CNAs are an incredibly important part of the nursing community. Nursing homes alone, which depend on CNAs and are a popular employer of them, are reported to have around 1.5 million residents in need of care. This isn’t accounting for hospitals, where CNAs not only provide vital patient care on a daily basis, but can also be the bridge between patients, physicians, and other hospital staff. At-home care CNAs can completely change a person’s quality of life, with the ability to improve their access to proper nutrition, hygiene, and other daily necessities. Becoming a CNA doesn’t just mean becoming trained in basic nursing skills, but also being relied on by patients, family, and advanced medical staff every day.
A genuine desire to serve those in need distinguishes CNAs as the backbone of the nursing community. The role of a CNA is incredibly versatile, and will change depending on the field you’re working in and your patients’ needs. Some of the services that CNAs provide include, but are not limited to:
Through these services, as well as their interpersonal interactions with patients, CNAs are adept at easing patients through the transitional or unfortunate times in their lives.
CNAs are an essential part of any hospital, clinic, or care facility’s team. CNAs are often communicators between patients and their doctors, as well as other staff members, including RNs, physicians, and surgical staff. Many clinics and hospitals have a small physician-to-patient ratio — the World Health Organization (WHO) found that in over 45% of member states, there was one physician per 1,000 citizens — meaning that CNAs are an indispensable bridge in patient-to-physician communication. This can improve quality of care, prevent certain conditions from worsening, and allow physicians to maximize their time with each of their patients.
Typically, both in-patients and out-patients at clinics, hospitals, and care facilities are cared for first and foremost by CNAs. They prevent infection by performing wound and bandage maintenance for post-op patients and also monitor medication and pain management, which decreases the risk of complication or infection after a procedure or injury, and directly affects patient comfort. CNAs can also act as the point of contact for the family members or loved ones of patients, which can provide a sense of emotional support as well as an outlet for questions or care updates.
CNAs can help alleviate suffering, improve patient quality of life, increase the quality of care institutions can provide, and prevent further injury or accidents across all types of healthcare fields. These fields include but are not limited to:
This versatility proves the impact and importance of CNAs — millions of people receive the care they need from qualified CNAs every day. Without them, many of these institutions couldn’t offer the same quality of care we’ve come to depend on for ourselves and our loved ones.
The role of a CNA might be mistakenly regarded as inconsequential due to its entry-level status — but that’s clearly not the case. If you think that being a CNA is the right career for you, you might start by volunteering at your local nursing homes or hospice care facilities; it’s hard to beat hands-on experience to get a real picture of the interpersonal interactions and daily proceedings that will be a vital part of your role as a CNA.