Using CNA Training as a Stepping Stone to a Career in Healthcare

Not all doctors and nurses started out by heading to nursing or medical school.  Many healthcare professionals used entry level healthcare positions as a stepping stone for a career in healthcare.  There are several reasons to start out in a lower medical related position even if you intend to work as a nurse, doctor or other advanced healthcare provider.

Working as a CNA is a common starting point for individuals who go on to become nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers.  There is probably even a doctor or two who started out in a lower level healthcare position.  A certified nursing assistant is someone who provides some basic care for patients in healthcare and home health settings.

A CNA will work under the direction of a nursing supervisor.  Nursing aides help patients with grooming, feeding and other activities of daily living.  They monitor vital signs and other pertinent information about a patient’s condition.  Nursing assistants work to provide kind and compassionate care to patients of all ages who are sick or injured.

Starting out as a nursing assistant gives you the opportunity to work in a healthcare setting before investing a great deal of time or money in a medical field.  You can get a feel for the challenges and rewards of working with patients on a daily basis.  You will learn to interact with various members of the healthcare team when you are working as a CNA.

Working as a CNA provides you with job opportunities while you pursue other healthcare training.  For example, many nursing students will work as certified medical assistants while they complete their nursing degree.  You are able to gain experience working in the healthcare industry while also earning some income to live off of or use to pay for training as a nurse (or other healthcare provider).

Many individuals will realize that they enjoy their work as a CNA and want to continue their education.  You might decide that you want to be able to provide even more care and services for your patients.  In order to do so you will need to continue your education.  You can advance your career while still having work in a healthcare facility.  The CNA salary structure isn’t too bad and it may even allow you to save up enough money for further education.

If you work as a CNA, and then advance your career, you will not need to be nervous about the clinical portion of your education.  You will already be working directly with patients on a day-to-day basis.  Additionally, you will be experienced working with or around nurses, doctors and other medical staff.  You should not be intimidated when it comes time to train within a healthcare facility for your new career.

A job as a certified nursing assistant is a good stepping stone if you want a career in the healthcare industry but are not yet ready to go full force.  You will have time to develop a good bedside manner.  You will be able to learn the best ways to protect the privacy and dignity of patients.  By the time you further you education and career in the medical field, you will be a pro at working with patients.

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  1. when I started in CNA I was making about $15 an hour. my employers sent me to nursing school and now I make about 80K a year. I think CNA is a good start if you are motivated to make a career in healthcare industry.