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What are a CNA's Duties?

Like many nursing positions, the duties of the CNA are varied and will depend greatly on where he or she is employed. A certified nursing assistant, or CNA, provides basic health care while working under the supervision of either a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse. CNA's can find employment in virtually any healthcare environment ranging from a nursing home to a hospital, outpatient facility, school or clinic. The average certified nursing assistant can expect to work a proximally 40 hours a week with an average lunch and break schedule. Depending on where the individual is employed, there may also be a rotating shift of days and nights.

Because they do not have the same training as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse, a CNA does not have the same type of responsibilities and authority as an LPN or RN. Many people who began working as a certified nursing assistant find that it is an excellent stepping stone into higher positions within the nursing industry. One of the benefits to becoming a certified nursing assistant is the fact that it only takes a relatively short amount of time training and it can be a surprisingly inexpensive course to take at a local vocational or community college.

The typical duties of a certified nursing assistant will depend on the environment they are working in but may include observing residents, reporting any health issues to a supervisor, assistant patients with bathing and personal hygiene and feeding patients. A CNA may also be responsible for emptying catheter bags, monitoring vital signs, helping patients use the restroom and assisting patients with therapy. Although CNA's can find employment at virtually any type of healthcare facility, the vast majority are employed at nursing homes.

Because a job as a certified nursing assistant is often considered to be an entry-level position, CNA's generally make somewhere between $9 and $12 an hour. The benefits package that CNA's receives also not nearly as comprehensive or attractive as what individual would expect if they were a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse. Although many certified nursing assistants go on to receive the education necessary to become an LPN or RN, many CNA's find that the job is rewarding and choose not to pursue any other employment opportunities. Although the duties required of a CNA will vary greatly depending on where they are employed, it can be a very fulfilling and rewarding job that allows an individual to get to know there patients one on one.