A Day in the Life of a CNA: Is It Right for You?

Are you thinking of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA? Are you wondering if this job could be right for you? Here’s an overview of a day in the life of a CNA.

When do CNAs Work?

Because patients need round-the-clock care, certified nursing assistants have different schedules. Most full-time CNAs log five 8-hour days, three 12-hour days, or a combination of the two. They may cover day shifts, swing shifts (mid-afternoon to midnight) or night shifts.

A Sample 8-hour CNA Shift

7 a.m. – Arrive at Work
7:00 to 7:30 a.m. – Review patient files
7:30 to 11:00 a.m. – Get patients ready for their day
11:00 to 11:30 a.m. – Lunch Break
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Assist with lunch and mid-day meds
1:00 to 2:30 p.m. – Transport patients and/or help with daily activities
2:30 to 3:00 p.m. – Update patients files

A Sample 12-hour CNA Shift

7 p.m. – Arrive at Work
7:00 to 7:30 p.m. – Review patient files
7:30 to 11:00 p.m. – Get patients ready for bed
11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. – Nighttime rounds, cleaning, and stocking
1:00 to 1:30 a.m. – Break
1:30 to 6:30 a.m. – Nighttime rounds, cleaning, and stocking
6:30 to 7:00 a.m. – Update patients files

Where Do CNAs Work?

Certified nursing assistants work in nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, clinics and long-term care facilities. In addition, some CNAs care for patients in their own homes.

What Do CNAs Do During a Typical Day?

Of course, a certified nursing assistant’s duties will vary based on their work environment. For example, in hospitals, CNAs often perform basic medical tasks (under a doctor’s supervision) and care for multiple patients. Whereas, in-home care, they usually have a single patient and assist with household chores.

Duties may include:

  • Helping patients with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) including using the bathroom, bathing, getting dressed and personal grooming
  • Moving patients from beds to wheelchairs and back
  • Repositioning bedridden patients
  • Changing bedpans, catheters, and soiled sheets
  • Feeding and/or preparing meals for patients
  • Monitoring intake/outtake of food and fluids
  • Monitoring oxygen supply and equipment
  • Administering medications
  • Taking vitals
  • Maintaining healthcare records
  • Reporting progress to doctors and nurses
  • Educating family members on how to provide care
  • Transporting patients to/from appointments
  • Transporting patients to/from different parts of the facility
  • Sterilizing cuts and scrapes
  • Collecting blood, urine, stool samples
  • Performing EKGs
  • Managing/moving/cleaning medical equipment
  • Restocking supplies
  • Assisting with light housekeeping
  • Running errands
  • Providing companionship

Being a certified nursing assistant is a tough job. You need to be physically fit, compassionate, and ready to do some dirty work. However, when you know you’ve helped your patients, it also can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Are You Ready to Tackle a Day in the Life of a CNA?

Anodyne is urgently hiring certified nursing assistants for open positions in Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, and beyond. Anodyne offers both full- and part-time opportunities as well as weekly paychecks, health insurance, and flexible scheduling. Browse our available openings and find your perfect-fit CNA job today!