As the baby boomer population is aging, there is a continuing need for quality retirement options, independent living facilities, assisted living options, and long-term nursing care.
How do you find a job in a long-term care nursing home? There are several entry-level options that require relatively short training programs that can be completed in 1 to 2 years. One is the Nursing Assistant. Nursing Assistants may also be called Nurses’ Aides, Certified Nurse’s Aides, Licensed Nursing Assistants, or other titles, according to your state’s Board of Nursing. Nursing Assistants usually report to Registered Nurses. They are responsible for helping patients with their basic needs, whether it is getting dressed in the morning, being pushed in a wheelchair, or helping them eat their meals.
Another option is becoming a Patient Care Technician. Patient Care Technicians are similar to nursing assistants, but receive more training and are able to carry out more responsibilities on the job. If you are considering either of these career fields, take a moment to read about some of the benefits of working in a nursing home.
Reason #1. You get to know your patients
If you think about many jobs in the nursing field, such as hospital jobs or jobs in medical offices, you realize that it might be hard to get to know your patients. Most patients just come in for a brief office visit or a short hospital stay, and before you know it, you have a new patient. But in long-term nursing homes, it is different. The patients you serve in long-term facilities may be staying there for weeks, months, or years. As a Licensed Nursing Assistant or Patient Care Technician, you can enjoy meaningful relationships with your patients over a long period of time.
Reason #2. Older people have a lot to share
Working with older patients can be very enlightening. Patients who have lived long lives may have stories, good advice, and interesting perspectives to share with you. Take the time to ask questions of your patients and find out about the things they did when they were younger. You may be surprised at how much you learn!
Reason #3. Your patients will appreciate you
Most patients who need help with their basic care—such as brushing their hair, getting dressed, and moving from place to place—are at a stage in life where they are dealing with a lot of frustration and loss of independence. Just being there for them can be hugely appreciated. Even small favors, like asking them if they want an extra drink or organizing their personal items can be a big help. Not all patients may express their appreciation, but being there for them in a time of need makes a huge difference.
Reason #4. You gain a new perspective on aging
If you are young, the concept of aging is hard to grasp, and at first, you might think that you don’t have the patience to work with older people. But it is a valuable life lesson to understand the aging process, and you can come to respect the things that people have gone through in their lives. Working with the elderly may also help you later in life, if your parents are aging and need your help.
Reason #5. You are often working with a great group of co-workers
Nursing is a field that attracts people who care about others. Many people have entered the field specifically because they want to help others. Working in this kind of work environment with other like-minded people can open the doors for new friends and mentors. Get to know your co-workers, and you may find that you are working with a great group of people.
With these five reasons in mind, take some time to consider whether you would like to pursue a career as a Licensed Nursing Assistant or Patient Care Technician. Both positions play an important part in delivering patient care services to the patients who need it most. We hope this article has made your decision easier for you.
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health in Manchester, NH, offers a Licensed Nursing Assistant training program and a Patient Care Technician program that prepare students for careers in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, long-term care facilities, private home care, and acute care hospitals. Contact us for more information about admissions, financial aid, and getting started at the Salter School of Nursing.