The duties of a CNA will vary by location, Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, provide basic care and help patients with activities of daily living. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Take vital signs
  • Prepare meals
  • Make the bed
  • Help with personal hygiene
  • Help with elimination
  • Help with moving around
  • Interact with patients
  • Bandage or clean wounds

Depending on their training level and the state in which they work, nursing assistants also may dispense medication. Nursing assistants are often the principal caregivers in nursing and residential care facilities. Nursing assistants often develop relationships with their patients because some patients stay in these facilities for months or years.

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