It is an old proverb that advances the idiom, “One must learn to walk before one can learn to run.” Simply stated, gathering the prerequisite skills before advancing in one’s field or avocation is the key to knowing the ins-and-outs of a future career. For prospective nursing students who are contemplating entering the medical field, there are some pretty compelling reasons to beginning their registered nursing (RN) career as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). From gaining a thorough understanding of the work-a-day world of a professional nurse to discovering whether or not they have the aptitude to stomach such a demanding career, the CNA position is an excellent proving ground for would-be nurses.
While there are many differences between a nursing and nursing assistant program, they do have several characteristics in common. As a result, students who have already obtained their NA certification have a competitive advantage to those with no medical background at all.
Similar Duties and Responsibilities
One of the best ways to learn whether a person will enjoy working in a particular profession is to expose them to the duties and responsibilities of the job. Needless to say, there is a great deal of overlap between the duties of a registered nurse and to those of a certified nursing assistant. From exposure to a similar working environment to comparable daily duties like caring after and monitoring of patient’s medical conditions, working as a CNA is a wonderful proving ground for those candidates looking to attend an accredited registered nursing program. Duties such as monitoring patients’ blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, waste output, and fluid intake are just a few examples of the tasks a RN will already have learned from being a CNA. In short, working as a CNA offers an excellent glimpse into the knowledge and ability required to pursue a nursing career while getting paid for their efforts.
Personal Skills of the Successful RN and CNA
In addition to the breadth of knowledge required to successfully pursue a career in nursing, the successful nurse demands a particular temperament to suggest the candidate will thrive in the medical environment. The same is true of certified nursing assistants. There are many things that are not taught in a classroom, and experiencing them on a day to basis is the only way to determine whether the emotional skill sets of a particular nursing candidate are adequate to a career in nursing. For instance, such personal skills as empathy, patience, good communication, and time management are all integral parts of the nurse’s world and the successful CNA career provides daily opportunities to hone those skills. Finally, working in the medical field requires a strong stomach and working as a certified nursing assistant offers all the chances in the world to determine whether their stomach is up to the task.
A Competitive Advantage
Even in an employment environment that is searching for suitable candidates to fill the many positions open in the United States healthcare field, an even more competitive drive is afoot to fill the nation’s nursing schools. Typically speaking, nursing school admission boards are looking to fill coveted seats with motivated candidates, and they view those prospects who already hold a certified nursing assistant certificate as being well on their way to proving that they have earned a spot in a competitive academic program.
CNA Certification Offers a Career Leg Up
There are many paths to success in the medical field and all of them are built on the building a bank of continuous knowledge, skills, and experience. As mentioned above, “One must learn to walk before one can learn to run,” and beginning that career in a CNA program is a great place to begin those wobbly, hesitant steps. Once mastered, newly minted CNAs can easily transition those skills to a more advanced registered nursing program. Combined with the skills earned on the job as a CNA, an RN candidate is much more likely to succeed in both the classroom and hospital ward. Even though the workload, program length, tuition cost, and level of difficulty are all increased in an RN program, the best way to prepare for it is by attending a “mini version” first.
More Americans are feeling stressed out than ever before, and this is fantastic news for massage therapists and others who work in the stress-reduction business. Advancing technology, a demanding economy and the ever-increasing tempo of modern life have put a lot of pressure on people, and for many of them, regular massage therapy is the best release. This state of affairs, though uncomfortable for many of the people who feel they need weekly massages to release some of the tension they feel, is good news for the nation’s 350,000 massage therapists. These client bases have been expanding for decades with no end in sight.
It’s a Stressful World
The numbers are stark: At least half of all adults in America reported feeling “overwhelmed, anxious or nervous” when asked about their levels of stress. A whopping 94 percent of the same group reported feeling at least one symptom of severe stress in the past year, while another 45 percent told survey takers they have experienced depression, which is a common – and potentially dangerous – outcome of living with chronic stress.
It’s no wonder so many people are suffering. Sources of stress abound, even for the most tranquil, modern person. In early, 21st-century America, anyone can be reached at any time. Work and school schedules have only gotten more demanding, and factors outside of any individual’s power to alter are brought home every night on television. Add to that the general stress of living in a dangerous world and the specific stresses related to at-home concerns, such as health insurance for kids, senior care for elderly parents and expensive repairs for the car, and it’s actually surprising people aren’t reporting more stress.
The Astonishing Growth of Massage Therapy
This has opened up a world of opportunities for massage therapists, who are often the only line of defense against the toll stress can take on the body. The massage industry has grown far faster since the turn of the century than anyone could have predicted. In 2005, most industry watchers predicted a rise in demand over the next decade that would make massage and related therapies a $6 billion business by 2015. In the event, massage therapy alone was a $12 billion business in 2015, and the demand has only been increasing since.
Massage Therapy Goes Beyond Dollars and Cents
Therapeutic massage has matured into a genuine growth industry. It also has the advantage, unlike other rapidly growing industries like tech or manufacturing, of being impossible to outsource overseas. Massage’s unique combination of growth and stability would make it an attractive choice of career for ambitious young people, even if there were no other advantages to it. Today’s massage therapists have the additional satisfaction of feeling they are making a difference in the lives of their clients.
Massage fills an essential role in a world where people feel beset on all sides by stress, and where there often isn’t a viable mechanism for healing in most people’s lives. Apart from its virtues as a profitable business, massage therapy is a career devoted to easing the burdens people carry with them and helping them live longer, healthier lives. By enrolling in an accredited academy and learning the skills to succeed in this booming field, today’s massage therapists are earning more than just a comfortable living; they are earning a rewarding place in the lives of the people they treat.
Nursing is one of the largest growing occupations in the U.S. today and is expected to continue to grow faster than most professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024.” Despite this enormous growth, there is still a huge shortage of nurses and nursing assistants in the workforce. How is this possible, one might ask? The supply simply cannot keep up with the aggressive demand.
Why the Growing Demand for Nurses?
The increasing demand for nurses and nursing assistants has been growing at a higher rate than ever before. Several factors contribute to this phenomenon including expanded responsibilities, healthcare reform and most importantly, the aging population.
An Aging Population
The average life expectancy in the U.S. is 76.5 for men and 81.2 for women – approximately 10 years higher than it was in 1960. With an increase in senior citizens comes an increase in healthcare needs. The National Council on Aging reports that about 80 percent of senior citizens have a chronic health condition – 68 percent have two. These elderly patients need nurses and nursing assistants to provide them with care whether it is in a hospital, doctor’s office, assisted living facility, or in their own home.
Not only nurses, but nursing assistants, medical assistants and patient care technicians help hospitals and doctor’s offices run more smoothly. They handle all of the administrative tasks such as answering phones and scheduling appointments, but they are also becoming more experienced in clinical duties. Administering an IV, drawing blood from the external jugular vein and inserting nasogastric tubes are all nurse’s tasks that once had to be performed by a doctor. This increase in nurse responsibility allows physicians to focus on more critical duties such as operations or examinations. Their expansion of responsibilities is also proof of the growing doctor-nurse relationship. Most doctors will say that nurses are now seen as essential members of a team instead of subordinate employees.
There is debate about whether or not the Affordable Care Act has had a noteworthy impact on the demand for nurses and nursing assistants. Most healthcare professionals as well as the American Nurses Association agree, however, that the act gave millions of previously uninsured Americans access to healthcare services. And, with more people utilizing medical services than ever before, the need for medical personnel has drastically elevated.
Mid-level Personnel Also in Demand
Registered Nurses (RNs) are not the only in-demand healthcare provider. Hospital boards have been hiring more and more mid-level personnel like nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) for everyday patient care needs because they can pay them less than physicians. Mid-level healthcare providers take much less time achieving their degree than someone pursuing an MD, and they are just as capable of performing most patient care tasks. The Emory University School of Medicine even says, “PAs can do 85 percent of what physicians can do.”
Why Such a Shortage of Nurses?
If the demand for nurses is so high, and the profession is growing at such a fast pace, then how is there such a deep shortage? For a number of complicated reasons, the current and future supply of nurses cannot keep up with the evolving, urgent demand.
As the population ages, so do the nurses. Roughly one-third of all registered nurses in the U.S. are over the age of 50. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, over 500,000 nurses are expected to retire by 2022. This would not be concerning if these nurses were being replaced by new ones at the same rate, but many facilities are reluctant to do this. Hospital administrators tend to feel more comfortable with a seasoned nurse as opposed to a recent graduate with little experience.
Inadequate Amount of Schools and Teachers
The biggest contributing factor to the nursing shortage is the insufficient number of nursing schools and qualified professors. A report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing stated, “U.S. nursing schools turned away 79,659 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2012 due to insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.” There simply aren’t enough teaching facilities to train all of the potential nurses, which is a huge issue. In order to create new facilities, administrators must find qualified teachers who are either practicing medical professionals or have a doctorate in a relevant field. Expecting an existing nurse or PA to take time away from their job to teach is unrealistic, and it takes many years waiting for new faculty to finish their degrees.
Is there a Solution?
There is no question that there will always be an immense demand for nurses in the U.S. They provide emotional support to patients and their families, and they work alongside physicians as integral members of the medical team more so than ever before. Increasing the number of nursing schools and training facilities, particularly in rural areas, is absolutely essential to impacting the nation’s shortage. There have been campaigns aimed at increasing faculty in rural areas by providing incentives to recent graduates who choose to teach in those areas. With the aging population and healthcare reform, no single solution will end the shortage of nurses in the near future.
A shortage of nurses is gripping Georgia, and all hospitals are looking for medical assistants, a source says. One key factor fueling Atlanta’s nursing shortage is that the city’s population “is growing fairly rapidly, and our elderly population is growing fairly rapidly.”
Hospital systems across Georgia confirm that there’s a shortage of MAs & PCTs in the state.
“There is absolutely a nursing shortage in Georgia, and a larger shortage is looming on the horizon,’’ says Ninfa Saunders, president and CEO of Navicent Health in Macon. “This shortage seems to be one of the most significant and continues to worsen.’’
There is not an equivalent nationwide shortage, says Peter Buerhaus, a health care workforce expert at Montana State University. He says there are scattered reports of local shortages, “but not a uniform overall national outbreak as we used to see back in the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s.’’
Georgia has about 69,000 employed RNs (not including advanced practice registered nurses), who average about $63,000 in pay annually, according to 2015 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other organizations put the number of active RNs in Georgia at 80,000 to more than 90,000.
While some experts say a lack of nurses is a perennial problem in Georgia, others see the current hiring period as particularly bad, and they expect things to get worse.
“I have been in nursing for over 30 years,’’ says Jacqueline Herd, chief nursing officer at Grady Health System in Atlanta. “Those of us who have been in practice for a while have seen nursing shortages come and go. However, this is expected to be the worst ever.”
Another Atlanta-area hospital executive says “the nursing shortage is back – with a vengeance.”
Rise in retirements contributes to shortage
Meanwhile, Fort, who works for Accountable Healthcare Staffing, sees a strong national demand for travel nurses. Her company has up to 11,000 job openings now, she says. “Historically, it’s very high.’’
The RN supply problem here and elsewhere is driven by several factors, nurses say.
One issue is the retirement of older nurses.
Peter McMenamin, senior policy adviser at the American Nurses Association, says, “What we see evolving is the loss of experienced nurses, particularly those who entered the profession in the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. There was a substantial increase in funding for nursing education in 1971-1973. Those nurses are or soon will be retiring, and there aren’t as many somewhat less experienced nurses to step up into those jobs.‘’
Nationwide, there are roughly 1 million nurses who are approaching retirement, McMenamin says.
A major factor in retirements is that hospital nurses are finding the job tougher than ever. RNs working at the bedside are dealing with the reality of America’s aging population. The typical patient is likely to be older and sicker than in the past.
“Patients are living longer, getting sicker and, in many cases, suffering from multiple chronic illnesses, says Jill Case-Wirth, chief nursing executive at WellStar Health System, the state’s largest hospital system.
“The baby boomer population [people born between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s] is aging and requiring more health care services — orthopedics, cardiology, pulmonary,’’ says Janis Dubow, chief nursing officer at Northside Hospital.
As a massage therapist, you’ll have the freedom to work in medical facilities, alternative health centers, vacation resorts — or simply work for yourself.
Massage Therapy Certification Training Program in Gainsville, GA
Are you ready for a career, where you can enjoy the freedom of being your own boss, set your own hours, and have the satisfaction of helping people feel better and lead healthier lives? Woodruff Medical can help you achieve your dream. Contact us today to learn more about our Massage Therapy Certification program!Location: Gainesville CampusMassage therapy is a rapidly growing profession. In fact, massage therapy (an alternative healthcare specialty) is becoming main-stream and as a massage therapist you can:
Work part time or full time, and choose your own hours
Make money doing something that you’re good at
Sign up for duty on a cruise ship, and see the world
Work your way up to luxury settings in high-end spas
Team up with a chiropractor and open a practice
Have the satisfaction of offering relief to people in pain
Financial Aid available to those who qualify and private financing available! We’re excited about the prospect of helping you to move forward in this exciting and rewarding career.
At Woodruff, your thorough training and practical experience will get you ready for your certification exam and licensing. We’ll be glad to explain how it all works.
754 Clock Hours Certificate Program/Residential Method of Instruction: This course is taught through a series of classroom lecture, hands-on laboratory training, and clinical instruction. The objective of the Therapeutic Massage Therapy Program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in the field of Massage Therapy. A variety of job opportunities may be available to graduates of this program. As massage therapy is integrated more and more into the health care systems, entry-level jobs can be found in rehabilitation centers, physical therapy clinics, pain clinics and in medical offices for Neurology, Podiatry and Chiropractic. Jobs not related to health care directly can be found in spas and resorts, health clubs and on cruise ships. Many massage therapists operate independently. Students who successfully complete the Therapeutic Massage Therapy Program will possess the necessary skills to take and pass the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Body Work (NCBTMB) presented by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage. The student will be academically eligible to apply for licensure with the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy and become employed as a massage therapist. Upon successful completion of the program, graduates will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. Although this program is designed to prepare the student to take the certification exam, the Institute cannot guarantee the student will pass the exam or be approved by the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy for licensure.
Multi-Skilled – Medical Assisting Certificate Program
40.5 Credit Hours Certificate Program/Residential Method of Instruction: This course is taught through a series of classroom lecture, hands-on laboratory training, course preparation and homework assignments, and clinical externship instruction. The objective of the Medical Assisting Program is to prepare the student to assist physicians and nurses by performing administrative duties and basic clinical duties in an office or medical center. To meet this objective, instruction addresses subjects encompassing medical practice, medical law and ethics, medical communications, medical records, insurance, patient preparation and basic laboratory procedures and tests as well as total patient care. Upon completion of this program graduates will have entry level skills as medical assistants and qualify for positions in a variety of health care facilities. The Medical Assisting Program groups its program around knowledge and skills required for administrative medical assisting and clinical medical assisting. The program concludes with an externship in a medical facility.