The Core Principles of a CNA: What Characteristics You Will Learn?

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A CNA uses basic nursing principles to provide patient care.

Being a certified nurse assistant involves helping patients with daily care or any other needs. This requires a certain type of character in order to fulfill the job correctly. As a Certified nursing assistant you will be on the floor working hands-on and up close with patients and peers as well as behind the scenes working on administrative tasks. This means that you will need a wide array of qualities since the position is so diverse in the way that your tasks can change at any moment. This fast paced field is fulfilling but requires hard work. If you feel as though you are not the type to become a certified nurse assistant or are just wondering what it takes, not to worry. Any characteristic or skill required to become a CNA can be acquired through the proper schooling. See below for the qualities a CNA has within them.


As a CNA, you will be interacting with many different people and it will require you to be challenged often. There will be moments that are either too stressful, confusing, or taxing on your mind. Just like it is hard work for you to be assisting so many people, let’s take a moment to talk about the patients being cared for. Although, under you care and their facilities watchful eye they will do well, they may feel frustrated at times.

This is not to paint a picture of patients as unbearable, that is not the case. In fact, the environment is uplifting and supportive as CNA’s tend to mesh well in the community. The point is, being under healthcare is healing, but in some instances just like any other customer or patron in a facility, they may be emotional. This would require to be patient whether you feel sad or frustrated in your situation in the case that this comes up.


Persistence is another key quality of a successful certified nurse assistant. This characteristic is required to withstand the hard work days of a cna. Your work requires you to constantly be caring for others and maintaining an optimum level of functioning. A level in which you will constantly be applying the knowledge of the legal and ethical responsibilities of the healthcare industry. You will also be required to utilize the skills you learned in your education to meet the needs of all your patients. Burnouts are not an option as a certified nurse assistant. The work you provide ensures that patients are happy and healthy so it is important you keep up your energy and have consistency throughout all of your work.


Empathy is a critical disposition that you should have when in the field of health care. If it is not obvious yet, you will be in close contact with many who are in need of help. Working in a field where you are not only in close contact, but communicating on an emotional level requires a sense of competency that goes deeper than a tactile skill set.

You will need to be able to connect with patients on an emotional level in order to give the work you do the extra push to accommodate everyone. Pure hands-on talent and quality of medical procedures will not be enough. There comes a sense of proper bedside manner that is attached to assistant an RN, LPN, or a PCA.


Just like any other job, you will be required to be flexible. Sometimes your schedule will be different than normal due to various reasons. You may have to come in early or later than normal and it would be easier for you if you were used to the spontaneity. This goes for all of your peers as well. With hectic schedules, a coworker may call in sick or be off and that may mean that you would have to come in and cover a shift for them. Coverage must always be available. You are not selling pizzas, you will be making sure people get better.


Along with patience, it is important you stay stable especially in relation to your emotions. As a certified nursing assistant you will be dealing with high emotions. Some will be stressed with their diagnosis and some will even be deeply affected. Over time, since you will be around your patients often, you will form a bond with them. It’s important that you remain emotionally stable no matter the circumstances.

It can be very hard to hear that someone you’ve been chatting with every day has passed away. Since there are many coming in and out of your facility depending on what type of healthcare you are providing, this can be a common occurrence so it’s best to train yourself to be stable.


Not being respectful is not an option as a CNA. You will be encountering many different types of humans as you work assisting your fellow nurses in aiding others. No matter what their background is or how they are reacting, it is important you uphold a level of respect for those around you. This means that you do not mistreat people under any circumstances, even if you feel as though they have some sort of attitude. If someone is upsetting you, it is best the situation is escalated by a supervisor. On the topic of respect, it is important that a sense of respect is not wavered based off of anyone's gender, race, sexual orientation, or any other quality that you may not be educated about.

A sense of respect should also be considered not just when working with patients, but also your coworkers. As said above, tensions may run high on some fast paced days and it is important you keep your cool and always show your respect for fellow coworkers. Just like you, they are working hard and deserve respect.

How To Become a CNA?

These are just a few of the qualities and characteristics of a Certified Nurse Assistant. We will be releasing more characteristics in the near future. For the time being? Are you wondering if you can become a CNA? Are you good enough to become a certified nurse assistant? Well, if you feel as though some of these characteristics are not what you are used to acting out or practicing, don’t fret. This is fixable.

You can always go to a school and speak to an advisor and see how you can become a CNA. If all of your qualities are not there, or even most, they are all teachable. That’s what school’s for, right? Learning! Don’t let your anxieties stop you from joining a career field that is focused on helping others and fulfilling your desire to be successful while doing good and challenging yourself.