Beyond Bedside Manners: The Diverse Jobs of Nursing Assistants

Beyond Bedside Manners: The Diverse Jobs of Nursing Assistants

Working under the supervision of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, the diverse jobs of nursing assistants have one very important thing in common. They make a difference in the lives of people, providing essential services and helping patients with fundamental things.

The various jobs of nursing assistants offer stability, flexibility, a growing job market, and, in the case of the traveling CNA, opportunities to live and work in many different places. Join us as we explore the role of certified nursing assistants in the healthcare industry.

The Traditional Role of Nursing Assistants

Considered an entry-level healthcare position, CNAs work closely with physicians, nurses, and other types of healthcare providers to ensure a patient’s basic needs are met. They also spend more time with patients than doctors, nurses, therapists, and technologists. As a result, a CNA can often be the first to observe a patient’s physical or emotional changes. It makes them vital members of patients’ healthcare teams.

Beyond Bedside: Exploring Diverse Roles

The jobs of nursing assistants are performed in a wide variety of settings and facilities. These include different types of hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, private homes, and rehabilitation clinics. Adding even more diversity to the field, the patients with which CNAs work range from infants to the elderly.

As might be expected, the duties accompanying certified nursing assistant jobs will vary according to the settings as well as the patients served. Nursing homes entail concerns more familiar to the elderly, while hospitals will find CNAs working in wards for patients of specific age groups or medical conditions. It gives people who are interested in certified nursing assistant jobs a wide range of areas from which to choose.

Here are a few examples:

  • Home Healthcare Assistance

This can involve helping patients bathe, eat, and drink, as well as simply providing them with company to help pass the time of day. Home healthcare CNAs can also be tasked with making sure the environment is safe for the patient or doing everything possible to help the patient maintain their independence. Among the challenges, home healthcare CNAs face are grumpy patients, widely varying conditions from home to home, and sometimes inadequate medical equipment.

  • Rehabilitation Center and Physical Therapy Support

CNAs help the therapy team educate patients’ families regarding the safest ways to provide care at home. They also help therapists conduct rehabilitation exercises. Rehab CNAs often deal with varying personalities. They also experience the joy of making life better for someone who is going through a hard time.

  • Specialized Medical Facilities’ CNA Jobs

These entail monitoring vital signs such as body temperature and blood pressure. They see to the immediate needs of patients, keep their rooms tidy, and serve meals to patients. A CNA is also the person usually tasked with responding to patient calls. The nature of the work will vary depending on the age of the patient. For instance, pediatric CNAs provide services specific to children, and geriatric CNA activities align with the needs of older people.

  • Assisting in Medical Procedures

Activities such as caring for wounds, gathering blood, urine, and stool specimens, and the administration of medications are numbered among the duties of certified nursing assistants, too. They can also be called upon to help prep patients for surgery and examinations, as well as help medical teams perform certain types of medical procedures.

The Importance of Technical Skills

While the jobs of nursing assistants don’t require extensive knowledge of medical issues, certain skills, such as a basic understanding of anatomy and physiology, as well as common diseases and illnesses, are needed. A working understanding of medical terminology is also important to facilitate communications with physicians and nurses. The ability to administer medication, vaccinations, IV therapy, and assisting with surgery can also be required.

Challenges Faced by Nursing Assistants

A key challenge affecting CNAs is the risk of burnout. It is closely followed by the emotional toll of dealing with death and grief on a regular basis, as CNAs are also called upon to care for terminally ill patients. Another key challenge of certified nursing assistant jobs is the relatively low pay afforded the profession. Meanwhile, the work can be quite demanding, both physically and mentally.

Get the Best Jobs of Nursing Assistants

Looking beyond bedside manners into the diverse jobs of nursing assistants can reveal some pretty tough work. However, it is the kind of tough work many people find both emotionally and spiritually rewarding.

As you embark upon your professional career, Wanderly can help you secure the best traveling certified nursing assistant jobs available. Applying the latest technologies, such as big data and machine learning, we bring travel healthcare professionals and agencies together. We aim to elevate the healthcare staffing industry with our transparent marketplace.


  1. What are some of the responsibilities of a nursing assistant?

CNAs are primarily responsible for helping patients with activities of daily living. These can include bathing, grooming, toileting, eating, and moving.

  1. What skills do you need to get jobs of nursing assistants?

Essential traits include patience, good communication skills, empathy and compassion, attention to detail, stamina, strength, a strong work ethic, the ability to juggle multiple tasks, flexibility, a cool head, a sense of time management, and respect for patients and staff.

  1. What certified nursing assistant jobs pay the most?

Among the highest-paying CNA jobs are Nurse Aide Evaluator, Care Manager CNA, Hospital CNA, and Nursing Technician.


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