Author: alien

Patient Care Technician: A Versatile Career Choice

The demand for medical professionals will never subside. The population of many countries is aging. More and more people are developing lifestyle diseases and new epidemics are breaking out regularly. So obviously, medical professionals will always be in huge demand.

When it comes to the healthcare sector, everyone from the lab technician to the surgeon has an important role to play. Of course, doctors and nurses earn a lot more than nursing assistants and lab technicians. Still, these entry-level professionals are crucial for the smooth functioning of the healthcare sector and cannot be replaced.

Patient care technicians (PCTs) are one such group of professionals who offer essential patient care. The demand for patient care technicians is expected to increase by 18% by the year 2030.

A patient care technician (PCTs) works under a nurse and helps them ensure the well-being of their patients. They usually work behind the scene and take care of the technical aspects of the treatment. PCTs also have the option to upgrade their skill and become registered nurses or a doctor in the future.

Tens of thousands of new jobs are added to the healthcare sector every year. So, healthcare professionals enjoy a secure job and a stable source of income. A job in healthcare is quite rewarding too. It is ideal for people who enjoy caring for sick people.

What is a patient care technician?

Nurse talking with grandmother and her grandson indoors

Patient care technicians work under a registered nurse and perform a variety of tasks. They often help with taking the vital signs of patients. They also help to move them around a clinic. Their primary job is to ensure that patients receive excellent care.

The primary duties of patient care technicians include the following:

  • Interacting with patients and their families and providing them with emotional support
  • Collecting biological samples such as blood, urine, and stool and taking them to the laboratory for testing
  • Checking their vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature
  • Performing some medical tests and recording their results
  • Feeding patients and ensuring that their food and water intake is adequate
  • Reporting any concerns regarding the patient’s health to their nurse or doctor
  • Accompanying patients for an x-ray or another examination
  • Helping patients to move about

Patient care technician salary

The average annual salary of a patient care technician is about $30,290 (about $14.56 per hour). The demand for patient care technicians is expected to increase between 2020 and 2030.

Types of patient care technicians

Male RN assisting elderly female patient lying down in bed

PCTs work in several different healthcare settings. They work in hospitals, physician’s offices, nursing homes, and laboratories. While most jobs in this sector are generic, there is also scope for specialization. These specialists need extra education and training.

Telemetry technician

A telemetry technician performs EKGs and monitors the heart waveforms of patients. When there is a change in the heartbeat, they notify the nurses or medical team.

Dialysis technician

A dialysis technician works with kidney patients and stops and starts dialysis for them. They have to keep the dialysis machine sterile and offer emotional support to their patients.

Hospital patient care technician

Nurse takes care of patient before the operation with surgery team with patient file

They are usually assigned to certain patients and work regular shifts in a hospital. They monitor the vital signs of their patients and help them with their IVs, gastric tubes, catheters, and wounds. Patience and compassion are integral traits of a hospital patient care technician.

Emergency room technician

An emergency room technician works in the emergency room. They review the medical histories of their patients, take their vital signs and gather important information. They also assist doctors to perform various medical examinations.

Rehabilitation technician

The job of a rehabilitation technician is to offer support to patients with mental or substance abuse disorders. They help their patients perform their basic living needs and offer emotional support to stabilize their behavior.


A phlebotomist draws blood and tissue samples for laboratory testing. They also assist with blood transfusions. They work in hospitals, laboratories, blood donation banks, and nursing homes.

How to become a patient care technician

Elderly care nurse helping senior from wheel chair to bed

You need both workplace and technical skills to become a good patient care technician.

Educational requirements

The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma or GED. Educational requirements vary depending on the type of patient care technician you want to become and the state you want to work in.

Specialized training

In many states, you have to complete a CNA training program at a vocational or community school. These programs teach you medical terminology, physiology, anatomy, patient safety, pharmacology, medical laws, and so on.

You will also acquire important technical skills like giving first aid, caring for wounds, and performing CPR and catheterization. An internship in a hospital or similar setting is usually a part of these programs and allows you to put the skills you learn to practice. These are usually two-year full-time programs.


After completing the training program, you have to pass the Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A) certification exam. In some states, you may require additional certifications and there will be a background check as well.

For some people, a career in patient care is actually a stepping stone to a more lucrative career in nursing. While pursuing their studies for another career in the medical field, they may work as a patient care technician. This gives them first-hand experience of what it is like to work in the healthcare sector and helps them understand the demands of the job. What is more, working as a PCT allows them to earn enough to fund their nursing or medical studies.

Patient care technician skills

In the Hospital Operating Room Anesthesiologist Looks and Monitors and Controls Patient's Vital Signs, Nodding to a Chief Surgeon to Proceed with Surgery.

One of the main reasons people choose a healthcare career is that they genuinely enjoy interacting with people and helping them. Also, in every society, healthcare professionals are treated with great respect. Salaries are good too. Of course, this is a demanding job. You may have to work odd hours. You will probably be working on weekends or holidays. Still, the satisfaction you gain from knowing that you are making a positive difference to a sick person is immense. This is exactly what drives many people into this sector.

A patient care technician should have good listening skills. They should enjoy patient care. While this is an entry level job, it is important to remember that you are an integral part of the healthcare team and you play an active role in saving lives. Your support helps patients get through pain and suffering.

Sick people are not always able to communicate their needs effectively. As a patient care technician, you should observe their behavior closely and guess their needs. You may also have to communicate with their families and address their concerns. PCTs may have to feed their patients and bathe them. They may also have to perform other tasks required to keep patients clean and hygienic. Knowledge of basic first aid and CPR is integral too.

Safety skills

Ensuring that the patient is safe at all times is one of the primary responsibilities of a patient care technician. They should show utmost care while transporting patients between bed and wheelchair or escorting them to the bathroom. Keeping the room safe from potential sources of infection is also part of their job.

Problem solving skills

When patients talk to you about their problems, you have to find a way to solve them quickly. This could be something as simple as changing their bedding. Sometimes more serious concerns need to be addressed too. It is crucial to promptly communicate all concerns to a nurse.

What are the Most Common Questions about Becoming a CNA in Texas?

Young caregiver and senior woman in bedroom. Home health care service

A certified nursing assistant plays a crucial role in ensuring the overall well-being of patients by assisting them with their day-to-day activities and keeping them clean. This contribution makes them important members of any healthcare team.

CNAs are entry level positions, but they make great stepping stones to more attractive jobs in the medical field. When you work as a nursing assistant, you get first-hand experience of what it is like to be in the healthcare profession. If you enjoy it, you can acquire additional qualifications and become a licensed vocational nurse or a registered nurse and earn lucrative salaries.

The most commonly asked CNA questions are answered in this article.

Who should consider becoming a certified nursing assistant?

Young student with groupmates outdoors

If you want to work in the healthcare sector and enjoy patient care, this is a job with a low entry barrier for you. This job does not require high level qualifications or a degree. You can start as soon as you finish high school. However, training is required. Once you complete the training, you will receive a post secondary, non-degree diploma or certificate. Make sure that you are enrolling in a training program approved by your state.

Anyone who has completed their high school diploma or GED can enroll in a nursing assistant training program. Community colleges, vocational schools, and medical facilities offer these training programs.

Candidates who have successfully completed the training program have to sit for the CNA certification exam. There are two parts – a written test and a practical test.

How to choose the best training program in Texas?

Portrait of middle age home caregiver and senior woman sitting at nursing home. Female nurse consulting with elderly patient while testing blood pressure.

Nursing assistant jobs are ideal for people who want to start working as soon as possible. CNA training programs of various durations are available in Texas. While some can be completed in a few weeks, others may take a few months. Both full-time and part-time courses are available and they consist of a minimum of 100 hours of training. Of these 40 hours must be dedicated to hands-on training. Choose a program that suits your schedule.

How much does CNA training cost in Texas?

Smiling senior woman reading medical tests results in hands of nurse visiting her

It varies depending on the program and the school chosen. While calculating the final cost, you should consider additional fees, if any, textbooks, supplies, uniforms, background checks, and exams. Knowing exactly how much it will cost beforehand will help you avoid a lot of headaches later.  Visit the training school and ask them your CNA questions.

Can I complete the training online?

Some training schools offer online courses. Theoretical lessons will usually be offered online and the candidate will have to complete clinical and lab training in person. For more information, you have to contact the school of your choice.

What do CNAs do?

Nursing students are learning how to rescue the patients in emergency. CPR training with CPR doll.

Nursing assistants perform several duties. They work directly with patients under the supervision of nurses. They help patients with their day-to-day activities. They usually work with patients who are incapable of taking care of themselves due to a physical disability or mental impairment. They bathe and groom patients and get them dressed. They feed patients and give them their medicines on time. They also turn or move patients and help to transfer them from their beds to a wheelchair.

Other duties include checking the vital signs of patients, cleaning their rooms, and communicating with their family members. A nursing assistant needs good communication skills and higher levels of empathy. They have to be patient, listen carefully to what their patients say, and make them as comfortable as possible. People suffering from physical disabilities are often anxious and upset. A good nursing aide should be able to put their mind at ease.

Where do CNAs work?

This is one of the commonly asked CNA questions. Certified nursing assistants work in a variety of healthcare settings. These include:

  • Senior care homes
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers

Occasionally, they may also work in clinical facilities.

What are the educational requirements for a CNA?

Nursing assistants perform entry-level jobs in a care home or hospital, so their educational requirements are not particularly high. Although the exact requirements can vary from state to state, aspiring CNAs usually have to complete a training program approved by their state. High schools, vocational schools, community colleges, and some hospitals as well offer these training programs. These courses can be completed in 4 to 8 weeks.

CNA certification

Certification requirements vary. However, usually, there is an oral or written examination. You may also have to demonstrate your ability to perform certain tasks. Getting certified is crucial because, without the certification, you cannot apply for jobs.

How much does a CNA earn?

CNAs earn about $13.50/hour on average, or $28,000/year. This is an entry-level job, so the salary is not particularly high. However, many people who start their careers as nursing aides eventually become registered nurses and earn much higher salaries.

What exactly is the career outlook for a CNA?

CNAs have excellent career prospects. As the population ages, there will naturally be an increase in the demand for caregivers. For many who start working as CNAs, it is merely a stepping stone to a career in nursing or another aspect of healthcare. Working as a nursing assistant is an opportunity for you to find out whether you enjoy caring for patients. If you do enjoy this job, there are online nursing programs that prepare you for your BSN degree and RN licensure.

You can complete these courses while you are still working as a CNA. A career in nursing is more rewarding, both emotionally and financially. Now, if you realize that you do not enjoy patient care after working as a nursing assistant for a while, you can switch to other professions like health services coordination and health information management.

Are there any minimum education requirements?

To work as a nursing assistant in a Texas nursing home, you have to successfully complete a nursing assistant training program and pass a competency evaluation examination. There are no minimum education requirements for nursing assistants.

What if I fail the exam?

If you fail the written/oral exam or the competency evaluation after completing the training program, you can retake the exam twice. If you fail in all three attempts, you have to complete the training program again before you can retake the test.

If you are already on the nursing assistant registry in another state, you will be considered qualified. Of course, you have to complete the HHSC documentation.

When will I receive my certificate?

You will receive the certificate in about 4-6 weeks after passing the exam. Your certificate does not have an expiration date. However, you have to contact the Nurse Aide Registry at least once every two years to verify that your employment status is active. If your status on the Nurse Aide Registry is not active, you are not employable.

How do I apply to take the CNA exam?

In most states, you can apply online. You can find the application link under the Candidate Resource section on the home page of your state’s website. Applying online is the easiest method.

Can I take the exam at home?

The Internet Based Testing System is available in some states. In this case, students can take the secured proctored test online at approved Prometric testing centers. You can find a list of approved test centers at

How long is the CNA certification exam?

The written examination is of 90 minutes and the clinical exam can take 31-40 minutes depending on the specific tasks assigned.

What ID proofs should I bring to the test center?

While appearing for your examination, you have to bring with you two valid identity cards. The names on both cards must be exactly the same as the name on your application form and admission letter. You must bring in original ID cards. Photocopies are not accepted.

One identity card must contain your latest photograph and signature. It could be your driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, or any other state-issued identity card. It could also be an identity card issued by your employer or your school provided that it has your photograph and signature on it.

The second ID card has to be a signature identification. It could be your social security card, credit card, gym card, or library card that has your signature on the back. The name on the second ID card must match the name on the first ID card.

Where can I find the study material for the exam?

Study material and practice tests are available at website. Exams conducted by Prometric are made according to the NA curriculum approved by the state. For a small fee, candidates can access the practice tests for the clinical and written modules on their website.

The healthcare sector is booming partly due to the aging population and lifestyle changes. Consequently, the number of jobs available in this sector continues to increase. Getting a CNA certification is the first step to starting a stable career in caregiving. The best part is that you can start working immediately after high school by simply completing a short-term course in nursing assistant training.

Phlebotomy Certification: The Fast Track to a New Career

Phlebotomy procedure during coronavirus crisis. medical worker preparing to take blood for analysis

The allied healthcare sector has grown considerably over the last few decades. This growth has also generated a lot of jobs. Phlebotomy is one such sector where more and more jobs are being created each year.

A career in phlebotomy offers a stable income. Also, the number of jobs available to phlebotomists is expected to increase over the next five years. This makes it an ideal option for candidates who want a secure job shortly after they graduate high school. A phlebotomy training program can be completed in as few as 4 to 8 months.

A phlebotomist is a healthcare professional who draws blood and collects the tissue samples of patients. This job requires some training and certification.

The Role of the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA)

A black man African American doctor holding a test tube vial sample of blood

As the need for entry-level healthcare professionals increased, quality was often compromised and sometimes even those who lack adequate training were appointed. This lowered the quality of service delivery. To prevent this, the National Phlebotomy Association (NPA) was created in 1978 in Washington, DC. NPA provides phlebotomy certification and maintains a Board of Registry of all phlebotomists who have successfully earned the certificate. NPA phlebotomy certification offers a lot of benefits. A certified phlebotomist has a better chance of getting placed. Also, the certification enhances the quality of care provided by the phlebotomist.

A Phlebotomist is an integral part of the healthcare team. Their key responsibilities include the following:

  • Drawing blood from patients for laboratory testing. Once the blood is drawn, the phlebotomist applies pressure on the area of injection to prevent bleeding.
  • Entering patient information into the database
  • Labeling the biological samples accurately
  • Cleaning and sterilizing the equipment used for drawing blood or collecting tissue samples.
  • Sending the biological samples for laboratory testing
  • Making sure that patients are comfortable while their blood is being drawn
  • Explaining the process to patients and putting them at ease

Sometimes phlebotomists take blood pressure or pulse. Phlebotomists can work in a hospital, laboratory, or physician’s office. They may also find employment in blood donation facilities. Sometimes they have to visit patients at home to draw their blood. Work hours can vary. Depending upon the size of the facility you are working for, you may work day, evening, or night shifts. You may also have to work on weekends.

Who should get the Phlebotomy Certification?

A nurse or phlebotomist tying a rubber IV Tourniquet placed above the elbow. Venipuncture for blood testing or hematology analysis.

Phlebotomists aren’t the only professionals who benefit from a phlebotomy certification. It benefits a variety of other professionals as well. These include

  • Registered Nurses (RN)
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)
  • Medical Assistants (MA)
  • Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT)
  • Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)

In some states in the US, nurses who draw blood are required to have a phlebotomy certification. Even if your state does not require this certification, it is still worth getting it. Most registered nurses and vocational nurses can earn their phlebotomy certification in as few as one or two days. This is because as a nurse, you may have already drawn blood from several patients. If you have drawn blood from at least 30 patients, you do not have to complete the phlebotomy course. You can directly sit for the phlebotomy certification exam.

There is currently a shortage of nurses in the US. At the same time, many nurses are struggling to get hired. This is usually an indication that too many nurses are competing for jobs in the same market. In this situation, getting a phlebotomy certification will help you stand out. Nurses do not normally receive much training in drawing blood. They typically learn this skill on the job. Consequently, many nurses, especially those who have just started working, lack the confidence to draw blood. This is where a phlebotomy certification comes in handy. It equips you with this important skill and also gives you an edge over other nurses competing for the same job as you.

Important certifications also allow entry-level nurses to negotiate a higher salary.

Phlebotomy - Nurse Taking Blood for Laboratory Testing

In order to sit for the phlebotomy certification, you should possess a high school diploma or GED. You should also have completed a phlebotomy training program within the last 5 years. Those who haven’t completed a phlebotomy training program can also apply if they have worked as a phlebotomist for at least 1 year under supervision within the last 3 years. The exact requirements can vary from one certifying body to another.

Several certifying bodies offer certification in phlebotomy. These include:

  • American Certification Agency (ACA)
  • American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP)
  • American Medical Technologists (AMT)
  • American Medical Certification Association (AMCA)
  • National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT/MMCI)
  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

How to get your phlebotomy certification?

The first step is to ensure that you fulfill the requirements to take the certification exam. You can apply online and then download the application handbook. If you pass the exam, you will receive the certification. Once you receive the certification you can apply for jobs.

Note that a phlebotomy certification is not mandatory to start working as a phlebotomist. Still, getting it is a wise move because it improves your chances of getting hired. Also, certified phlebotomists can negotiate a higher salary.

Who Should Consider Becoming an LVN and Why?

Medical students smiling at the camera at the university

Do you enjoy nursing sick people back to health? Have you ever been fascinated by jobs in the healthcare sector? Vocational nursing is an ideal option for people who enjoy giving care. A licensed vocational nurse or licensed practical nurse is an integral part of any healthcare team. This is an entry-level position and if you enjoy working in this field, there are lots of opportunities to grow and become a certified nurse assistant.

How do you know whether a career in vocational nursing is right for you? And what is LVN school? Read on to find out.

What Is An LPN/LVN?

The terms LPN and LVN are interchangeable. In some states, they have LPN whereas, in other states, they have LVN. An LVN/LPN is a healthcare professional responsible for a patient’s primary care. An LVN works under a registered nurse and reports to them.

What Does An LPN/LVN Do?

An LVN performs a number of tasks. Their main responsibilities include taking the vital signs of their patients, administering medicines, preparing patients for various medical procedures, and assisting surgeons in the operation theatre. In some states, LVNs are not allowed to administer intravenous medication.

Only the registered nurse can do it. An LVN must be a good listener and possess excellent communication skills. In the absence of the doctor, the LVN has the responsibility to communicate with the family members of the patient.

Where do LVNs work?

An LVN can work in a variety of settings. For example, they can work in a hospital, nursing home, doctor’s office, or other medical facilities. They can also work in an assisted living center or in a school where they provide medical aid to children.

Work schedule

Shot of an attractive female nurse holding medical records while shaking hands with her wheelchair-bound senior patient in the hospital

The work schedule varies considerably. While some LVNs work 9-hour shifts, others may have 12-hour shifts. Some work on the weekends while others work only during weekdays. Your schedule depends on the kind of facility you are working for.

How much does an LVN earn?

An entry-level licensed nurse earns $17.10/hour on average. Experienced nurses will earn more. The average annual salary of an experienced LVN is $48,820. Those who have been in this profession for a long time can expect to earn $65,520 a year

The job outlook for an LPN/LVN

Young Male Patient Talking To Male Nurse In Emergency Room

Licensed vocational nurses have excellent job prospects. The demand for LVNs is expected to increase at a rate of 9.27% by 2030. That means those who are entering the field will not have much difficulty finding a job.

Do you have what it takes to be an LVN?

An LVN works with patients all the time. This job is ideal for people who enjoy giving care and support to sick people. An LVN may have to work night shifts. They may also have to work on the weekends. This is not very fun. When you work night shifts, you will be sleeping during the day and this seriously limits the amount of time you get to spend with your spouse or children.

Also, the job is physically demanding. You will be on your feet for hours on end. You have to assist your patients with a lot of tasks. Some of these tasks such as transferring a heavy patient from the bed to the wheelchair may require more effort than others. If caregiving is not your forte, you had better not choose this profession.

How to become an LVN?

Male care worker serving dinner to a senior man at his home

The first step is to complete your high school diploma or GED. Once you have earned your high school diploma, you have to enroll in an LVN training program offered by an LVN school. Sometimes there is a Pre-Admission Exam.

What is an LVN school?

An LVN school is a vocational nursing school that offers training in vocational nursing. Community colleges also offer LVN training programs. Make sure that the training program you choose is accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Agency (NLNAC).

A full-time LVN program can be completed in 12 months whereas evening or weekend programs take 18 months to complete.

After completing the training program, you have to apply for authorization. You have to do this through the local state board of nursing and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. After you have received the authorization to test, you have to write your licensing exam (NCLEX-PN). You will receive the results in about six weeks. If you pass the licensure exam, they will mail you the license. You can start applying for LVN jobs now.

Difference between an LVN and RN

Vocational nurses and registered nurses have similar responsibilities. Both of them work in a variety of medical settings and provide care to patients. However, the scope of work is much bigger for an RN. They can administer intravenous drugs or vaccines. LVNs are not allowed to do this. The pay scale is also considerably different. While in 2021, the average annual salary of an RN was $77,600, it was $48,070 for an LVN.

On the other hand, most LVN training programs can be completed in 12 to 20 months. By contrast, nursing education programs can take twice as much to complete. That makes LVN an ideal option for people who want to start working shortly after they finish high school. Also, after working as an LPN for a few years, you can upgrade your job title to registered nurse by completing a nursing education program. There are also LVN to BSN programs offered nationwide.

If you are passionate about making a difference in someone’s life, you will enjoy being a licensed vocational nurse. Note that an LVN should have excellent listening skills. You should listen intently to what your patients are saying and offer them comfort as it goes a long way in ensuring their wellbeing.

One of the most rewarding things about working as a vocational nurse is the emotional gratification you receive from knowing that your work is positively touching someone’s life. Of course, this is a demanding job, and work hours can be odd. Still, if you enjoy providing care, this is a stable job with a nice pay scale. You also have the option to upgrade your skills after working as an LVN for a couple of years.

On the downside, you are not in charge of your patients. You work under a registered nurse and will be constantly told what to do. If you need more autonomy at work, vocational nursing probably isn’t the right choice for you.

Spring into a New Career: Tips for Landing Nursing and Medical Assistant Jobs in RGV

Front view of happy African American female doctor helping female patient to walk in the ward at hospital

Plenty of medical assistant jobs are available in the healthcare sector. In fact, the number of jobs available to qualified healthcare professionals all over the US is expected to increase over the years. The situation is no different in RGV. A job in the healthcare sector is ideal for people who enjoy giving care and support to others.

Landing a job in the medical field is easier, faster, and more affordable than you think. Read on to find out more.

Low entry barrier

Plenty of entry level jobs are available in the medical sector. You don’t have to spend years at university to land one of these jobs. For example, you can start working as a medical assistant after completing a short term course.

Another advantage of landing an entry level job is that it will give you first-hand experience of what it is like to work in the healthcare industry. If you enjoy it, you can get additional qualifications and grow in your career.

This article will give you some information regarding the entry level jobs available in the medical sector along with some tips for landing them.

Clinical medical assistant

Young medical assistant talking by telephone while working in office

A clinical medical assistant performs jobs ranging from entering patient information into the database to drawing blood. After working as a clinical medical assistant for a while, you can pursue nursing or phlebotomy. One of the main advantages of working as a clinical medical assistant is that it gives you the option to choose the medical setting you want to work in.

In demand jobs

Portrait of medical assistant with stethoscope and clipboard in hospital. Space for text

Jobs in the medical field are usually in high demand. In fact, the medical field employs about 14% of all  U.S. workers. By 2019, it is expected that there will be a 15 percent increase in the number of medical jobs. Consequently, switching to the medical sector is a smart choice regardless of which job you want to choose.

Certain jobs are more flexible and versatile than others. Before choosing any particular medical career classes, it is important to find out exactly what they offer. Choose an in-demand job that you will enjoy and that offers you an opportunity to grow in your career.

A clinical medical assistant, phlebotomist, and CNA get to work in a variety of medical settings. The job opportunities available to them are expected to increase considerably over the next five years. This makes healthcare jobs ideal for people who seek financially stable and emotionally rewarding jobs.

You do not have to complete 8 to 12 years of medical studies to build your career in the healthcare sector. The entry level jobs are the best option for candidates who want to launch their careers quickly. Many of these jobs only require training that can be completed in 1 to 5 months.

Once you have completed the course, you can apply for certification and start searching for a job. That means you can leave the unsatisfactory job you are currently holding, join a CNA training program, and find a more rewarding job in fewer than 6 months.

Why should you opt to be a nursing or medical assistant?

Students in corridor of medical university

The most important reason, of course, is the low entry barrier. You can land these jobs quickly as they do not require university degrees or extensive training. This is a huge draw for people who are not exactly sure if they have a lasting passion to work in the healthcare sector. After working as a nursing assistant for a couple of months, if you decide that this is the field you want to work in, you can continue your studies and choose to become an LVN.

Prioritize flexibility

If you already have a busy life with a job and a family to take care of, the thought of finding time to pursue a nursing assistant course can be daunting. Don’t worry. Many schools offer training programs that you can complete at a time convenient to you. For example, there are Saturday or evening classes for those who cannot attend regular classes.

Choose a school that insists on quality

A healthcare job involves people’s health and wellness. As a nursing or medical assistant, your job is to help people achieve optimal health. That means you need to be properly trained so that you can do complete justice to your job. Make sure that you are choosing a school where the mentors have years of experience. The classes should be comprehensive and you should receive enough hands-on experience.

Before entering the medical field, you should be equipped with the tools, training, and skills required to give your patients the best care.

Difference between a medical assistant and a certified nursing assistant

Group of students at medical university

You don’t need a college degree to be a medical or nursing assistant. You don’t even need an associate degree to land these jobs.

Medical assistants offer patient care as well as perform administrative tasks. They may administer shots, measure the vital signs of patients, help doctors perform medical examinations, and prepare blood samples for testing. They also schedule appointments and enter patient data into the database.

Certified nursing assistants do not perform any administrative duties. They work with their patients all the time. They help patients perform their day-to-day activities. For example, they may bathe patients who cannot do it themselves and help them get dressed. They may also have to feed patients and help them get off the bed and sit in the wheelchair. CNAs are also trained to take the vital signs of their patients and convey their concerns if any to the nurses.

You don’t need a post secondary degree to be a medical assistant. However, most employers prefer candidates who have successfully completed a course in medical assistant training. It takes fewer than 12 months to complete a course in MA training. These courses will teach you the basics of human anatomy and essential medical terminology.

You need certification to start working as a nursing assistant. In order to be certified, you have to do a training program approved by the state. After completing the course you should also pass a competency exam mandated by the state.

CNAs usually work with people suffering from some mental impairments or physical disabilities. If caregiving is something you truly enjoy, you will never regret choosing a career as a nursing assistant. While it is true that this is an entry-level position, one can never underestimate a nursing assistant’s contribution to the overall well-being of patients.

Preparing for the exam

Many candidates find it challenging to prepare for the CNA exam. However, this is not as hard as you think. Choose the right certification program to improve your chances of getting hired. Also, make sure that clinical training is an important aspect of your certification program. Without hands-on experience, it is not possible to gain essential skills.

Clinical training gives you an opportunity to work with patients in a hospital, nursing home, or senior care facility. Note that clinical training requirements vary from state to state. Some states require only 16 hours of clinical training while in some other states, you may require as many as 100 hours of clinical training. A registered nurse will supervise your clinical training. This hands-on experience will help you avoid many mistakes on the CNA exam.

Doing a CNA training program alone will not get you certified. There are some additional assessments as well. For example, your mathematical and reading abilities will be assessed. You should also get your GED or high school diploma verified. CNAs should enjoy good health. For this reason, they have to get several health tests done before they can start working as a CNA. In addition, there will be a criminal background check.

There is no dearth of jobs in the healthcare sector even for those who lack a college degree. If you have a caring attitude and a state-approved certificate you can start working as a CNA or MA and enjoy a stable income and job security.

How to Determine If a Career as a Phlebotomist is the Right Fit for You?

Nurse taking Real Blood samples (Phlebotomist) for analysis from a patient (Selective focus)

Before choosing a career in phlebotomy, you may have several doubts. You might be wondering if it is the right career option for you. You may also have questions regarding the kind of training you need and the overall career prospects of a phlebotomist.

Don’t worry. This article will answer all of these questions. Phlebotomy is a good career option if you have the required skills, attitude, and expertise. So, let’s see what a career in phlebotomy is all about.

What’s the phlebotomist career outlook?

Friendly hospital phlebotomist collecting blood sample from patient in lab. Preparation for blood test by female doctor medical uniform on the table in white bright room

A phlebotomist is an integral part of the healthcare team. Their primary responsibility is to collect tissue samples and draw blood from their patients for the purpose of laboratory testing. They work with both inpatients and outpatients and usually have a tightly packed schedule. Employing the proper techniques is essential when drawing blood or collecting tissue samples.

This requires some training. A phlebotomist also has to handle the material carefully and ensure that they have no direct contact with the biological material they are collecting. Other aspects of their job involve keeping accurate records of patient specimens and having good knowledge of hospital best practices. Yes, the phlebotomist career outlook is certainly bright.

Working as a phlebotomist can be stressful at times. You have to constantly interact with patients who may be concerned about their situation, answer their questions patiently, and keep them as comfortable as possible while you draw their blood or collect tissue samples. If you do not enjoy interacting with people on a daily basis, this job is not for you.

Phlebotomists also play an important role in ensuring smooth patient care. They have to adhere to the safety guidelines and wear protective equipment while working with patients to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In other words, there is a lot more to phlebotomy than just drawing blood. The phlebotomist plays a crucial role in providing high-quality medical care to patients. They also ensure that other healthcare professionals on the team are safe from health risks posed by biological material drawn from patients.

In order to be a good phlebotomist, you need interpersonal as well as technical skills. You should also demonstrate an ability to adhere to medical industry regulations and standards.

Education and training requirements

Proper education and training are essential to start working as a phlebotomist. The training program will cover topics such as physiology, anatomy, safety theory, phlebotomy practices, laboratory testing protocols, sample collection techniques, medical terminology, and Federal healthcare and privacy laws.

Before you can get certified as a phlebotomist, you have to successfully complete an accredited program in phlebotomy. Depending on the scope of your job, you may also have to show proof of various qualifications and completion of practical skills assessments.

There are several organizations that offer certification in phlebotomy. The National Phlebotomy Association and the American Society for Clinical Pathology are the most prominent among them. Sometimes, in order to achieve certification, you may have to complete additional coursework and examinations.

Salary and phlebotomist career outlook

Phlebotomists have excellent job prospects. It is estimated that between 2016 and 2026, there will be a 27% increase in the number of jobs available to phlebotomists. This is higher than the average growth rate for other occupations. So, if you are a certified phlebotomist, you will have no difficulty finding a job once you enter the job market.

Salaries are commensurate with educational qualifications and experience. An experienced person will certainly earn more than someone who has just received their certification. In 2021, the average annual salary of phlebotomists was over $34,000. Since the demand for phlebotomists is unlikely to slow down in the near future, it is an ideal career option for those who seek job security and stability.

Pros and cons of the job

Medical worker with PPE taking blood sample from patient in a hospital

The job of a phlebotomist is rewarding, both emotionally and financially. You get to enjoy a decent salary, a stable job, and an opportunity to interact with patients. Your patients can be small children, adults, or seniors, and you have to have good people skills to comfort them and put their minds at ease.

As a phlebotomist, you will work in close association with various medical facilities such as hospitals. This gives you an opportunity to establish relationships with a lot of healthcare professionals and patients. Phlebotomists also get to enjoy a flexible work schedule, and thus they can enjoy a good work-life balance.

A career in phlebotomy is also an opportunity for you to offer some care and comfort to patients concerned about their health. While drawing their blood or collecting their tissue samples, you get to interact with them and address some concerns they may have.

Of course, there are some downsides too. This job requires good technical skills and an ability to pay attention to detail. You have to label the samples correctly and enter accurate information into the patient database.

That means you have to stay alert all the time. If you lose focus for even a few minutes, a mismatch can occur, and this can have disastrous consequences. Also, this job requires good stamina because you will have to be on your feet for hours on end. Oftentimes, the time pressure can be challenging. Moreover, a phlebotomist is exposed to body fluids such as blood.

This increases their risk of catching infections and to reduce those risks, they have to take appropriate safety protocols. Despite these risks, the opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives is what draws most aspiring medical professionals to a career in phlebotomy.

Is Phlebotomy the right career option for you?

If you want to build a career in the healthcare sector and enjoy interacting with people, you should certainly consider a career in phlebotomy. Of course, this job requires the ability to work under stressful and challenging conditions. You need good physical stamina as well. Other important traits include an ability to pay close attention to detail.

A phlebotomist enjoys job security and good prospects in the long term. If you have the required qualifications and appropriate certification, you will have no difficulty finding a job as a phlebotomist. Better still, this is an opportunity to provide care and assistance to people who need it.

The job of a phlebotomist is not as straightforward as it seems. At times, it can be quite challenging and demanding. Phlebotomists working in a hospital setting will usually have to deal with over a hundred patients a day. All samples should be correctly labeled and accurately added to the database. There is absolutely no room for error, and this requires high levels of attention and focus.

Excellent people skills are a must as the job involves working with patients who may be upset or anxious. Children, for example, can be quite apprehensive about getting their blood drawn. A phlebotomist should be able to talk to them gently and distract them while getting the job done. They should also be detail-oriented. They have to follow instructions correctly and collect the correct sample.

Given the phlebotomist career outlook, what qualifications are required?

If you aspire to be a phlebotomist, you have to complete high school first. Those with a GED certificate are also eligible to do a course in phlebotomy. If you learned science and anatomy at school, it is an added advantage for you. A typical phlebotomy program can be for 4 to 8 months. Once you have finished the course, you can apply for certification. Take care to choose an accredited institution.

CNA and Medical Assistant Training: Your Ticket to Success

a nurse helping a distressed patient

You have been dreaming of a career in the healthcare sector, but lack a college degree. Don’t worry. Several entry level medical jobs require only a high school education. For example, to become a medical assistant or a certified nursing assistant, you don’t need even an associate degree.

nurse helping a patient

Difference between a medical assistant and a certified nursing assistant

A medical assistant performs both administrative tasks and patient care. Their duties include administering shots, taking the vital signs of patients, helping physicians complete exams, and preparing blood samples of their patients for testing. Their administrative tasks include scheduling appointments and entering patient data correctly into the database.

CNAs, by contrast, work with patients at all times. Their job is to help patients with basic care. For example, CNAs have to bathe patients, get them dressed, feed them and transfer them between the bed and the wheelchair. They also take the vital signs of their patient and convey their concerns to nurses.

Medical assistants do not require a post secondary degree, although employers prefer candidates who have completed a MA training program. These programs teach you essential medical terminology and human anatomy. You can complete an MA training program in less than a year.

CNAs need to be certified. To become a CNA, you have to complete a state-approved program to learn the basics of patient care. Once you complete your education, you have to pass a state-mandated competency exam.

Certified Nursing Assistants take care of individuals with certain physical disabilities or mental impairments. If you enjoy interacting with people and taking care of their basic needs, you may want to choose a career as a nursing assistant. Although this is an entry-level job, a CNA is an important member of a patient’s healthcare team.

Preparing for your CNA certification can be challenging. In this article, we will discuss the skills and knowledge you need to acquire to boost your chances of success.

Choosing the right CNA certification program is essential to boost your chances of success.

a nurse helping an elderly person walk

Hands-on Experience in Clinical Settings

As a CNA your job is to work with people. Clinical training should be an important part of any CNA certification program. Without hands-on experience, you will not be able to acquire the essential skills. Clinical training also increases your chances of passing the test after completing the program.

Clinical training is essentially an opportunity to work with patients in a nursing home, hospital, or senior care facility. During clinical training, you can put to practice all the skills and knowledge you gained in the classroom. Different states have different requirements for clinical training. While in some states, you need only 16 hours of clinical training to obtain your CNA certification, in some other states, it could be as high as 100 hours. Your clinical training sessions will be under the supervision of a registered nurse, and you will be providing care to patients in a real clinical environment.

As a certified nursing assistant, you have to learn to make your patients comfortable in your presence and ensure their safety. The hands-on experience that you have with patients will help you avoid making some mistakes on your CNA exam.

During the practical sessions of your training program, you will learn how to keep your patients clean, control infections, and provide nutrition and support. You will also learn about specific diagnostic or treatment procedures. Choose a quality training program and ensure that you get to spend adequate time with patients in real clinical settings.

Apart from acquiring CNA skills, you need some additional assessments to complete the training program. Your reading and mathematical ability, for example, are assessed. You should also get your high school diploma or GED verified. Age requirements for joining the program can vary from state to state. Generally speaking, the minimum age is 16 years.

Most training programs require their students to take a reading test before they can enroll. This is done to ensure that students are capable of understanding all the study materials and completing the program successfully.

A nursing assistant should enjoy good health. For this reason, CNAs have to get several health assessments and tests done. A TB test is one of them.

A potential nursing assistant should have clean lungs free from infection. Generally speaking, there will be a physical examination that includes the 2-step Mantoux. This is a skin test for TB and it can quickly and accurately identify whether the candidate is infected with TB. Results of this test are usually available within 2-3 days of administration.

Criminal Background Check

There will be a background screening to ensure that you have no criminal history. This is a crucial requirement for getting the certification.

A criminal background makes you automatically disqualified. A history of drug abuse, chemical dependence, and mental health conditions are other disqualifications.

The job of a nursing assistant is tough and stressful and only a responsible person committed to their profession can do full justice to it. For this reason, any habit or illness that prevents your ability to work rationally and responsibly at all times is a disqualification.

A criminal background check costs over 30 dollars and it is not refundable. Students should have their background check done before registering for the certification program.

Even if you have not spent time in prison, you can still have a criminal conviction. These include felonies and misdemeanors. They may have dropped the charges leveled against you, but the information will still be mentioned in your criminal history.

While minor violations like running a stop sign may not hamper your chances, more serious violations certainly limit your ability to build a successful CNA career. Note that even if you have some criminal charges leveled against you, you will be able to enroll in the educational program. However, many employers will be unwilling to hire you.

Local Orientation Session

The local orientation session is the final component of your training. Most programs make it mandatory for students to attend the orientation session. You will receive some important information during this session to better prepare for your certification.

During the orientation session, students have to bring their documents, results of physical exams, and background checks. If they satisfy all the criteria, they can enroll in the program.

Apart from the documents mentioned above, interested candidates have to bring their driver’s license, social security card, or another government-issued identity card and their test scores.

During the orientation session, you will receive information regarding the availability of CNA practice tests, the course of study, certification requirements, the withdrawal policy of the institution, required paperwork, the grading scale, and the lab or class attendance policies of the institution.

In short, it highlights the program essentials and for this reason, it is extremely important to attend the local orientation session.

Getting your CNA certification is the first step towards building a career in the healthcare industry. After working as a nursing assistant for a couple of years, you have the option to pursue further education and land more lucrative jobs in healthcare. Choosing the right course and fulfilling all other requirements is the key to getting your CNA certification. While gathering the required documents can be a little cumbersome, once you have ticked all the checkboxes you are ready to become a successful CNA.

New Year, New Career: How to Kickstart Your Medical Career in Rio Grande Valley in 2023

Group of medical students having lecture indoors

Do you dream of helping other people? Do you imagine yourself working in a healthcare environment? Do you desire an in-demand job that makes a difference? Then 2023 may be the year to ditch your dead-end job and embrace a new, exciting, and more lucrative adventure in the healthcare field.

Before you start to worry about finances, years of study, and finding a job, consider these little-known facts about getting started in a medical career. It may just be faster, easier, and more affordable than you expect.

Choose an entry-level career with room for growth.

Female hand putting money into piggy bank and counting on calculator closeup

You don’t have to start as a nurse, physician’s assistant, doctor, or surgeon. In fact, the healthcare field is full of entry-level positions that allow you to apply your compassion and intelligence while positioning you to grow in your career.

For example, at Careers Unlimited, our clinical medical assistant course gives you broad spectrum training in everything from administrative work to drawing blood. Use it as a jumping point to pursue phlebotomy, nursing, or other careers, or simply enjoy the versatility this course provides to choose the healthcare setting in which you work.

Focus on an in-demand career.

Healthcare jobs in general are in high demand. About 14 percent of the American population already works within the medical field. By 2029, jobs in this field are expected to grow by 15 percent.

As a result, moving into the healthcare sector can be a smart choice, no matter which job you pursue. However, there are certain positions that are much more flexible, versatile, and needed than others. Before choosing a course to study, educate yourself about which are the most in-demand positions and then pursue training in one of those (e.g. in CNA courses in McAllen).

Doing so will equip you to pursue, and land, a position in a healthcare setting of your choice after graduation. And that can lead to a successful and rewarding career that you do not have to wait long to enjoy.

Here at Careers Unlimited, all of our courses offer training in some of the most needed positions in healthcare, from clinical medical assistant to phlebotomist to CNA. Plus, most of our positions are available across a wide variety of medical settings. That makes it easier for you to find the job you desire after you finish your course.

Find a program that you can complete this year.

Medical students listening sitting at desk at the university

Kickstarting your new career does NOT mean starting 8-12 years of medical studies. The BEST way to get started in the medical field is to choose an entry level position that you can easily prepare for in 2023.

At Careers Unlimited, our courses take anywhere from 5 weeks to 5 months to complete. That’s it! Once completed, you can easily pursue certification and start looking for a job. What if you could leave your current position and start earning MORE in the job of your dreams, all by the time Christmas rolls around again? If you choose a career like clinical medical assistant or phlebotomist, chances are you CAN!

Prioritize flexibility.

You work. You may have a family. Your life is already busy. If concerns about your schedule have kept you from kickstarting your new career in previous years, it may be time to rethink what is required to prepare for the medical field.

At Careers Unlimited, we offer high-quality training that allows you to study at your own pace. That means you can choose from evening or even Saturday classes, tap into career support services that make finding a job easier, and more! A great career does NOT have to mean years of study. Let us show you how!

Insist on quality.

Any healthcare career, even that of network support specialist, involves people’s health and wellbeing. If you are going to help people achieve their maximum health potential, you need to be highly-trained and thoroughly prepared for the demands of your new job. Here are a few ways Careers Unlimited ensures that you receive the training you deserve:

  • Mentors with years of experience
  • Comprehensive classes
  • Hands-on experience
  • Clinical practice
  • In-depth job readiness training

Don’t just enter the medical field. Enter it prepared to succeed with the tools, knowledge, and experience you need to give patients the best possible care.

Make sure your course is affordable.


Your dream career shouldn’t not leave you buried under mountains of debt. If concerns about finances have prevented you from switching jobs, then you may not have been looking in the right places.

At Careers Unlimited, we believe that you should graduate without entering excessive debt. That is why we offer flexible financing options that include paying only $59 a month (for those who qualify). We also offer scholarships and personalized financial aid packages. We want to see you succeed, so we make sure our courses are within your financial reach.

Stop waiting to pursue your new career.

Doctor applying tourniquet on patient's hand for taking blood sample from vein in hospital

If time and money were no longer obstacles, would you still be going to your dead-end job every day? If the answer is no, then it might be time to start with Careers Unlimited. Now is the time to make 2023 the year you pursue a new career in an in-demand field. Apply today or learn more about the flexible, affordable courses we can offer you! From our patient care technician course to our hybrid phlebotomy course, we have the tools you need to thrive!

What are the key factors to consider when choosing an LVN program?

Group of students in corridor of medical university

A career in nursing can be emotionally rewarding and financially lucrative. In the US and Europe, nurses are one of the most respected professionals.

Before you can embark on your career as a vocational nurse, you need to acquire the required qualification and pass a qualifying exam. The first step, of course, is to enroll in a nursing school.

Finding the right nursing school or LVN program can be challenging, especially since lots of options are available. Before you zero in on a particular school, there are some specific factors you should consider.

State approval

Make sure that the school and the program are approved by the state board of nursing. The school should have received its approval from the state board of nursing. This is by far the most important thing.

State approval is crucial because if the school has not received approvals, students graduating from there cannot take the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) exam. To complete the program successfully, you have to take this exam in the state where you want to work. Without approval, you cannot take this test or earn your license.

Another advantage of choosing an approved nursing school is that its faculty will be qualified enough to ensure that each student graduating from their school has acquired all the skills required to practice as a licensed vocational nurse.

What’s more, they will prepare the students for NCLEX. Keep in mind that if you cannot take the NCLEX exam, all the months and years that you invested in acquiring a nursing education will go down the drain. Hence before enrolling, ask if the school has received state approval.


Accreditation is just as important as state approval. In some states, if you complete the program from a state-approved school and successfully pass the NCLEX, you can receive the license even if your degree is unaccredited. However, this is not the case in some other states.

Hence, to ensure that you will not run into problems in the future should you decide to move to another state, get your degree from an accredited nursing school. Employers prefer nurses with accredited degrees because they believe that an accredited program imparts more knowledge. What’s more, an accredited nursing degree enables you to opt for further education.

So, for example, if you aspire to be a nurse midwife, nurse educator, or nurse anesthetist in the future after working as a vocational nurse for a while, by all means, get a degree from an accredited nursing school.

NCLEX Passage Rates

Before enrolling in a school, take a quick look at the number of students who clear the NCLEX exam in each batch. While it is true that the results of individual students depend on the amount of time and effort they put in, it is also an indicator of how good the curriculum is and how dedicated the nursing faculty members are.

If the curriculum is good and faculty members are committed to helping the students pass the exam, the results will certainly be good. Schools that have high pass percentages will definitely display that information in their brochures and on their websites.

So, you don’t have to do much research to find out whether their students are passing the test or not.

If you cannot find the passage rates, be sure to ask the enrollment personnel for this number. The national average NCLEX passing percentage is currently 84% for individuals who graduate with an associate degree and around 90% for those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree.


The curriculum should be prepared in accordance with the current academic standards. You should also ensure that the class requirements and curriculum are flexible enough to give you enough time to complete any papers or projects on time. This is important for people who are working or have a family to take care of.

Clinical opportunities

Rehab for elderly people.

Aspiring nurses need to receive adequate numbers of clinical opportunities. Keep in mind that some nursing schools provide far more clinical hours than others. This hands-on experience makes you more confident in your skills.

It will even help you find that first job. You should also check whether you will have opportunities to practice in more than one hospital. Another important factor is the kind of opportunities you will have. Ideally, you should have the opportunity to practice in surgical, maternity, community, and psychiatric wards.


aerial shot of marker pointing on the streets of europe city during sunset

How important is the location to you? Traditional nursing schools offer classes on campus. That means you have to visit the campus every day. Make sure that the campus is close to your home. If it is not, it is important to ensure that viable living options are available nearby.

If the commute takes long hours, it could affect your study time. Hybrid nursing schools may allow you to live away from the campus as they offer a combination of online and in-person classes. You should still have to attend some in-person classes.

The main advantage of choosing a hybrid school is the flexibility it offers. However, don’t forget that learning the concepts is easier in the traditional classroom as you have the opportunity to clear any doubts as they arise and connect better with your classmates.

However, hybrid classes are ideal for people who already have another job and cannot afford to attend class regularly in person. Check how frequently you will need to attend those classes. It is equally important to check whether the clinical opportunities will be available close to where you live.

For most students, a school in their neighborhood is the right option. However, some may want to relocate. Regardless of where you learn, make sure that the school you choose will prepare you adequately for the NCLEX.

Class size

Group of smart medical students with gadgets in college

If there are too many students in the class, the faculty members will not be able to give adequate attention to each student. This can affect their preparation. By contrast, in a smaller class, you have more opportunities to ask doubts and get them cleared.


Make sure that the faculty members are approachable, knowledgeable, and patient. They should know what they are teaching. Each teacher should have some background in the subject they are teaching.

Also, they should be committed to helping their students pass NCLEX upon their graduation. See if you can have a meeting with the faculty members before you enroll.


A doller bills in a wallet

Cost is an important factor, but it should not be the most important consideration when choosing a nursing school or LVN program. However, the cost can be the decisive factor for you if you already have a family to support and cannot afford to spend a lot of money on nursing education.

Or you may have just completed high school and lack any savings. A cheap school is not worth your time or money if it cannot prepare you for NCLEX.

Generally speaking, the cost of a nursing program depends on a variety of factors such as the length and type of the curriculum, the type of the school, the scholarship or work programs offered by the school, and the financial assistance you qualify for.

Now that you know what to look for in a nursing school, choosing the right one should be easy. Regardless of where you study, remember that your success largely depends on your commitment to your studies. Choosing a good school and an accredited program is still important because they make you better prepared for your exams and future career.

What Does a Nurse Assistant Do? Top Reasons To Become One

Hospital Ward: Friendly Male Nurse Talks to Beautiful Female Patient Resting in Bed. Male Nurse or Physician Uses Tablet Computer, Does Checkup, Woman Recovering after Successful Surgery

What Does a Nurse Assistant Do? Top Reasons to Become One.

A certified nursing assistant helps patients with their day-to-day activities by providing basic care. Many of them work under a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) in hospitals or nursing homes.

In most cases, the nursing assistant is the primary caregiver for the patient they work with. Needless to say, this job requires a lot of empathy and understanding.

What does a nurse assistant do?

Nurse and elderly women in light room

Nursing assistants perform a variety of jobs. For example, they are responsible for measuring the vital signs of a patient. They also help bedridden patients eat, bathe, and get dressed. A CNA is usually the main contact for the patient throughout the day. They spend hours with the patient and offer them all the emotional support they need.

Depending upon institutional regulations, a nursing assistant may also have to assume additional responsibilities, such as administering medicine. The job of a nursing assistant is emotionally rewarding because of their ability to enhance the quality of life of their patients.

After working as a certified nursing assistant for a few years, you have the option to pursue a career in nursing. Registered nurses can earn much more than nursing assistants.

A nursing assistant’s job is a little different from that of a medical assistant. CNAs work in hospitals and nursing homes and are responsible for giving direct care to their patients. They work under a registered nurse. Medical assistants perform both clinical and administrative jobs whereas nursing assistants are primarily involved with patient care.

Some of them may also perform administrative jobs like scheduling appointments and entering patient data correctly into the system. However, administrative jobs are rarely the primary concern of a nursing assistant.

Certified nursing assistants are also not the same as registered or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). To work as a CNA you only need some training and certification. LPNs, on the other hand, have to take some additional classes and pass the licensing exam NCLEX.

What qualifications are required to be a CNA?

Young female doctor and practitioner working at the reception desk, she is answering phone calls and scheduling appointments

A high school diploma or its equivalent is the minimum qualification required to be a CNA. To be certified, you also have to complete an education program approved by the state.

CNA training programs are usually available at community colleges, high schools, hospitals, and vocational schools. You can complete the training in just three weeks.

The training program will teach you many of the basic skills required for a nurse. For example, you will learn how to check the vital signs of patients and administer CPR. You will also learn to move patients safely, care for their personal hygiene, and ensure their safety. Working as a CNA is a highly rewarding job.

It gives you an opportunity to make a difference to sick people and spread a smile on their faces. Some people choose a job in this field to see whether nursing is the right calling for them. This is particularly important because, to be an RN or an LPN, you have to invest considerably more time and money. If you do not enjoy your job as a CNA, you will not enjoy being a nurse either.

The job of a CNA can be demanding at times. You have to pay constant attention to the needs of your patients. This is particularly critical for CNAs working in settings like hospitals, where a medical emergency can occur at any time.

A good CNA should possess the following qualities.


Asian caregiver doctor using digital pressure gauge measuring blood pressure of elderly woman patient Young female nurse in uniform gives consultation during home visit.

As a CNA, you are providing care to a patient who may be going through a difficult health situation. You should be able to win their trust and make them comfortable so that they can confide in you. You should possess good listening skills and empathy.


You have to follow the patient’s treatment plan to ensure their speedy recovery. This requires attention to detail and patience.

Good time management

Oftentimes, you are working with multiple patients and receive little supervision. You have to be properly organized to be able to provide optimal care to your patients.

Ability to perform under stress

In the medical field, emergencies can happen at any time. A CNA should be able to act calmly in such situations without further elevating the stress levels of the patient or their relatives.

Good observational skills

As a nursing assistant, you are the primary care provider for your patient. That means you spend more time with them than with their nurse or doctor. This close proximity to the patient also enables you to notice and report even minute changes to their physical or mental health.

Career path

young caregiver helping elderly woman on wheelchair

For many people, working as a nursing assistant is their entry point to a more lucrative nursing profession. This job will give you hands-on experience and teach you many skills required for nurses. When you work as a nursing assistant, you will understand what it is like to work in the healthcare sector. Needless to say, many CNAs eventually choose to become LPNs or RNs.

A nursing assistant is a crucial part of the healthcare team. An efficient nursing assistant plays a major role in ensuring that the patient has a speedy recovery. As they spend hours with the patient on a regular basis, they are in a position to give the patient much-needed emotional support in addition to physical care.

CNAs work under the supervision of a medical professional or a registered nurse. Their job includes attending to the basic needs of multiple patients on any given day. They have to provide help with bathing, dressing, and eating. They are also responsible for moving the patient safely and recording their vital signs.

In addition, it is their duty to ensure that the patient consumes adequate amounts of food and water. They are also required to report any changes in the emotional or physical condition of the patient to the doctor. An experienced nursing assistant can assume additional responsibilities such as dispensing medicine.

In order to be a nursing assistant, you have to complete a certificate program approved by your state. Requirements can vary from state to state. In general, these certificate programs will involve classroom learning, and on-the-job training. After completing the exam, you have to take a competency test.

Those who have passed the competency test are then placed on the registry of certified nursing assistants maintained by their state. They can start looking for employment opportunities in nursing homes, hospitals, or other healthcare centers.

In certain states, there may be additional requirements. For example, they may perform a background check or require the CNA to undergo training throughout their career.

What are the career prospects for a nursing assistant?

Employment opportunities for nursing assistants are expected to increase over the coming years. According to some studies, in 2014, the number of certified nursing assistants was over 1.5 million. By 2024, the number of job opportunities is expected to increase by 17%.

The US population is aging. The situation is not different in other countries either. An aging population requires more assistance with their day-to-day lives, and this increases the job opportunities available for nursing assistants.

So if you are looking for a job in the healthcare sector and enjoy caring for sick people, getting certified as a nursing assistant is the first step to a rewarding career. In three to five weeks, you can complete the certification and get ready to work as a primary care provider.