The Importance of CNAs Within the Healthcare System

picture of a CNA for an article on what is a CNA
Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
July 6, 2022

What is a CNA?

A certified nursing assistant or CNA is a healthcare professional who provides healthcare to patients under a registered nurse (RN) supervision. A CNA's job is gratifying, full of challenges and joys, complex, and of enormous importance to patients and hospitals.

The role of a CNA is vital and critical to the patients, as a CNA is responsible for feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, moving, listening to patients, dressing wounds, reporting changes to the nurses, and sometimes even dispensing medication when they have the necessary degree of training. 

What Are the Benefits of Being a CNA? 

Like all healthcare jobs, its benefits are many concerning the quality of patient care, and the rewards of putting the welfare of others above personal interests leave their mark on CNAs.

There are also many personal advantages for a CNA in choosing this profession, such as that CNAs have excellent job stability as they are in high demand in hospital settings. Another significant advantage of this enormous labor demand is that if CNAs want to relocate, they can do so and find work quickly.

CNAs are always physically active because the work demands a lot of physical effort. CNAs are active people who like to stay busy, attentive, and on their feet at work.

Emotional rewards are the most important, as more often than not, patients connect strongly with CNAs, as they are the ones who spend the most time with the patients. CNAs will have the opportunity to be someone who offers patients active listening, empathy, compassion, comprehensive care, and a sense of belonging. CNAs will need to develop many crucial personal care qualities throughout their careers, so after a time, they will find that they have developed skills like social communication, empathy, time management, flexibility, and reliability.

One of the most significant advantages for CNAs is that obtaining the necessary certification to work has a short duration and can be combined with work in many cases. The only requirement to become a CNA is to have a high school diploma, and when CNAs want to advance their careers, they can do so. 

How to Become a CNA? 

People become CNAs when they have the necessary qualities to be a great CNA and a calling to help others. The essential attributes of CNAs are usually communication skills to respond to patient requests and communicate any changes to the healthcare staff in charge, compassion and empathy, patience to be able to perform all the arduous tasks required by their patients with positivity and good humor, and a lot of physical strength that they can develop on the job if they have enough stamina.

A CNA must complete a state-approved training program and pass their state's competency exam to be licensed and able to work. The training program they meet includes principles of nursing and supervised clinical work.

Each professional can evaluate how important it is for their job to have more skills and certifications. Generally, CNAs can increase their credentials to have more skills in their careers, for example dispensing medications, CPR, etc. Still, it is best to have the ability to work in different environments and thus have a lot of job flexibility.

CNAs need a license or certification depending on the state they want to work in, and the CNAs' career path is not complicated.

The emotional impact that a CNA has on a patient is a very significant one, both for the patients and their families. CNAs constantly interact with the illnesses, emotional breakdowns, joys, triumphs, recoveries, and other feelings of their patients and families, so they can bring joy to sad situations and cheer up people going through loss or illness. Their work is precious, and they need to always be emotionally viable to provide support, so their emotional well-being, rest, and health are of utmost importance for good treatment, good mood, and quality of care in the hospital. It is in this way that CNAs help the healthcare system: through their quality of care, by being attentive to the details and every request that may interfere with the recovery of their patients, and above all, by sharing the details of recovery and their insight with the rest of the staff.

CNAs can work in hospitals with a fixed salary or earn more and choose their schedule by working per diem. Per diem means they work shifts when and where they are needed, and the best way to do this is through the Nursa™ app, which offers the ability to connect users with jobs near them.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
July 6, 2022

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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