When I first decided to enroll in CNA training, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I’d worked in the health care field before as a PSA (personal support assistant,) but I didn’t know how my work as a CNA would differ. It required a lot more time and effort on my part- that much I knew. However, when my CNA training first began, I realized that to some extent, I was prepared for this new step in my career. In many other ways, however, I had no idea what I was getting into. As much as I loved this profession, there are still a few things I wish I had known before I started my CNA training.
CNA Training: What I Wish I Knew
- You Can’t Always Help- When most individuals enter the health care field, they have one goal in mind: helping people. The truth is, though, after CNA training this isn’t always possible. Some individuals might not simply want your help. Other times, no matter what you do, there isn’t anything that can change the inevitable outcome. Don’t take it personally, but always try to do your best.
- It’s a Lot of Responsibility- We may not have the responsibility of doctors or even nurses, but after CNA training, we do hold our patients’ lives in our hands. If you don’t report something, don’t check something, don’t do something, your patient could die. Be prepared to handle this part of being a certified caregiver. For some it may be too much, but for most it is the reason we do what we do.
- Not Everyone Should be a CNA- Just because someone took CNA training and was able to earn their certification doesn’t mean they can or should be a CNA. This career path doesn’t suit everyone, and it might not suit you. If you dread going into work every day and you hate being a CNA, find another job. Acknowledging the fact that you don’t have what it takes makes life easier for everyone.
- Appreciation is Hard to Come by- Those days when patients stop and say ‘thank you’ for all you’ve done to help them are momentous occasions after CNA training. But they are few and far between. Learn how to love your job and be committed to it even if you aren’t shown the appreciation you deserve. Go the extra mile and expect nothing in return.
- No One is Going to Understand- Except, that is, other individuals who have been through CNA training. Your friends and family may be sympathetic to your bad days, but they aren’t going to understand how tough it is to watch a patient die or suffer. The only people who will truly understand your emotions and feelings are other CNAs. Make friends and count on them for support.
Before You Enter CNA Training
I wish I had known these truths about life after CNA training before I enrolled. They wouldn’t have changed my mind, but they would have better prepared me for my future. If you are thinking of enrolling, make sure you understand what life will truly be like after CNA training.