Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are in high demand in Western Massachusetts. CNAs are critical to the healthcare workforce and mainly provide care to the elderly and people living with disabilities in a variety of care settings. CNAs may work under different job titles such as Patient Care Technicians (PCTs). This entry-level work is very demanding, so it is important to understand what employers need in an entry-level health care worker to make sure that CNA is a good choice for you before you select a training program.
CNAs help patients perform the basic day-to-day tasks, especially personal care tasks. The majority of job opportunities for nursing assistants are working with the elderly.
Certified nursing assistants (CNAs):
- Care for patients’ basic needs and assist in bathing, toileting, feeding, dressing, grooming, and moving patients
- Work as part of a care team under the supervision of a nurse
- Perform physically demanding work, lifting patients and standing for a long time
- Work 24/7 with all shifts available allowing for flexibility in selecting a schedule that meets your needs. Overnight shifts earn a higher hourly wage.
Education and training requirements:
A high school diploma or GED and a certificate training program are required to become a certified nursing assistant. This training includes exposure to healthcare terminology, safety and emergency procedures, patients’ rights, and other job-related skills. Many CNA training programs also provide training as a home health aide. All CNAs are required to pass a certification exam.
Employment opportunities can be found in:
- Skilled nursing facilities
- Assisted living centers
- Hospitals (where they are called Patient Care Technicians and require additional training)
See which employers are hiring: MassHire Job Quest
CNAs are also expected to have:
- Ability to juggle multiple priorities
- Physical stamina to work in a demanding environment