Employee Spotlights

What does a CNA do? Is it hard? (part 3)



The Nursing Assistant is “the most important job” at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), says Dan Lindh, CEO and President. In this CNA series, witness Johanna’s journey as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

By Johanna Fenton, Communication Specialist and Certified Nursing Assistant

Last time I showed just how quick and easy it is to become a CNA through OnTrack. Today I want to share about the longer journey ahead. It’s hard but definitely worth it.

Have you ever heard the story about the race between the turtle and the rabbit?

Slow and steady. Endurance will win this race every time. This is the journey of delivering service excellence – day in and day out.

Just as keynote speaker and author Dr. Bryan Williams inspires us at PHS, we’ve got to set our minds and turn our hearts to “spread love every day.”

Bryan explains, “If you are serving others, then you are in the love business. To love means ‘to care deeply for’, and every customer, on some level, wants to be cared for … to know that whoever happens to be serving them cares about their well-being.”

Now here’s how I feel (watch):

What does a CNA do, exactly?

By definition, a nursing assistant supports nurses and cares for residents’ needs in daily living. That can look like:

  • Taking vital signs
  • Assisting with meals
  • Supporting mobility and comfort
  • Grooming and hygiene care
  • Light housekeeping
  • Documenting and reporting to the nurse

Here’s a quick read I appreciate for its honesty and positivity: The Hard Truth – 11 Common Questions and Totally Honest Answers

Here’s another that explains three ways a nursing assistant makes an immediate, positive difference in people’s daily lives: Making a Difference as a CNA

Is it hard?

Yes! Being a nursing assistant is hard work. The role could easily become a list of daily tasks to check off one by one.

But that’s not the whole picture. My coworker Victoria Hadley said it best in a recent interview, “Find friendship and grow professionally at PHS”:

”At the nursing home I worked at before … you were just there to get people up, put them to bed and take them to the bathroom. You hit the floor running and you didn’t stop until you were done.

“At Presbyterian Homes, yes, we’re busy, but we’re a different kind of busy.”

I agree, and I believe that as a PHS nursing assistant you can find fulfillment in:

  • a calling to serve
  • a mentor who supports you
  • teammates who are committed and kind
  • moments of pure joy that reward and keep you coming back!

In my next story, I’d like to share about a moment of pure joy I experienced at the end of a busy shift. Stay tuned by subscribing to the Perspectives blog today.

Finally, friends, the PHS ministry has a great need for caregivers.

So, if you have an interest, I strongly encourage you to reflect and, if you feel comfortable, pray. Contact PHS to learn more about the many opportunities to serve at a location near you. Share this news with your family and friends, too!

Johanna Fenton is a communication specialist who also serves in long-term care. She wants to help others discover the rewarding path of becoming a nursing assistant with PHS!

You might also like:



Get news, stories and updates weekly on PHS communities, residents and employees, plus resourceful information on living well!

More stories