CNA Job Description

by Maria Pavel on October 3, 2011

The job description of a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA, varies somewhat depending on the type of institution they’re working in. However, for the most part, the majority of their duties and responsibilities are the same. CNAs provide a vital contribution to patient care in helping nurses give patients basic care. This is very important in large and crowded medical facilities such as clinics, hospitals and nursing homes.

The basic job description of a CNA includes assisting with patients in their daily routine, helping to feed and bathe patients, checking a patient’s vital signs and assisting in basic needs. A CNA is taught the correct way to lift and turn a patient in bed, how to help them walk, and use the bathroom. CNAs are trained in first aid as well, in the event that it’s needed. They’re also qualified to collect urine samples and how to administer fundamental physiotherapy.

Another very important part of the job of a CNA is the ability to offer emotional support to their patients as well as encouragement when needed. As CNAs and patients spend more time together than nurses and doctors spend with them, it’s easier for the CNAs to form a connection with the patients. If long term care is needed, CNAs often become friends with the patients they care for.

It’s because of all of the direct care that a CNA administers to the patients that it does take a very special personality to love doing this type of work. Many people take on this job because they feel the training is easy and affordable. They never look ahead to the actual job itself and how very important it is to the overall health care field.

A responsibility that may be lesser known of a CNA is that of protecting the rights of their patients. These rights include privacy, being kept informed of their treatment, deciding whether or not they want treatment and their overall right to be part of the plan for their care. CNAs often become patient advocates.

Granted, patient care is a huge part of the responsibilities of a CNA, and the most important. However, there are other duties that a CNA may be asked to perform in the event of a clerical shortage in the facility they work in. CNAs may be needed to input patient data into a computer or insure that patient charts are complete. Basically, the duties and responsibilities of a CNA is whatever the facility they’re working in needs.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

November 9, 2011 at 12:00 am

Hey Maria,

I like your overall nutshell here about what a CNA does. It’s important for people to get an idea of what tasks they may be required to do in any profession before they may make a good decision about which direction to commit to. It sounds like this is a job well-suited to individuals who have a love for people!

Thanks for the helpful article!
Cat Alexandra

Maria Pavel November 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

HI Alexandra,

Having a lot of love for people and caring for people is a must if you want to succeed in this career :)

Thanks for commenting on my blog!


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