Certified Nursing Assistant Overview: Quick Facts

Nurses are in high demand. Take your first step toward a career as a certified nursing assistant.

What You’ll Do

  • Help patients bathe, dress, get out of bed and other daily activities
  • Turn or reposition bedridden patients
  • Take patients' temperature, blood pressure and other vital signs
  • Answer patient calls
  • Document patients' health issues and report to nurses
  • Feed patient, measure and record food and liquid intake
  • Clean rooms and bed linens
  • Help with medical procedures
  • Dressing wounds

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) job has peaks and valleys. It can be physically demanding at times with some unpleasant responsibilities, but the role also allows CNAs to build strong relationships with patients. 

While CNAs can be found in hospitals, the majority of them work in nursing and residential care facilities, where CNAs interact with patients on a regular basis and get to know them personally. If you're interested in joining the booming health care field, becoming a CNA—also known as a nurses' aid, home health aide, orderly or attendant—can be a good place to start. Learn which personal and professional traits you’ll need to succeed as a certified nursing assistant.  

You are... You should have...
Compassionate Strong decision-making skills
An excellent listener Excellent attention to detail
Supportive Good communication skills
Dependable Problem-solving skills
Physically fit Good ethical standards
Good-natured Ability to maintain interpersonal relationships

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