Nursing is serious business. It involves a lot of practice as well as patience. So, it is quite natural that new nurses having no prior experience of working in an actual hospital get overwhelmed. This is why I always advise the prospective nurses to start their careers as a nursing assistant or a CNA nurse.
Although it’s a fact that a CNA nurse is not paid even the half of the amount as compared to the efforts she put in, yet she is the one who spend maximum time with patients. This can be a plus point when it comes to actually working as a nurse, as you are more aware of the health care facilities which the patients require and how to deal with them.
I have seen many nursing students not understanding the importance of being a CNA nurse. This is why I have compiled a list of 5 most important reasons of why every nurse should practice as a CNA before jumping into the world of nursing:
· You Are Well Aware of What’s Coming on Your Way
A great nurse is always prepared for anything. Nurses have to spend a considerable amount of their careers tending to patients as well as consoling worried families during the time of emergency. However, these are the traits which develop with time and effort. When you opt for CNA nursing, you are actually preparing yourself for the career you are passionate about.
Even if you are someone who has tended to a sick child or an elderly before, dealing with patients and looking after them in a clinic or a hospital is an entirely different. When you start working as a CNA nurse, you know how to deal with the various issues and situations once you start working in the professional field. So, if you get into a situation in which you have to empty a patient’s colostomy bag or help him in changing his side, you will know exactly how to do that.
Working as a nursing assistant also awaken the feeling of empathy, which is extremely necessary in any health related profession. So, if you have a patient who has got no hold upon his bowel movement, you know how to empathize with him instead of shrinking your nose at the smell.
· Job Placement Becomes Easier
Job placement becomes really easy once you have worked as a CNA nurse before actually graduating as a nurse. Most of the times, the existing workplace upgrades its existing CNA nursing employees with an excellent increase in the pay package. You become eligible for leaves, bonuses as well as other benefits. Your employee may even pay you better than the new nurses having no prior experience of working as a CNA nurse before.
· It is the Requirement of Some Nursing Programs
Although it is not a must, yet many nursing programs prefer enrolling those students who have an experience of working as a CNA or a nursing assistant. Even if you are enrolled in a college which does not require its prospective nurses to be already working as CNAs, yet there is a high chance of receiving a good treatment from them. I have a friend who had worked as a CNA nurse before completing her nursing degree. She actually got a few extra credit score as compared to the rest of her class fellows having no experience of CNA nursing.
The state of Ohio expects its entire prospective nursing students to have a certification in CNA or an STNA (State Testes Nursing Assistant) before applying for admission in a nursing school.
·It Helps in Getting Through with College
When you work as a CNA nurse, you don’t only get hands on experience of working with patients, but you also get to support yourself financially while studying. Although, being a CNA does not pay a lot, but it is enough to meet a lot of your financial responsibilities. However, it is very necessary that you learn how to balance your job and your studies. Do not work for long hours. Even a few hours 5 days a week are enough to work and learn lots of different things about nursing.
If you indulge yourself in a lot of CNA work, you will not be able to focus properly on your studies and you may fail to do well in your degree.
·You Get to Know if Nursing is the Right Career for You
This is probably the best part of working as a CNA nursing assistant while you are studying. Since the tasks are humongous and can be overwhelming at times, being a nursing assistant can clearly tell you about your abilities of taking care of various patients. In case you realize that nursing is not for you, then you can always quit your school and instead pursue your degree in some other subject.
Being a nurse is not simple. You have to be in your toes almost all of the time. There are even going to be days in your professional career in which having a few decent hours of sleep within 2 or 3 days seem like ideal. Also, you have to be really courteous and professional. This is extremely important as all types of patients come to a hospital. You may get a child who has hurt his knee and just needs a stitch or two over there. You may also get someone suffering from a chronic disease with unbearable smell coming out of him. Yet, you have to remember the sanctity of your profession and deal everyone with respect and empathy.
You can learn these tips of the trade first hand by being a CNA nurse before actually having your professional degree in nursing. It can give you the experience of dealing with patients as well as it will make you understand the requirements of your degree and profession as well.
Muhammad Ahmad is a certified nursing assistant specialist advisor who has helped many students as well nurses guiding them the best path to become a certified nursing assistant. His current project cnacareersmart.com includes various articles and affiliated videos.