Being a CNA

First off, for those of you who do not know what a CNA is, it is the abbreviation for ‘Certified Nursing Assistant’. CNA’s can work in the hospital, nursing homes, private homes, etc. We often work alongside nurses providing care for patients who need it. I have worked in a nursing home and with private clients. This article will talk about what they (the world, CNA instructor, etc) did not tell me about being a CNA. 

  1. 1. You'll work more than 12 hours

    Being a CNA, you can work anywhere from 4 to 12 hours in a day. While most jobs have the typical 8 hours a day, so far I work in 12  intervals. Even though I am scheduled for 12 hours, I am not “off” until my patient is safe, the next caregiver has arrived and I have documented everything that happened during the clinical (shift). I work weekend overnights starting Friday to Sunday and I work 36 hours a week.  

  2. 2. Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Lol

    Working 12 hours straight, especially starting from the morning, you will spend breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your patient. So many things can happen during the shift and it often gets to the point where breakfast passes, lunch passes and dinner passes. Snacks are my best friend.  

  3. 3. It can become a mental toll if you don’t take care of yourself

    Working with hospice patients, being with them until the end of their life definitely can take a mental toll when you develop a bond. While in classes for becoming a CNA, we go over the grief stages but did not go over how losing a patient can be hard on a CNA as well. Even if we have been with the patient for just a month, we are the ones who are with them for long periods towards the end of their life. I have started to treat myself every week, whether it is a little shopping spree, a yummy lunch or a massage, it doesn’t matter.  

  4. 4. You will learn to be fast, very fast

    Whether it is packing your bag for a sudden quick shift call in or eating quickly, you will learn to get things done quickly but efficiently because you have to.  

Those are pretty much the things no one told me about being a CNA. I learn more and more every clinical. Although these may seem like a cons’ list, it is the reality of life. I enjoy my job right now and as a college student, I feel as though it is one of the best jobs you could have. Like all jobs, experiences vary from case to case so it is important to find the right agency, hospital or nursing home for you!