Duties of a Certified Nurse’s Aide

In general the duties of a CNA are to assist the nurse’s and other staff with the care of patients. The duties will vary based on the facility as well as the experience of the CNA. You are likely to find different duties in hospitals, nursing homes and long term facilities than you will find with private duty assignments. In fact, private duty CNAs may even assume some of the roles that are typically those of a home health aide such as cooking for the patient and tending to personal hygiene.

In a hospital setting the CNA may also be responsible for blood glucose monitoring and distribution of oral medications. While they do not typically give injections, they may do so under the supervision of a registered or licensed practical nurse. They are usually assigned to a specific unit though there may be times when it will be necessary for a CNA to help out in another unit due to staff shortages during their regularly scheduled shift. Those assigned to the maternity unit will be responsible for taking care of female patients who have recently given birth while those in ICU or CCU may be responsible for assisting the registered nurse assigned to those patients.

CNAs who work in nursing homes and long term care facilities are usually responsible for the care of elderly patients. However, there will be occasions where the patient may be younger but disabled and the caregivers are no longer able to continue caring for the patient at home. The duties will vary based on the needs of each patient as well as the needs of the primary nurse. The more experience you gain while caring for elderly and disabled patients the more responsibilities you will earn.

If you are working as a private duty CNA in a private home you may have to perform other duties that do not necessarily relate to nursing care but are those usually assigned to a home health aide. These duties may include preparing meals for the patient, bathing him or her, changing bed linens, and minor housekeeping duties, especially as they relate directly to the patient. Most private homes do not hire both home health aides and CNAs thus the reason for the overlap of duties in that respect. You may also have additional responsibilities if you work a private duty case in a hospital or nursing facility.