CNA Certified Nursing Assistant Job Description Guide

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CNA Certified Nursing Assistant duties and responsibilities

Certified Nursing Assistants are responsible for many patient care tasks to ensure that each patient receives the comprehensive and personalized care they need. They often have the following responsibilities:

  • Grooming and bathing patients with low mobility
  • Preparing each patient room with necessary items like blankets, pillows, medical equipment and bathroom needs
  • Helping patients eat and take medications
  • Making sure they have regular meals and proper medication dosages
  • Monitoring vitals and patient behavior and reporting them to the nursing and medical staff
  • Assisting patients with mobility needs, transferring them from wheelchair to bed
  • Turning or adjusting patients in bed to prevent bedsores or other discomfort
  • Exercising patients by helping them walk

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What does a CNA Certified Nursing Assistant do?

A Certified Nursing Assistant performs many basic care tasks for patients, like grooming, dressing, bathing, eating and exercising. They also assist the nursing staff with medical tasks like taking blood, monitoring vitals with medical equipment and reporting patient behavior and wellbeing. Their role is to ensure patients are comfortable and well cared for while under the care of Doctors and Nurses in hospitals, outpatient centers and long-term care facilities.


CNA Certified Nursing Assistant skills and qualifications

Certified Nursing Assistants use many soft skills and patient care best practices to provide a safe, comfortable and healing environment for all patients. Common required skills and qualifications include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including customer service, patience, empathy and compassion
  • Effective communication skills, including active listening, writing, speaking and reading comprehension
  • Good collaboration and teamwork skills
  • Fast and adaptive problem-solving abilities
  • Keen attention to detail
  • In-depth understanding of patient care policies and regulations
  • Familiarity with symptoms and signs of improvement for a number of medical conditions
  • Comfortable working with specific populations of patients, including elderly patients and those with special needs
  • Physical strength and stamina

CNA Certified Nursing Assistant education and training requirements

Certified Nursing Assistants must enroll and pass a state-approved education and training program before working. A minimum of a high school diploma or GED is often a requirement to enter this program. Students train during the program, often working in a hospital or nursing home setting to learn necessary role-specific skills, practice patient care techniques and develop medical knowledge as necessary. After the program, students must successfully pass their state exam for certification. Obtaining the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification places candidates on a state registry, which legally allows them to work for local organizations as a CNA.


CNA Certified Nursing Assistant experience requirements

Entry-level CNAs likely have gained directly relevant experience from their certification program. Others may have previous experience working in customer service roles or in a different role within a medical or patient care setting. Experienced CNAs may have these experiences in addition to years of serving as a CNA. For roles that work with patients with certain needs or have specific conditions, previous experience caring for these types of patients may be beneficial.


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