CNAs have one of the most practical sets of skills. Being able to take vitals and knowing how to care for people when they’re at their lowest is more than important, it’s essential. Because of this essential skill set, there are a lot of places where CNAs are needed. This is great for you as a CNA, because it means you have a lot of options for your job search. But in some cases, it can also make your job search far more overwhelming. To help remove some of the stress, we’ve broken down some of the most common job settings for CNAs (and a few of the less common ones).
A hospital position is a highly coveted prize for many CNAs. This is especially true for those whose greatest desire is to help people who are facing very immediate threats to their health. The biggest part of a hospital CNA’s day is to support nursing staff by monitoring patient vitals and tending to patients who are bedridden. Hospital CNAs work with a wider variety of patients than those working in specialized facilities. Hospital jobs can be difficult to come by for CNAs though, so this may be a position to look out for after gaining some more experience.
When people think about walking into a private practice for a check-up, they usually think of the nurse and the doctor. But CNAs also have a role to play in these settings. When you are first checked in by the receptionist, there are usually a few questions, tests, and data points that need to be taken down, namely related to a patient’s vitals. Do you know who’s great at taking vitals? CNAs. That makes them perfect for the job. But because private practices are smaller, these too can be tough jobs to land.
When people think of CNAs, this is often the first thing they think of. Nursing homes are one of the more likely job settings you will find as a CNA, and for a good reason. Because adults placed in nursing homes are usually more vulnerable than others, CNAs are vital to monitoring patient health and making sure residents are well taken care of. Because there are so many nursing homes out there, you can almost guarantee that you’ll always have work if you choose this setting,
Home Health Care
Nursing homes aren’t always people’s first choice when they find themselves or their family members growing older and needing extra medical support. For those who want the freedom and comfort of staying in their own homes, they often turn to CNAs to help provide home health care. For CNAs working in this position, their duties are often similar to those in other CNA settings, with some minor variations. This setting is for those who value personal connections with their patients and who enjoy helping them maintain their independence.
When looking through options for aging relatives needing support, most people only consider nursing homes or home healthcare. Most don’t realize that there is an option in between: adult daycare. Adult daycare involves bringing senior patients into some sort of facility or community building during the day where they are able to socialize with peers, take part in activities, and often receive some health and personal care such as monitoring vitals, grooming, and feeding. Once again, this is right up the CNA’s alley, as it provides you with a way to work with elderly patients without working the night shift.
There are several types of rehabilitation centers, but for our purposes, we’re focusing on the ones where you are most likely to find CNAs, namely acute and subacute rehabilitation centers. These centers tend to patients who have just gone through surgeries, are recovering from significant injuries, or are suffering from the effects of debilitating diseases with the mindset of helping them regain their independence. Acute rehabilitation centers are more intensive than subacute, requiring a greater level of support and therapy, though patients in subacute rehabilitation centers often stay for longer. In some ways, working as a CNA in this setting combines working in a hospital with working in a nursing home, since patients have usually just experienced specific trauma and require a greater deal of support.
Agency work as a CNA is unique in that you may find yourself working in multiple settings, depending on the agency that you work with. Most agencies’ primary focus is on supplying CNAs to those who need in-home support. But many agencies are used to help staff understaffed facilities, so you may find yourself working in nursing homes as well. Some people prefer agency work for this reason, especially when they are new to the CNA world and want to decide what setting they work best in. You also often have a greater say in your schedule since you can choose which shifts you pick up, but you do have to navigate the possibility of shifts being dropped unexpectedly.
When thinking of careers in the medical field, prison is usually not the first place people think of. But inmates are also human beings, and human beings have the potential to be sick or get injured no matter where they live. That means medical care is necessary, and where medical care is necessary, so are CNAs. CNAs in this setting usually work in on-site medical facilities under the direction of an RN. In spite of the stigma, working on the medical side of prisons is relatively safe. In fact, patients are often much more appreciative of care here than in any other setting, especially since a saddening number of people in prisons have come from situations where they weren’t previously able to receive adequate medical attention.
Ok, we’ll admit it, this isn’t exactly the most common job setting for CNAs. But it is possible, ergo, it deserves attention. Although amusement parks are usually considered low-stress, pleasant places, between the high-thrill roller coasters, swimming pools, junk food, and allergies, some kind of medical personnel is often found at amusement parks. This is the case for big-name parks like Disneyworld especially. As you might expect, there are a lot of people who want to work surrounded by joy and merriment, so amusement parks are a tough job to get. But if you can get in, it’s worth it.
As a CNA to-be, you can look at this list as evidence of just how much your services are needed anywhere you go. And if you are looking to jump in to work in any of these places, we can take you through the process of how to become a CNA in Florida.