Being a Certified Nursing Assistant can give you the chance to make a huge difference in the lives of your patients. Although you can’t really administer medications, write prescriptions or treat patients, you still have one of the most important roles in your team. You spend more time with your patients than anyone else in the floor.
Unfortunately, like most jobs, being a CNA has its advantages and disadvantages. So, before you decide to be one, here’s a list of pros and cons you need to seriously consider.
It has a great job outlook
Between 2016 and 2026, you can expect a rise in the number of NA jobs because of the increased demand by the aging population. In fact, it’s expected to increase by 11%. That’s a lot faster than most jobs if you really think about it.
And you know what else?
It’s also expected that 267,800 NA jobs will be added by 2024’s end.
It allows you to work in a variety of Job Settings
As a CNA, you have a lot of options when it comes to job settings. You can choose depending on your personal preference or based on what’s convenient for you and your career.
Some of your options include:
- Nursing homes
- Residential care facilities
- Assisted living facilities
- Home health aide agency
It’s emotionally rewarding
Helping other people and seeing them get well or cope with their conditions is extremely rewarding, particularly for really compassionate people. Apart from that, learning that your patients and their relatives are able to appreciate you and the hard work that you do makes the job worth it.
It doesn’t require a higher degree
You can start your way towards becoming a CNA with A GED or high school diploma. And if you’re not satisfied, you can pursue your education even while you are working. Of course, that will depend on the healthcare facility you are working in. If they allow it, you’ll have to do a good job at managing your work and studies.
It provides a lucrative salary package
Depending on your education, geographical location, employer, and experience, you can earn as much as $23,000 to $30,000 per year. In addition to the salary package, you can also enjoy sick leaves, paid holidays, medical insurance, overtime pay, and life insurance.
It keeps you on your feet
If you prefer being on your feet than working behind a desk, then being a CNA is for you. And since it encourages you to be physically active at work, you’ll enjoy great health benefits such as maintaining weight and preventing cardiovascular diseases associated with it.
It’s emotionally draining
Although it’s emotionally rewarding, there’ll be times when caring for others can take a toll on your emotional health. Remember, most of your patients can be very ill and at their end-of-life stage. This can be extremely emotionally burdensome for you and the rest of the healthcare team.
It’s physically demanding
Being a CNA will require you to bend, lift, move, and be on your feet most of the time. Although it provides a great way to stay physically active, it can exhaust you physically.
This, however, shouldn’t discourage you as there are devices you can use to make the tasks easier. You can also rely on teamwork to reduce fatigue and injuries.
Apart from that, working as a CNA can also alter your sleep schedule, particularly since you have to work nights and weekends for long hours.
It has a limited room for professional advancement
If you fail to undergo further training, you’ll find the limited room for advancement a bit discouraging. You might end up performing clerical duties instead of providing bedside care.
It exposes you to abusive and frustrated patients
While there are patients who can appreciate your hard work, it’s a fact that CNAs also experience abusive behaviors from frustrated and annoyed patients. Your patients can show anger and unpleasant behaviors which can do serious harm to your own mental health. This is one good reason why long-time CNAs suffer from burn out.
It pays low initially
At the beginning of your career, you shouldn’t expect to get paid that high. In fact, the starting salary of CNAs is low compared with other careers in health care.
With further training and education, you should be able to enjoy increasing pay. Gaining experience in the field can also boost your salary.