Job Title: Certified Nurse Assist/Unit Secretary
Type of Company: A hospital in southwestern Massachusetts.
Education: attended, Guilford Technical Community College (High Point, NC)
Previous Experience: I began working with the mentally handicapped when I was very young. I then moved to North Carolina and worked in a retirement home for ten years before moving back to Connecticut and taking the job I have now. I've also held jobs as a school bus driver and as a manager with a bread company.
Job Tasks: As a CNA I start my day by setting up, then getting vital signs on all the patients I am assigned to. I set up meal trays when they come to the floors and then I start getting patients ready for the day. I may have to bring patients to be tested in a different unit or prepare them for discharge and wheel them to their cars. But I do much much more than that and as a certified nurse assistant I have to be prepared for almost anything. I answer phones, schedule appointments in and out of the hospital, put all orders into a Meditech system, assign beds to patients and help move them. I also read cardiac strips and post them and of course I help the doctors and nurses with whatever they need.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is seeing a patient who's arrived unresponsive (vented, knocking on death's door) get up and leave a few weeks later, thanks to the efforts of the people on my team.
The worst part...? Oh geez, where do you start? I guess it would be the pay... it's never enough and they always want you to do more and more and more. But the best outweighs the worst.
Job Tips: If you go into nursing, continue with your education. Go further than I did and pick something in health care that you will love become a nurse, doctor, whatever. But never lose your respect for the ones who do my job. Indeed, no matter how far you go, you may want to take a job as a CNA first. You will know if you want a career in health care just by doing that.
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