When you go for your CNA license you may have it in your mind that there is only one type of job you can get – nursing home aid. It is true that the majority of open positions are located in nursing homes but this is not your only choice. I too thought that I had only one real option. However, after being so long in this field I can tell you where you can look if you find that working in nursing homes just isn’t your thing.
One fantastic option where you can put your skills to good use is as a home health worker. Most agencies will take on employees that are non-licensed but they pay less, so don’t skip your certification classes. The hours are usually pretty good and you almost can set your own if need be. In nursing homes you have a huge amount of patients to care for, but with home health you have only a couple regulars that you get to know and come to love. The money can also be pretty good if you can get a gig in a private pay agency. This is where you want to be!
Another place to use your certification is in a hospital. While these jobs can be hard to come by they are worth searching out. The money is fantastic and the benefits are nothing to sneeze at either. Plus, in a hospital your duties are totally different than in a nursing home. Sure you may have to give baths and change diapers, but the diapers are not always on adults for once! There are several areas for you to work in a hospital and the bulk of the job is taking vitals and answering call bells. It is a cake job and this is why the turnover is so low. Don’t let that stop you from trying though! Go for the gold!
Next in line are doctor’s offices. Again, these can be hard to come by but are totally worth the effort to get one. A doctors office is probably the highest paying place for CNA’S there is. Again, this is why the turnover is so low. The perks are huge though so keep submitting applications and cross your hard working fingers!
Finally, if you really want to be independent you can become self employed. Of course you could start your own home health company, but that takes a ton of work and there is so much red tape to cut through that if your own company is not a true passion for you, you want to skip this. Instead, advertise on craiglist.com, your local newspaper and social networking sites. Post ads around town and pass yourself around by word of mouth that you are on the market for private care. This is a very competitive field so do not ever have a set price. The key is feeling out what the client can pay and what others are charging for the same job. Trust me; I have experience in this area. I have both hired and been hired in this area. Here are two stories from each side of the fence:
- During my time in the home health sector I lost one of my clients and needed to supplement my income. Since there were no clients in my agency to be had, I advertised that I was looking for a private care patient. A gentleman called me about his uncle who needed help at home. He said that everyone he spoke with was charging $13 to $15 per hour. So to land the job I put in my bid for $10 per hour. For the work I was needed for I honestly thought this was a fair wage; especially since it was under the table. I worked for this man for 2 months until he passed and in that time I was pulling in $200 per week for 20 hours per week. Not bad at all!
- My mother-in-law needed a CNA to take the hours that the state would not pay for. We advertised on craigslist and found someone who was willing to work for what we could afford to pay which was $7 per hour. Even though our minimum wage is $7.55 per hour, this was a great deal seeing that the hours were plentiful and in the long run she was making more since it was non-taxed. Again, not a bad deal.
So, if the nursing home life is not for you, do not despair for there are many other opportunities awaiting the person who is willing to put themselves out there!
Expert Contribution by Tanya Glover, CNA
She writes candidly about the things she encounters while working as a CNA. Some of her popular articles include Goldilocks and the Three Nursing Assistants and Nursing Home Personalities 101