives more comfortable.

What it takes to be a nursing aide

Not everyone is cut out to be a nursing assistant, which speaks very highly of those people who dedicate themselves to this important field. Some of the special qualities that most CNAs have are:

  • a willingness to help others
  • compassion for people who are aging or unwell
  • patience in working with people who may be slow-moving
  • understanding of patients who may be experiencing dementia
  • ability to discern what is needed in a patient who may not communicate well

Many CNAs find their jobs to be rewarding. Unlike other nursing positions where patient contact is usually fairly brief, a CNA often has the opportunity to get to know their patients over a long period of time. Many of the patients are residential patients in nursing homes or other facilities, where the CNA can see the same patients every day and develop a rapport with them. Working with elderly patients can also be rewarding, since so many senior citizens have interesting stories to share or good advice to offer.

To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of a nurse’s aide, you can read a detailed description in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, released by the U.S. Department of Labor. The handbook profiles hundreds of careers, and describes what they do, how to become one, and median wages/salaries. The description of nursing assistants indicates that the job outlook for nursing assistants over the next decade is predicted to grow at a rate that is faster than the average of other professions. With growing numbers of senior citizens living longer than in the past, the handbook predicts that more nurses aides will be needed to provide care in long-term care facilities.

The Harris School of Business, a private career school that offers training for Certified Nurses Aides, wishes to recognize the hard work and dedication of CNAs everywhere. We want you to know that we appreciate your special qualities and your dedication to serving your patients. Remember, your patients value the work you do and the services that you bring to their lives. You are making a difference!

Do you think a career as a CNA might be right for you? If so, contact the Harris School to inquire about the program.