home health aideThe healthcare industry is one of the largest in our country. It is constantly growing and always needs more dedicated and passionate individuals to join in and help out. Home healthcare is a subset of that massive umbrella, and it currently employs about 2.5 million professionals. If you’re thinking of joining the ranks and becoming a state tested nursing assistant (STNA), there is a number of things you’ll learn during your time training — and we don’t just mean physical skills.

Yes, you’re going to be educated on basic first aid. Yes, you’re going to be required to take CPR classes, and yes, you’re going to learn some form of physical therapy. However, there are other aspects of life that being a home health aid can teach you about; although those life-saving skills certainly have value, they aren’t necessarily the most important things in life. Here are three things you’ll learn through your pursuit of STNA certification (and beyond) that will undoubtedly enrich your life.

  • Compassion: Doing your duty is one thing, but doing it with a sense of understanding about your patients’ situations is something else entirely. Starting out can be tricky — your patients may be resistant to your presence, angry, or simply a lot to handle. You need to remember that, although this is simply a job to you, it is their life and their home. When you gain an understanding of how difficult accepting help can be and remain kind and compassionate, you will have learned one of the most valuable traits a person in this world can have.
  • Patience: Patience is hard for most people to grasp, but it will certainly be tested after you’ve completed your STNA certification and start dealing with your own patients. People are stubborn; they hate admitting they need assistance, and that frustration often leads to anger and cruel outbursts. During your time as a home health aide, you’ll have to learn to be the bigger person. Do not take anything your patients say personally — they’re upset with their situation, not you. If you can maintain your professionalism and positive attitude, you may even find yourself making friends with those obstinate patients who refused all help when you first arrived.
  • Appreciation: This skill will benefit you as a two-way street. You will be able to appreciate your patients’ positions, thereby furthering and deepening your understanding and compassion towards them, and you will jointly learn to appreciate your own life as it is. Some patients will need a lot of help doing even the most basic tasks, reminding you of how much you may take for granted.

Your job and studies may be tough at times, but if you ever find yourself struggling on your path to STNA certification, just remember: if you shower them with kindness, you can’t fail.