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CNA Job Description

CNA Job Description and CNA Duties

If you are looking for a CNA job description and want to find out exactly what a CNA does then you are in the right place. Working as a CNA can be very hard work with long and unsociable hours and some lifting work, but on the whole the job pays back a lot more than it takes – in terms of your time and dedication it pays you back with enormous job satisfaction. Caring for patients and helping to make their lives better in many ways, no matter how small, is something that nobody can put a value on.

CNA Healthcare

Your work as a certified nursing assistant will teach you the skills and attributes that are needed if you choose to pursue further nursing qualifications (such as the LPN or RN) at a later date.

Certified Nursing Assistant Job Description

As a CNA you will be working in any health setting where nurses work – as it is under the supervision of a nurse (LPN or RN) that you will be working. So this means you could be working in a care home, a nursing home, a hospice, a hospital, a rehabilitation clinic or even schools.

A typical CNA job description might look like this

Job Title: Certified Nursing Assistant

Main job role: To help patients in all aspects of personal care and to help with their daily living requirements

Job description:

  • Take care of patient’s personal care and hygiene assisting with bathroom duties such as bathing or showering, washing hair, shaving and toileting needs
  • Ensuring the ongoing comfort of patients by serving food and drinks, making sure patients are comfortable and making use of restraints when required
  • Perform ongoing checks of vital signs, weight and urine tests and recording the results appropriately
  • Provide certain nursing care such as enemas, douches, changing dressings, applying ice packs and hear packs
  • Work to the department’s rules and procedures and documenting actions and observations when required
  • Report to the duty nurse in charge


What does a CNA do?

As well as the tasks listed in the above job description, working as a certified nursing assistant will involve carrying out many other tasks and utilizing other skills, such as those listed below.

Other Certified Nursing Assistant Duties

Other duties will include:

  • transporting patients
  • assisting with rehabilitation plans
  • bed making
  • lifting and positioning patients
  • answering call lights and responding promptly
  • liaising with family and members of the medical team
  • preparing patient’s bed / bedroom area for their arrival and on their departure
  • depending on the state and the training, some CNAs will be able to draw blood samples and other similar procedures

It will always remain the responsibility of the CNA to follow professional guidelines in all aspects of their work and to respect patient rights and maintain patient confidentiality.

CNA Skills Required

A certified nursing assistant should first and foremost have a caring nature and an empathy with people. If you want to be a CNA you should have a natural desire to help people and improve their well being in some way.

There are some specific CNA skills that can be measured and / or learnt in the process of your training. There are a number of technical skills which are learnt such as taking vital signs measurements (blood pressure, pulse, temperature) and using nursing equipment such as a stethoscope or equipment to help mobilize patients. See here for a full list.

Then there are the personal skills. They are as follows:

  • Ability to organize
  • Ability to communicate to different types of people, some of whom may be hard of hearing or mentally challenged
  • Ability to work supervised and unsupervised and to make important decisions if needed
  • Ability to work under pressure and remain calm especially in emergency situations
  • Ability to work to deadlines
  • Be competent with paperwork and records handling

Lastly a CNA should not be squeamish and should be able to deal with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, faeces and vomit!


Listen to a CNA's perspective: