A day in the life of a CNA

A Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) is a medical professional who has passed a skills test and has become certified to perform work assisting nurses and other medical professionals.

Though CNAs employed in different fields and by different employers will complete different tasks throughout the day, there are some common job duties that most CNAs must commonly complete. Understanding these duties can help a prospective CNA to understand what CNAs do on a daily basis and help them to decide whether or not it is the profession for them.

Daily Duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant

A person employed as a CNA will often begin their work day by reporting to work and gathering information from a nurse or other supervisory employee about his or her job duties for the day. CNAs working in a hospital, nursing home or other facility may be assigned to specific rooms in the facility or may be given a task to complete with all residents, such as passing out medications.

A CNA who works in home health may begin his or her day by obtaining a list of clients to visit during that day. He or she will then be briefed on the services to provide to these clients as well as obtaining directions to the homes of the clients.

Nature of Nursing Work

In most positions, a CNA will spend his or her day completing both medical and non-medical tasks. For example, a CNA may check a patient’s blood pressure and temperature, but also help that patient with everyday tasks such as traveling to medical appointments and organizing household items.

The completion of non-medical tasks is especially common for CNAs who work in home health. CNAs working in home health will also often work directly with the family of a patient. A person working as a CNA needs to have strong social skills as he or she will often have to communicate information to the patient and family from the medical facility or home health agency as well as simply provide conversation and companionship for the patient and the patient’s family.

The Importance of Documentation for a CNA

As with all people employed in the medical field, a CNA will spend a significant portion of his or her day completing required paperwork in order to record the patient’s medical condition and to document the services provided to each patient.

Documentation must generally be completed on a daily basis and many employers will provide CNAs with some time at the end of his or her shift to complete the paperwork for the day. However, a CNA will need to stay organized through the day to keep track of all needed information to complete the documentation of services as well as to preserve the confidentiality of patients.


CNAs provide important services to people in need of medical care. Though not all CNA positions provide the same working environment, they all provide a CNA will an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of patients and the family of the patients.

Find out what it takes to pass the CNA exam and how you can train to be a certified nursing assistant – either in a classroom setting at a school or college or train online with a accredited program.

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