Certified Nursing Assistant

What Does a CNA Do?

Fel Gonzaga
May 9, 2023

If you’re reading this blog, you might have heard about becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). The role of a CNA is essential to ensuring patients receive high-quality care and support. In this blog post, we’ll learn about their daily responsibilities and why they are important. 

What Is a CNA?

First off, let's define what a CNA is. A certified nursing assistant is a healthcare professional who works under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical nurses (LPNs). CNAs assist patients with their daily activities and provide support to medical staff. From providing basic patient care to monitoring vital signs and assisting with medical procedures, CNAs are an integral part of the healthcare team.

What Does a CNA Do?

So, what exactly does a CNA do? A CNA’s duty might be a little more hands-on compared to a registered nurse. CNAs have a wide range of job duties and responsibilities, which may vary in every work setting.  In most cases, CNAs perform the following:

1. Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) Assistance

  • Assisting with grooming, such as bathing and dressing.
  • Assisting with feeding patients.
  • Changing patients’ position in bed to prevent bedsores or pressure ulcers.

2. Patient Care and Monitoring

  • Answering patient call lights and responding to patient needs.
  • Providing patient education and teaching patients self-care techniques.
  • Monitoring and recording vital signs, such as blood pressure, pulse rate, and temperature.
  • Monitoring and recording fluid and food intake.
  • Monitoring and recording urine and stool outputs.
  • Performing basic wound care under the supervision of an RN.
  • Assisting with end-of-life care for hospice patients.

3. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures

  • Collecting specimens for lab testing, such as urine or stool samples.
  • Assisting with diagnostic tests, such as X-rays or EKGs.
  • Assisting with respiratory care, such as suctioning.
  • Administering medication as directed by the nurse.

4. Environmental and Administrative Tasks

  • Cleaning patient rooms and changing linens as part of routine tasks.
  • Assisting with the admission and discharge of patients.
  • Assisting with care planning and implementation.
  • Maintaining accurate patient records and charts.
  • Following safety protocols and policies.
  • Following infection control measures such as hand hygiene and wearing personal protective equipment.

5. Communication and Reporting

  • Observing and reporting changes in a patient's condition to the nurse.
  • Providing emotional support and companionship to patients.
  • Facilitating communication between patients and healthcare providers.
  • Reporting any concerns or complaints to the appropriate healthcare provider.

As you can see, being a CNA requires a unique set of skills and qualities. CNAs should be compassionate, patient, and able to communicate with patients and their families. They should also be physically fit and able to lift and move patients as needed.

Now, you might start wondering how to get your CNA certification. It’s quite simple! You'll need to complete a state-approved CNA training program. It takes about 4-12 weeks to complete. There will be theory classes which can either be online or in-campus, depending on the training provider. The clinical or skill part is conducted in person where you are required to complete a certain number of hours. After your training, you'll need to pass a state competency exam to become a licensed CNA. 

Why Are CNAs Important?

CNAs play a crucial role in improving the lives of patients and their families. In different healthcare settings, CNAs ensure the safety and comfort of patients. Below are reasons why CNAs are important:

  1. Essential Care: CNAs are responsible for providing essential care to patients. Without CNAs, patients may not receive the best possible care they need to maintain their health and well-being.
  1. Comfort and Support: CNAs also provide comfort and emotional support to patients and their families. They often form close bonds with their patients as they care for them during difficult times.
  1. Communication and Collaboration: CNAs work closely with nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. They relay important information to the nursing staff. This includes patients' conditions, needs, and concerns. They ensure all aspects of patients' care and keep everything well-managed.
  1. Efficiency and Productivity: CNAs help improve the efficiency and productivity of healthcare settings. They take on many of the routine tasks and responsibilities. This allows the nursing staff to focus on more complex medical tasks.

But what are the benefits of becoming a CNA? CNAs have the opportunity to work in a variety of healthcare settings. There are often plenty of job opportunities available. In fact, being a CNA is one of the most in-demand medical careers in the United States. Not only that, you can advance your career in the healthcare industry as well. Read our blog on what comes after CNA, and check a structured career path.

Final Thoughts

CNAs are essential members of the healthcare team. They provide critical care, support, and communication to patients. Their work is key to maintaining the health and well-being of patients. They help improve the overall efficiency and productivity of healthcare settings. Becoming a CNA is a rewarding and fulfilling career path. 

This is why it's important to understand the duties and responsibilities of this role. By doing so, you can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families. If you have a passion for helping people, becoming a CNA may be the perfect fit for you! Think you’re ready to pursue your CNA career? Come find CNA classes near you with Dreambound.

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Written by
Fel Gonzaga

Fel is a student support representative who guides enrollees to the right program and answers their queries. She's committed to helping students and takes pride in her work. In her free time, she enjoys sightseeing and hanging out with loved ones.

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