Becoming a CNA Offers an Enriching Work Experience
Every profession has its perks. Some come with free coffee. Others, a company car or the ability to travel on the job. Certified nurse’s assistants (CNAs) have a unique set of perks to their line of work. Aside from the obvious benefits of helping people become healthy and working in the service of others, CNAs get to experience collaborating with and meeting a wide range of other people in differing fields. From doctors and specialists to orderlies and maintenance staff, the professional life of a CNA can be a revolving door of characters and personalities, all bound together under the umbrella of making life better for those who are struggling.
It’s important to engage with these people to learn about their background, professional history, and motivation. Many may have once been CNAs themselves, as working as a CNA provides a platform of experience in the medical field with which to build on should you pursue higher level employment in nursing or medicine. Taking courses and reading books provide knowledge, but they don’t provide culture in the way that experiencing a fully functioning, living, breathing medical facility does. As a CNA, you are in the business of people. Listening to them, talking to them, and interacting with them on a range of levels from the highly professional to the deeply personal.
Illnesses and injuries know no class, creed, or heritage and you will therefore meet patients from all walks of life as well, each with a story to tell. Few things bring out humanity more effectively than people in need.
Even “bad” interactions or experiences with people that feel negative can have a positive impact on your way of thinking in the long term. Empathy, integrity, and understanding are traits rarely developed under carefree, breezy circumstances. These virtues are forged with practice and patience and require one to imagine themselves in the position of someone else and accept that we often know very little about the people we encounter. People are rarely in a bad mood for no reason, and this understanding can be utilized both in your career as a CNA and as a general rule.
There are few professions where someone has access to the diverse cross section of humanity that a CNA does. Our relationships with those around us is what enriches our time and helps give us meaning. We may have our minds changed during a lively debate, or we may decide to redirect the focus of our lives after meeting an influential colleague or patient. In some cases, we may simply find someone with similar interests who can keep up in a conversation about a favorite TV show. As a CNA, you will have ample opportunity to allow these interactions to inform you, educate you, and provide you with experiences you can apply to all corners of your life.