Ask NextStep grads what they love most about being a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and they’ll highlight the positive impact they have on someone's life every single shift.
From helping with daily tasks to offering companionship, CNAs provide essential services to those who need it most. As graduate April Leary puts it, “It’s a very special position to be in with these people, because sometimes you're all they have. And to know that you make an impact in their lives, it's the most rewarding [thing] ever. I love it.”
If you’re looking for a career where you can make a genuine difference, becoming a CNA might be right for you!
CNAs ensure those they care for have their needs met with dignity. Basics like dressing, bathing and eating can all become more difficult with age, or if people experience physical or cognitive challenges. With compassionate care, CNAs help residents conquer tasks they may struggle to do on their own.
Certified Nursing Assistants are trusted caregivers. They tend to spend longer, more intimate time with their patients or residents than nurses, doctors and other facility staff. They’re often the first to spot subtle changes in mood or behavior and are responsible for reporting these shifts to other members of the health care team. Catching things early on, like reduced comfort level or side effects from medications, can help stop a bad situation from becoming worse. The close monitoring carried out by CNAs saves lives.
Healing isn’t just about physical care. Offering a friendly ear and voice of encouragement also boosts a person’s wellbeing. It’s not uncommon for those in long-term care to experience bouts of loneliness, anxiety or depression. But regular contact with a caregiver who’s happy to see them can do wonders for their spirits. Bringing a little joy, laughter and hope to someone’s life may help them to follow-through with treatment plans and speed on their recovery. CNAs also build relationships with the families of aging or unwell loved ones, providing critical emotional support during difficult times.
Janice Mashak, one of NextStep’s respected care providers, sees the positive impact CNAs have every day. “For those who are thinking of becoming a caregiver, from the knowledge I have with many caregivers who I know personally, if you want a job where you can go home at night and say, ‘I made a difference,’ this is the job for you,” she said.
Keep exploring to find out more about CNA life, which personality traits great caregivers have in common, and whether this rewarding career could be right for you.
Learn more about the CNA life and get details about how to enroll in NextStep’s training-to-placement CNA program.