Certified nursing assistant. Don’t let the medical-sounding terminology fool you. If you look it up in a thesaurus, you’ll find it’s a synonym for “superhero.” Whether they’re priming IV tubing in a major hospital or helping an older man settle into his own bed at night, there is plenty of cause for celebrating CNAs. Reasons why CNAs are so important are just part of them.

Essential Care

In 1943, a psychologist named Abraham Maslow created a theory called “the hierarchy of needs.” In his theory, he lays out the needs that motivate human beings. At the base of the pyramid were physiological needs: food, water, rest, excretion. At the top were the things that make humans human: morality, creativity, etc. According to this theory, a person can better attain the top of the pyramid if they aren’t deficient in the bottom.

If you’re looking for reasons why CNAs are important, you need to look no further than Maslow’s hierarchy and a job description. CNAs are in charge of feeding, bathing, changing, and taking vitals of patients. That covers the entire base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. By making sure that patients have the basics, CNAs help patients achieve their true desires at the top of the pyramid.

Help Improve Workflow

CNAs get a reputation for being something of “sidekicks” to other healthcare professionals. This can have a negative connotation. But where would Sherlock Holmes be without John Watson? Or Frodo Baggins without Samwise Gamgee? Like them, CNAs pave the way for doctors to do the jobs that they can’t do. Because they are helping with feeding and moving, doctors and nurses can focus on diagnosis and medication. This helps meet the next rung on Maslow’s hierarchy: the need for health and safety.

Emotional Support

The next levels for Maslow’s hierarchy are related to a need to belong, to be accepted, and then the need for a sense of self-esteem or accomplishment. Officially, this is outside a CNA’s area of expertise. But any CNA will tell you this is part of their everyday life on the job.

Think of the people CNAs help: patients in hospitals, residents in nursing homes, and people living in their homes who need support. Many of these people are in scenarios that leave them isolated. For these individuals, CNAs may be the ones they see daily; the people who will give them a smile or ask how they’re feeling. And given that loneliness has been linked to a higher prevalence of high blood pressure, obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, and early death, that is pretty heroic.

Ready to don your cape and take your place among the superheroes of the nursing world? Our Jacksonville, FL, CNA classes will give you the perfect tools to add to your utility belt.