A Day in the Life
How did you become interested in the field of health care?
I grew up caring for my grandmother, so becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) was not a stretch for me. I made the decision to pursue a career in the health field not only because I find the work gratifying, but also because I believe there will always be a demand for my skills.
What did it take for you to get your first CNA job?
A few years after graduating from high school, I signed up for a three-month program at Arriba Juntos in San Francisco, where I received a license in CPR, home health aide and certified nursing assistance. After that, I spent the next six months working at various adult health centers caring for seniors until I landed a job at Kaiser Permanente as a CNA.
What’s life like as a CNA and are you happy with it?
My responsibilities as a CNA include one-on-one patient care like checking blood pressure and temperature. I also assist patients with their daily medication.
Being a CNA is challenging — especially maintaining the appropriate composure when helping difficult patients. But the satisfaction I get from seeing how helpful I can be as patients recover from their illnesses is immensely rewarding and keeps me engaged in my work.
What’s your best advice for anyone considering becoming a CNA?
I’d recommend you do your research to find out if becoming a CNA is for you. Talk to people in the field and volunteer in health centers. Also, talk with career advisers at your school or local Employment Development Department office.
And here’s a reminder about becoming a CNA: A clean criminal background is required.
No matter what your situation, if you stay focused and determined you’ll do well and your expertise will always be in demand.