Daily Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

The job as a certified nursing assistant is one filled with excitement, dynamic scenarios and a constant drone of medical procedures and genuine hospitality. While the daily duties of a certified nursing assistant aren’t as complex as a registered nurse, this profession is one of the most demanding and intense out of all other entry-level healthcare careers. Keep in mind, your exact daily duties is determined by the employing facility as well as your level of experience.

Patient Care

Perhaps one of the most common duties of a certified nursing assistant involves almost every aspect of patient care. No matter your work environment, a CNA is required to assist patients with basic needs. Typically, this involves assisting patients during meals and helping them dress and clean themselves. The level of care a patient requires can dramatically vary. Take note: patient care is much more involved and intense in specialty clinics such as nursing homes.


Although a certified nursing assistant does not require the type of housecleaning janitorial staff must perform, a CNA is typically required to change bed linens and maintain a sanitary living environment for patients. Typical duties in this realm of work involve changing soiled sheets, cleaning bedpans and cleaning surface areas around the patient. Many certified nursing assistants find this to be the most rewarding aspect of their job as it allows one-on-one time with patients. This intimate interaction allows CNAs an opportunity to not only expedite healing time, but also help maintain a positive patient outlook on life and rehabilitation.

Vital Sign Monitoring and Reporting

While registered nurses are typically involved in this process, experienced certified nursing assistants are typically assigned scheduled vital sign checks on their patients. This means taking and reporting patient temperatures, blood pressure and other vital signs. Upon recording this information, CNAs must enter it into the patient log, which may be digital or on a pen-and-paper chart.

Assist in Select Medical Procedures

Although certified nursing assistants are limited in their scope of practice, these professionals do play a direct role in certain procedures. Typical duties in this realm of work involve setting up medical equipment, relocating large machinery and assisting physicians or nursing staff during the actual procedure. Certain states even allow CNAs to expand their training and perform more advanced procedures, such as obtaining blood samples from a patient.

Clerical Support

Certified nursing assistants are entry level professionals. Therefore, their daily work duties can vary according to what the nursing staff needs. A common daily duty involves light clerical support. Answering phone calls, directing patient questions to the appropriate staff member and observing then recording changes in patient behavior or medical condition are all part of working as a certified nursing assistant. Visit CNA Certification Scoop for more info on how to become certified as a CNA.