10 Responsibilities of a Certified Nursing Assistant in Home Care

Posted: 6/6/2022 11:31 AM by Interim HealthCare

Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are in high demand. If you’ve been thinking about a career change, or even want to begin your career as a nurse, becoming a CNA is a great place to start.


Just because it has the word “nursing” in the title doesn’t mean that you have to have any real medical experience to become a CNA. If you aren’t already a CNA, the process is pretty simple.

To become certified, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Earn your high school diploma or GED
  • Complete a state-approved CNA training program
  • Complete in-person clinical training
  • Pass a state-approved CNA certification exam

Once you’ve officially become a CNA, here are the daily duties you will likely perform, especially if you decide to work in a home-care setting


1. Provide compassionate and competent care

This may go without saying, but as a CNA, you may be the most constant caregiver for your patient or client during their home-healthcare journey. CNAs must have an excellent bedside manner and the ability to exhibit patience in difficult situations is key, as well.

2. Administer treatment

CNAs are responsible for measuring vital sign–blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rates are a few common examples. CNAs also administer certain treatments to the patient like changing bandages or dressings and wound care.

3. Monitor oxygen supply and equipment

If a patient comes home on oxygen, it is vitally important that their supply is monitored closely. CNAs are responsible for managing a patient’s oxygen supply and equipment to ensure the patient has access to the proper treatment that was prescribed by their physician. 

4. Maintain patients’ healthcare records

Throughout your time with the patient, you will be responsible for keeping notes and records of the patient’s conditions. You will often document things like vital signs or any behavioral or physical changes that you observe while in the patient’s home.

5. Grooming assistance

CNAs play an important role in helping patients keep up with basic hygiene. As a CNA, you may help patients with bathing, getting dressed, or even assist them at meal time. 

6. Educate family members in case of an emergency

It is so important for a patient’s  family to be notified if their loved one experiences an emergency, such as a heart attack or a fall. A CNA is generally the first one to report any medical emergencies to a patient’s family. CNAs are also trained in CPR and may have to administer it if an emergency happens in a patient’s home.

7. Assist with light housekeeping 

In addition to general medical responsibilities, CNAs can act almost like a personal assistant to the patient. This could include light cleaning, cooking, and even shopping for groceries. CNAs may also be responsible for making a patient’s bed, changing bedpans, sheets, or maintaining catheters.

8. Maintain a healthy environment 

CNAs are the first line of defense to prevent infection and create a safe environment in the patient’s home. As a CNA, you may be responsible for keeping the home environment clean and free from hazards that could cause a fall. 

9. Adhere to patients’ nutritional requirements

From light cooking to assisting a patient with eating their meals, CNAs play an important role in ensuring a patient’s specific dietary requirements. Because they spend a lot of time with the patient in their home, a CNA may often be the first person to notice any notable changes in a patient’s appetitie or their ability to eat. 

10. Manage medical equipment

Most patients who recover in a home environment often have a fair amount of medical equipment. CNAs are responsible for items like wheelchairs, bed lifts, portable toilets, walking devices, or even a feeding tube pump. Patients may need help using this equipment, which CNAs help with, but they also n ensure the equipment stays clean. 

Why Become a CNA? 
Performing the duties of a CNA can be hard work, but incredibly rewarding. The relationships you will develop with your patients can provide a meaningful impact on your career. 


If you are considering becoming a CNA or are looking for a new role, we encourage you to check out all the CNA career opportunities we have to offer at Interim.