CNAs work as essential health care professionals who perform duties such as:
Personal care for sick, disabled, and elderly patients while promoting each patient’s dignity, independence, and rehabilitation.
Checking vital signs and monitoring patient health.
Assistance with self-administered medications.
Assistance with meal preparation and nutrition planning, especially when there is a therapeutic diet such as in cases of diabetes.
Assistance with mobility and exercise, including range of motion exercises.
Assistance with transfers (meaning getting out of bed and into a chair). This includes safe operation of patient lifting equipment.
Turning bedbound patients to prevent pressure ulcers.
Foley catheter care.
Assistance with bowel and bladder retraining.
Skin care and bathing, including care for people with prosthetic devices.
Dressing and grooming patients.
Supervision of patients with dementia.
Changing bed linens, especially when this needs to be done while the patient is in bed.
Handling patient emergencies and emergency planning.
Helping patients with cognitive exercise activities, especially in dementia cases.
And much, much more.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, nationwide, CNAs average $30,000 per year. In our area, we see CNAs making $16 to $17 per hour. With the projected growth of the elderly population in Pennsylvania and the rest of America, the Bureau predicts demand for CNAs to grow 8% by 2029. That’s much faster growth than most occupations are experiencing. This heightened demand will put upward pressure on CNA wages while promoting more reliable employment.
Home health agencies
Home care agencies providing at-home long-term care (sometimes as owners and managers)
Skilled nursing facilities
Urgent care centers
Personal care homes
Assisted living facilities
Continuing care retirement communities
Private-duty cases with individual clients
Patients love their CNAs. Patients and families constantly remark how their CNAs feel like family. This is because the work of a CNA is very important, not just for health but also for each client’s quality of life. Additionally, becoming a CNA is the most efficient way to enter the field of credentialed health care professionals, and the sky is the limit from there. Our own director, Dr. Anamege, started her healthcare career as a CNA, working her way to registered nurse, nurse practitioner, and finally to doctor of nursing.