CNA Career Paths: 5 Signs You’ll Thrive Working in Senior Care

3 minute read

Certified nursing assistants combine medical duties with personal, often individual, care. Helping seniors is a part of many possible CNA career paths. Individual care, nursing homes, senior living communities and hospice care are some settings nursing assistants work in.

The tasks and responsibilities are specific to the facility, needs and individual. What though, are some of the attributes which could be signs a CNA would thrive working in senior care?

You are dependable

Many CNAs provide care helping seniors with needed tasks on a set schedule.

A patient or resident depends on the nursing assistant for medical care, meals, hygiene, mobility, communication, household responsibilities, appointments and more specific needs. Their health and peace of mind depends on a CNA’s highly-reliable work.

Many CNAs work nights, weekends or holidays. Care then is as important, often more so, than during “regular business hours.” Being dependable and caring at all times – even when most people wouldn’t want to be working – are vital and amazing traits.

You are observant

A CNA is the eyes and ears for checking on the health and safety of patients in all regards. CNAs in nursing homes or assisted living homes might be the primary care provider for their patients.

This goes for the assigned tasks and what’s official, while a CNA is on duty. It’s also true about noticing important, yet minute, changes or problems in general.

It could be physical. Likewise, it could be measurable or not. It could be a little thing out of the ordinary. Something said or not said. Something to do with a meal. It could be a symptom or a sign which isn’t part of an official plan, schedule or diagnosis.

You are a good communicator

This is more than a two-way street. Being a good communicator for a CNA is about listening, talking and being the main link for nurses, doctors and a senior’s family.

CNAs often take and track health information, dietary information, tests, logs and vital signs. The records go to nurses or doctors who rely on its professional accuracy.

At the same time, someone who will sit and listen – perhaps to a past story? About a pet? A TV show? Their family? – can mean more than the official duties a CNA provides.

You are compassionate

The responsibilities of a CNA are tough. The actual labor of lifting, moving, cleaning and housekeeping is physically taxing. Some of the tasks are quite unpleasant.

It can be stressful. You are handling crises, complications, balancing others’ concerns and completing everything on schedule while having the needs of your own life and family in your few “free” hours.

It can be emotionally trying due to the nature of why a senior needs the care and assistance due to illness, necessity or end-of-life needs.

Through this, you are compassionate. You understand it’s more concerning or emotional for your client or patient, as well as family and loved ones.

You’re not only providing a service, completing what’s on a list, then leaving. The care and service you give is tangibly and intangibly important.

You like having a relationship with who you care for

A CNA likely spends more time with a senior than other providers, and even family members.

In assisted living settings, individual in-home care or senior centers, a CNA job might include personal things such as pet care, church services, meals, recreational activities, cleaning and driving to appointments or errands.

Simply spending time reading, talking and providing companionship might be most valuable of all. With the time spent together, a good caregiver will be a professional and a trusted friend  at the same time. There can be a real relationship beyond the specific services and tasks of the job.

CynaMed and CNA jobs

CynaMed Healthcare Staffing Solutions is a premier nurse staffing provider and hires certified nursing assistants throughout Western Pennsylvania. For more CNA jobs with please visit CynaMed’s job portal.


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