A certified nursing assistant comforts a patient

5 Main Duties of a CNA

A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, directly reports to either a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). The general obligation of a CNA is to assist in giving patients the care that they need. The CNA’s supervisor directs him or her to conduct tasks that need to be performed on a daily basis. These are the five main duties of a CNA:

1. Assessing Patients

A CNA is responsible for performing various patient assessments, such as checking vital signs and measuring weight and height. Additionally, a CNA may question the patients and record information about their current conditions and feelings.

2. Helping Patients Perform Daily Tasks

Another main duty of a CNA is to help patients with any daily tasks that they have trouble performing on their own. Such tasks may include moving them into wheelchairs or turning them from one position to the other on their hospital beds. A CNA must also assist with daily exercises as per the instructions of an RN, for example, helping some patients to take daily walks during their stay in the facility.

3. Comforting Patients

A CNA should be a compassionate person who will lend patients their ears, eyes, and heart. This person will always be available when patients feel nervous and request assistance by using their signals. A CNA may also be responsible for bringing meals to patients and ensuring that they meet their nutritional requirements. Additionally, a CNA will help patients to divert their thought processes to subjects other than their current illnesses. Many times, a CNA will act as a friend if patients do not have family members or friends visiting them.

4. Educating Patients

Some CNAs will have to provide patients with educational information about their illnesses and medications. Some of them may give brief nutritional courses so that their patients understand what they need to do to maintain their strength and health. The CNA is required to always keep patients' information confidential.

5. Grooming Patients

Grooming patients is a huge part of a CNA’s job. Therefore, this person may have to help patients to use the bathroom, bathe, brush their teeth, shave, and clean their fingernails. A CNA may take on any or all of the aforementioned duties.

CNAs are responsible for keeping hospital rooms clean and safe. Therefore, they may have to change beds and perform light housekeeping duties. CNAs play a huge part in patient care. A CNA position can be the preview of a rewarding career as an RN. The CNA can learn a great deal about the environment and the patients during his or her time in such a position.

Last Updated: October 27, 2015