What Does a Certified Nursing Assistant Do?

Certified Nursing Assistants perform a variety of tasks that are vital for the care, recovery and well-being of patients.

The certified nursing assistant has the enormous responsibility of providing support for the entire nursing staff in hospitals, health-care facilities, rehabilitation clinics, and physician’s offices. The work requires carrying patients, proficiency in human relationships, and tolerance in cleaning and caring for helpless patients. These health care workers go through free CNA training courtesy of academic institutions and organizations such as local Red Cross chapters.


These training sessions are usually done in a few weeks up to several months depending on the scope of the modules. Instructions are usually handled by registered nurses. Nursing assistants are required to earn CNA certification. This can be obtained by participating in relevant programs and passing mandatory examinations. Health workers are expected to be alert and responsive to patients’ conditions and knowledgeable of basic nursing care duties. These care providers are supervised by doctors or duly-licensed nursing professionals.

Tasks of Nursing Assistants

The certified nurse assistant should learn to measure vital signs because this is one of the most common tasks assigned to them. Vital signs refer to the body temperature of patients, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate. The nursing assistant keeps note of these signs and reports any problems or abnormalities to the doctor or nurse on duty. The CNA has to answer basic queries coming from the patient and assist the person if there is a need to move around. It is also the obligation of the certified nursing assistant to clean the patient’s room. However, this is only minor such as making beds and bringing dirty linen, bed covers and clothes to the laundry.

This health care assistant has to help patients in mobility such as walking around, getting up from bed or sitting down for meals, and going to the bathroom. In other words, the certified nurse assistant has to make sure that the patient is safe and not at risk of sustaining any injury. All CNAs play a significant role in the fast recovery of patients.

The certified nurse assistant also assists patients with the routine of daily hygiene. These tasks include washing, changing clothes, brushing teeth, cleaning dentures, brushing hair and shaving. It can also mean helping out the individual with taking a bath if he or she is not yet capable of doing this activity. As a professional nursing aide, the CNA socializes with patients and provides them a lot of emotional support.

Finally, the nursing assistant has to feed patients in accordance with the policies set by hospitals.

In the case of nursing homes, this health worker guides the patient into the dining room, helps them carry food to the table and makes sure that the person eats well. However, not all patients require the certified nurse assistant to hand feed them. It is also the duty of the worker to clean the patient after meals and help the individual return to the room or prepare for the next activity. Indeed, it is a difficult job but the education and training provides the assistant with the required expertise and patience in handling said commitment.