If you are considering CNA training, but haven’t looked into the details yet, you should be aware of the fact that potential employers after CNA training will require background checks. Yes, a career as a certified nursing assistant is one which demands a past that is untarnished by questionable behavior, a criminal record, or even traffic violations such as a DUI. Why do potential employers require a background check? Isn’t it enough that you’ve completed your CNA training? Unfortunately, no.
Wherever you are applying, whether it’s with a medical facility, a nursing home, or even for a private home, you’ll be required to provide more than your CNA training information. You’ll also need to show that you are an upstanding citizen. A background check not only reveals the details of you past, but it also reveals a bit about your personality as well. How so?
CNA Training & Your Background Check
For a minute, let’s try to think like a potential employer. Let’s say I’m looking for a caregiver for my elderly parent. I look through your resume and I see that you’ve passed your CNA training with flying colors. In fact, you were in the top 2% of your CNA training class, of over 25 students. Great. Then I proceeded with the next step and interviewed you. You’re a mother of three, you seem intelligent, personable, and have a great sense of humor. I feel like my mom will really like you. Now, just one more thing. Let’s take a look at your background check.
I open the envelope to find that you’ve been arrested twice. Once when you were 19 on check fraud charges and once more recently for a DUI. Suddenly, you don’t seem like such a great candidate to me. I mean, after all, this is my mother and I only want the best and most trustworthy person. The check fraud charges make me wonder if you’d consider stealing from my mother. The DUI charge causes concern because you may need to drive my mother to a doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store. What if you still have a problem with alcohol? What if you’d drink on the job? How can I be sure my mother would be well cared for? Do you see the reasoning here?
CNA training is important and graduating at the top of your class is certainly commendable, but CNA’s are responsible for the care of a human being, so ethics and morals are just as important as your nursing skills.
CNA Training: Can You Ever Get Past A Tarnished Past?
If you are still determined to take your CNA training and pursue a career as a nursing assistant, even with a tarnished past, your best bet is to be upfront and honest with your potential new employer. Don’t wait until they run a background check and find out for themselves. Sit down and discuss the matter right from your first interview. Don’t bring it up as the first thing. Talk about your skills, your CNA training, how you love working with patients, and answer any questions your interviewer has. Then, before the interview is completed, bring up the issue in a very matter of fact manner. Say something like, “I’m sure you will be doing a background check and I just wanted to let you know right up front that I’ve had a few problems in my past. I’m past those difficulties now, but of course, my record remains.” Then, let them know what the charges or the “tarnished” parts of your past are. If you are up front and honest, you may be surprised at the willingness of people to give you a second chance. The most important part is to be honest.
On a final note, before signing up for CNA training classes, check the regulations of a few places you are interested in working for. If it’s a state agency and you have a DUI, or have been charged with harassment or theft you may be barred from ever being hired. This may seem overly strict, but keep in mind that CNAs work with extremely vulnerable individuals and both the state and the facility must ensure that the patients won’t be abused or taken advantage of.
You can overcome your past. Your CNA training coupled with a positive reputation from here on out will go a long way.
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