Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

What Is a Certified Nurse Assistant?

Certified nursing assistants are also known as nursing aides, orderlies, patient care technicians, home health aides or hospital attendants. They make up a large group of medical support personnel in hospitals, doctors’ offices, home health care facilities and other medical settings, where their primary job is to assist higher-level nurses with patients’ daily care.

Nurse assistant responsibilities may include:

  • Dressing patients
  • Bathing patients
  • Assisting with patients’ grooming and hygiene
  • Feeding patients
  • Making and cleaning patients’ beds
  • Cleaning patients’ rooms
  • Escorting patients to and from appointments
  • Collecting specimens for testing
  • Checking patients’ vital signs
  • Updating nurses on patients’ conditions
  • Providing emotional support to patients
  • Maintaining medical supplies
  • Assisting nurses with medical equipment

Certified nurse assistants may work in general medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or even in patients’ homes as home health aides. With further training, CNAs may work to become higher-level nurses. Click to find out how to become a CNA.

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