Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work under the management of nurses to help care for patients. The education is minimal, but there is a lot of demand. If you are thinking about being a CNA, check out these four common myths about becoming a CNA.
Myth #1: As a CNA, You Don't Have Many Options
Go into any nursing home or nursing facility, and you are sure to see dozens of CNAs, rushing about. This is because nursing facilities are required by law to hire CNAs instead of non-certified assistants. However, this doesn't mean that CNAs can only work in nursing homes or assisted living employment. CNAs work under the supervision of a nurse. Therefore, you'll find them just about anywhere you'll find a nurse.
Other common places of employment include hospitals, doctor offices, day care centers, schools, medical clinics, and urgent care centers. Also, because there is always a high-demand for CNAs and because the field is growing faster than average, you don't have to worry about not being able to find a job.
Myth #2: Being a CNA Leads Nowhere
This myth can be true, but only if you let it. Some people are perfectly happy remaining a CNA for the rest of their lives because they enjoy the work, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, for people who wish to move onto something different, being a CNA can be a good stepping stone.
Working in the medical field as a CNA will expose you to many other medical positions, which may get you interested in a different carrier. You may want to further your education and become a registered nurse or even a physician. The training and education you receive as a CNA will help you and give you a leg up if you do decide to go back to school. Even if you don't want to further your career as a nurse or physician, you may be able to find a management position thanks to your experience.
Myth #3: The Pay Isn't Worth It
Certified nursing assistants make about $25,090 per year or $12.06 per hour. While that isn't the best paying job in the medical field, it is above minimum wage. If you have a dual-income family with your spouse or partner making about the same, you'll be close to the average medium household income. Where you work also plays a role in how much you make. CNAs who work in hospitals tend to make a little more than those who work in nursing homes.
Of course, you can't just judge a job by the pay, especially when you're in the healthcare field. Being a CNA is an extremely rewarding carrier because you get to help people in need on a daily basis. Whether it's feeding someone, giving them a bath or just talking to them, you can be a positive difference in a person's life and increase their quality of life. The decent pay combined with that good feeling you'll get when you go home is definitely worth it.
Myth #4: You Don't Have Time for the Training
It's hard to squeeze in education and training when you're working, but it is possible. CNA training consists of classroom training, practical experience and field work. You'll need between 75 and 150 hours of training and pass a state-sanctioned test to become a CNA. Training can last anywhere from two weeks to nine months to fit your schedule.
If you look up CNA training on a search engine, you'll find a lot of online courses, but you should be careful if you choose online training. Online training can help with some of the classroom training you'll need, but it can't prepare you for practical, hands-on learning. Plus, some online programs are not accredited, which means it won't help you land a job.
Being a CNA can be a wonderful career, but it can also be used as experience as you climb the ladder. If you are interested in starting your training, locate a school in your area today and request more information.