The majority of us become CNAs because we want to make a difference in the lives of our patients. When most of us complete CNA training, however, we don’t realize what our careers will bring. We don’t just work with patients; after CNA training, we also work with patients’ families, nurses, administrators, and even employment agencies.
With every interaction comes a new lesson, and we learn various skills along the way that we might not have realized before were important to our profession. These skills are essential, however, and we begin learning them during CNA training and continue to learn them throughout our careers.
Essential Skills Learned During and After CNA Training
- Multi-tasking- While the award for greatest multi-tasker still belongs to moms, those who enter and complete CNA training come in at a close second or third. Our profession demands we juggle patient loads, care for scared family members, and run interference between patients and nurses, and most days we do it all with a smile.
- Teamwork- When you enter CNA training, one of the first things you will learn is that this is not a solo profession. Even if you are working by yourself, being able to count on your co-workers and fellow students, and ensuring they can count on you, is an essential part of becoming successful in the health care field.
- Critical Thinking- As a CNA, you stand on the front line. You are your patient’s voice and their only hope in many circumstances. When faced with life or death decisions, however, you can be sure that the critical thinking skills you learned during CNA training will help you trust your instincts and make the right decision for your patient.
- Customer Service- Think customer service is only necessary for other jobs? Not true. You probably use this skill every day without even knowing it. Each time you help a worried family or offer a smile to a patient, you are using this skill.
- Flexibility- In the health care field, nothing works by the clock. Sure, the nurses pass meds at 11 and your break is scheduled at 12, but there’s always something that seems to get in the way of uniformity. Whether it a patient who is having a rough night and just wants you to sit by their bed for a little while or a fellow CNA needs your help getting an immobile patient from their wheelchair into their bed, expecting the unexpected and adapting to it is essential in this line of work.
- Ability to Change- Change is something that happens to everyone, everywhere, but not everyone likes it. While we can’t control what changes before or after CNA training, we can be positive about those changes. This particular skill is one that not every CNA will learn, but should.
- Desire for Learning- During CNA training, you will learn that not everything can be learned in the classroom. Some skills and lessons must be experienced through experience. Learning to embrace this and always search for new ways to learn is a skill that can help you understand new ideas and advance after CNA training.