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What Does a CNA Do? Duties and Responsibilities of a Nursing Assistant


A certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a healthcare professional who provides basic care and support for patients in various settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, and home health agencies. CNAs typically work under the supervision of a registered nurse or other licensed healthcare professional.

Many individuals pursue a career in healthcare by becoming CNA. Some people may advance to more skilled posts, while others are content with the numerous advantages of being a CNA. It takes only four to ten weeks to finish the required education to become a certified nursing assistant (one who has completed a CNA certification exam).

This guide will discuss a certified nursing assistant’s job duties and responsibilities.

Roles / Duties of the Certified Nursing Assistant

The certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a vital member of the health care team. CNAs provide hands-on care to patients, assisting with activities of daily living and personal hygiene.

The duties of a CNA will vary depending on the specific needs of the patients they are caring for, but some important responsibilities include:

Monitor Patients’ Vital Signs

A CNA will also record a patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. This information is important for the nursing staff to get an idea of the patient’s general health and well-being.

Help With Basic Medical Treatments

Certified nursing assistant duties include basic medical procedures. This could include giving patients a bed bath, applying ice or heat packs, or changing bandages.

Record Patients’ Food and Fluid Intake

It is also important for CNAs to keep track of what patients eat and drink throughout the day. This information is used to help the nursing staff assess how well a patient is eating and if they are getting the proper nutrition.

Assist With Patient Mobility

Many patients need help moving around, and certified nursing assistants are often responsible for assisting them. This could involve helping a patient walk to the bathroom, getting them in and out of bed, or helping them turn over in bed.

Answer Patients’ Call Lights

In many facilities, patients have a “call light” that they can press to summon a nurse or CNA when they need help. CNA is responsible for answering these call lights on time and providing the patient’s assistance.

Provide Emotional Support

One of the essential duties of a CNA is to provide emotional support to patients. This can be a difficult task, as many patients are dealing with serious illnesses or injuries. However, CNAs must be compassionate and understanding to provide the best possible care for their patients.

Assist With Personal Care Needs Such As Bathing, Dressing, and Feeding Patients

Patients who are unable to care for themselves often need help with basic personal care needs like toileting, bathing, and grooming. CNAs typically provide this assistance, which can be challenging at times.

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Where Certified Nursing Assistants Can Work

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) provide basic care and support for patients in a variety of settings, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Clinics
  • Home health agencies

Nursing assistants are frequently employed in nursing homes and adult care facilities. CNAs may rarely work in clinical settings, but that doesn’t happen very often.

In the USA, Nursing homes employ the greatest number of certified nursing assistants at 38 percent in any case. If you live somewhere different, you may discover various facilities hiring CNAs to assist with care activities for patients.

As a CNA, you can work in environments and with populations you are interested in and most comfortable with.

Pros and Cons of CNA Work

There are both advantages and disadvantages to becoming a certified nursing assistant, as with any career. It is important to consider both sides before making a decision. Some of the pros include:

Quick entrance: CNAs can typically enter the workforce much quicker than registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs), as they do not need to complete a lengthy education program.

Flexible scheduling: CNAs can often create their schedules. Many facilities offer part-time and full-time positions and evening, night, and weekend shifts. This can be beneficial for students attending school or raising a family.

Job satisfaction: Many CNAs report feeling great satisfaction from their work. They enjoy helping others and think that they are making a difference in the lives of their patients.

Variety of work environments: There are a variety of work environments that CNAs can choose from, including hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. This can be beneficial for those who want to find an environment that is a good fit.

However, there are also some cons to becoming a CNA. These include:

  • The work is physically and emotionally demanding.
  • The hours can be long and irregular.
  • You will be working with sick and vulnerable patients.

Ultimately, whether or not to become a CNA is a personal one. Consider both the pros and cons before making a decision.

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The Career Path for A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

The career path for a certified nursing assistant job is varied and can lead to many different opportunities in the healthcare field.

Once you’ve completed your CNA program, the next step is to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and then get an associate’s degree in nursing, to become a registered nurse.

They may also decide to work as home health aides, personal care aides, or medical assistants. CNAs may also become certified nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, or nurse practitioners with further education and training.

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Qualities Required for Becoming an Excellent CNA

Certain qualities make a great CNA. These include:

  • Compassion: CNAs must be compassionate to provide quality care to their patients. They must be able to understand and empathize with their patients’ situations.
  • Patience: CNAs must be patient, as they will often deal with patients in pain or who are otherwise difficult to care for.
  • Communication skills: CNAs must have strong communication skills to communicate effectively with their patients and other healthcare team members.
  • Organizational skills: CNAs must be organized to keep track of their patients’ medications, treatments, and appointments.
  • Physical stamina: CNAs must be physically fit, as they will be required to lift and move patients. CNAs must also be able to stand for long periods.

If you are considering becoming a CNA, it is important to make sure that you have the necessary qualities according to the CNA job description.

Get Professional Training to Become a CNA

If you’re starting a career as a CNA, be sure to research the requirements in your state. Each state has different requirements for certification. Once you have completed the necessary training and education from Gabriel Health Institute, you will be well to a rewarding career helping others.