What does a CNA Do ?

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Is it in your nature to be caring for other people? Do you enjoy taking care of the people around you? Are you communicative, perceptive, and patient? If your answer to one or all of these questions is a yes, you might want to consider having a career in the medical industry as a certified nursing assistant. A certified nursing assistant, more commonly referred to as CNA, requires a person to have all of these characteristics. However, these are not the only things that a CNA must have. If you want the question: "what does a CNA do?" answered, then continue reading this article.

What does a CNA Do? An Overview on the Tasks of a Certified Nursing Assistant

So what does a CNA do? In a nutshell, a certified nursing assistant, as implied by its term, provides assistance to a supervising registered nurse or to the primary physician of the patient. CNAs work in a variety of healthcare settings such as nursing homes, hospice facilities, hospitals, and clinics. There are also some nursing assistants that provide their healthcare services to the homes of their patients. The main responsibility of a certified nursing assistant is to ensure that his or her patient will be kept comfortable despite of their medical conditions, disorders, or illnesses.

What does a CNA Do? A CNA Provides Assistance and Aid to Patients

One of the main tasks that a CNA is required to perform is to provide assistance and aid to patients. Patients are often in need of help in performing the daily functions that their temporary incapacitation or permanent disability render difficult. A CNA’s task is to help the patients that he or she is taking care of take a bath, get dressed, or answer the telephone. Repositioning patients who are bed ridden and cleaning up their bodily fluids are also included in the list of responsibilities nursing assistants are required to perform.

What Does a CNA Do? A CNA Helps Patients with Mobility


There are some patients who need assistance when they walk or move around. One of the responsibilities of a CNA is to provide this assistance to patients who are experiencing a hard time with their mobility. This may mean helping the patient get up from the bed or the chair and being by their side wherever they may need to go to. If a patient has to go to the restroom, the certified nursing assistant will help the patient get there. The CNA will also need to make sure that the patient is safe inside before leaving him or her.
There are also some patients, especially those that are undergoing physical therapy procedures, who are required to take daily and regular walks. The CNA’s job is to ensure that the patient will perform their regular walks religiously and assist them in doing so. Once this is completed, the nursing assistant will then help the patient get back to bed and ensure that patient is comfortable before leaving the patient.

What does a CNA Do? A CNA Monitors Patients

Most of the healthcare procedures are often performed by registered nurses and primary physicians; however, there are some certified nursing assistants who are required by the supervising RN or physician to perform various basic medical tasks. A CNA, while may only be asked to monitor the patient, may also be designated with the duty of taking the vital signs, the blood pressure, the pulse rate, and the respiration rate of the patient. Any changes in the condition or the vital signs of the patient should also be reported by the CNA to the RN or to the physician immediately.

What does a CNA Do? A CNA Helps Patients Manage their Hygiene

CNAs are also required to help patients manage their hygiene. This covers several areas, ranging from shaving a male patient’s beard, helping the patient take a bath, assisting the patient brush his or her teeth, and aiding the patient get dressed after taking a bath or after getting up in the morning. Brushing the hair of the patient and soaking a patient’s dentures are also included in the list of responsibilities that a certified nursing assistant is required to perform on a daily basis.

What does a CNA Do? A CNA Provides Assistance to Patients when they Eat

Feeding patients is also another task that a CNA will be required to do. If the patient is not able to eat on his or her own, it is the responsibility of the certified nursing assistant to help him or her eat. If the patient is capable of doing this on his or her own, the nursing assistant should always be nearby in the event that the patient will need assistance in drinking or while eating.

What does a CNA Do? A CNA Helps Keep the Rooms of Patients Tidy

While the custodial staff is the one responsible for making sure that the rooms of the patients are always clean, a CNA is also there to promote the welfare of the patients by helping them keep their rooms tidy and comfortable to rest and sleep in. Certified nursing assistants may be required to sanitize the rooms of the patients as well as the contents of the rooms when needed. Other cleaning tasks that a CNA may also be designated to perform include emptying bed pans, organizing the personal items of the patients, and making the beds of the patients.

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