17+ Best CNA Interview Questions & Answers

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We’ve compiled the absolute best CNA interview questions and answers to help you with your future job interview. A CNA or Certified Nursing Assistant, is someone who helps in the daily activities alongside registered nurses or licensed practitioners. A CNA is working within a nursing environment. Meaning that they could be working with the elderly or could be working alongside those who are inside a hospital. It may vary depending on the position you are applying for and what type of environment it is.

The work of a CNA

CNA’s generally work with most of the medical technology that's present inside the medical facility. As well as any of the billing practices that may be part of that medical facility. Additional software that a CNA may use would be health information software and medical record software. You must be qualified to be working with this type of software before applying for this position.

Key components to the job can include bathing patients, taking vital signs, recording general health, collecting information about follow-up conditions, and sanitizing patient areas. As well as emptying and providing fresh bedpans, turning or repositioning patients who have been in the same spot for long periods of time. You will have a hands-on approach to the patients and will be actively working with them.

Salary information

Salary for this role, based on US nationwide averages, is between the $20,000 and $30,000 range. It is absolutely a position that leads to future opportunities in the nursing and medical profession. It gives you the ability to work with patients on the more operational needs and provides you that qualifying experience for career development.

You won’t need a bachelor's degree to become a CNA, unlike other registered nursing positions. However, you will need to have formal training and receive a “post-secondary” certificate. You will need that to be able to apply and be hired within the CNA position.

The career path of a CNA is quite amazing. After working within this field for a while, you will have the opportunity to become a registered nurse. Or have long-term nursing duties. You can work within a private hospital or healthcare system if you so choose. Or you can work within an emergency room setting as well. There’s a lot of flexibility with this experience that can be applied to many paths of your choosing. That is why this position, in particular, is gaining in popularity amongst recent graduates who want to enter the medical field.

CNA Interview Questions & Answers

1. How do you turn a patient who has been in the same position for a while?

Answer: It is important to alert the patient, whether they are awake or not, that you are about to reposition them. Communication with the patient is imperative as you are showing respect for them. Then you need to assess where they are currently positioned. And find a way to gently move them into a position that may more evenly distribute their weight.

2. How do you record vital signs?

Answer: Vital signs need to be recorded using all the available medical devices that the patient is responding to. As well as the checklist for that patient's currently diagnosed issues. For example, if they are dealing with an illness. We need to record the progress of that illness being resolved as part of their vital signs. Dates and times must also be recorded, so it is clear when the patient was last attended to.

3. What are the software's you’ll have to work with?

Answer: Billing software, medical device software, charting software, and vital sign software. And potentially a few more depending on the environment and which types of technologies it is most up to date with.

4. How do you go about treating patients?

Answer: Patients should be treated with the utmost care, respect, and patience. Meaning, we need to be providing our patients with care as though they are part of our family. The type of care that we would want for our own family members.

5. How do you work with registered nurses or doctors efficiently?

Answer: Clear communication, collaboration, and taking direction are three ways I would ensure I am working with certified professionals more efficiently. I am here to learn from them and alleviate the mundane or regular tasks that could cluster up their schedules.

6. What are medical regulations, and how do you ensure we are staying compliant with them?

Answer: Medical regulations are the rules and restrictions which provide standardized care. I must understand them related to this environment, our county, our state, and our national-level regulations. Reading them regularly will help ensure that we are complying.

7. How do you handle bedpans and waste?

Answer: Waste should be handled as it pertains to the health systems guidelines. All waste should be treated as though it is a hazardous material. So that we don’t intermingle it with any tools, food, medical equipment, or other. We need a completely sanitary environment, and when handling waste, we need to consider that. We don’t want to risk any infection or bacteria which can spread from this waste.

8. How would you describe the role of a CNA?

Answer: I would describe a CNA's role by saying the following. A CNA or certified nursing assistant is a professional who provides varying levels of care or support to physically disabled and mentally disabled individuals. A certified nursing assistant provides an essential role in filling a gap between patients and nurses. The certified nursing assistant provides quality-of-life care in hospitals, hospices, long-term care facilitates, medical facilities, and other nursing or residential settings.

9. What is a CNA sometimes referred to as?

Answer: CNA's have multiple job titles. And those job titles are indicative of what their job descriptions will and should be. A certified nursing assistant is sometimes referred to as a certified nursing aide. Or a certified nurse assistant, certified nurse, registered nurse, medical assistant, licensed practical nurse (LPN), and nurse aide.

And a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) is a job title specific to California and Texas. It is similar to the role of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in other states.

10. What are the job duties and responsibilities of a CNA?

Answer: The job duties and responsibilities include:

  • Assist patients with general healthcare needs.
  • Communicate with the charge nurse regarding patient health care.
  • Transport patients as needed (ambulatory and other transportation needs).
  • Check the vital signs of patients within the nursing home.
  • Communicate and coordinate with the nursing staff (and certified nurse aides) to ensure each patient is provided care regularly.
  • Operate medical equipment to ensure residents receive prescribed regular and basic care.
  • Ensure daily living of the patients is the highest quality of life possible.
  • Assist with the charge nurse and licensed practical nurse (LPN) with helping patients in a variety of administrative style duties.
  • Answer call bells and make rounds.
  • Reposition patients and residents in a bed or char.
  • Assist in ambulation requirements and needs.
  • Assist with personal and dental hygiene (as part of ADL's).
  • Transfer the patient to and from the bed or chair or other locations within the facility.

11. What are the job duties of a CNA who works in an assisted living facility?

Answer: The job duties change to something along the lines of:

  • Reports directly to the nurse manager. And may also take direction from licensed nurses on duty or other supervisory staff from the assisted living home.
  • Provides direct care to residents on a daily basis and reports on residents' conditions.
  • Assists with activities, light housekeeping, laundry, and dining services.
  • Assists with services in nature. In the duties' performance, the resident care assistant is entrusted to assist residents with basic personal care according to procedures and daily assignment.
  • Includes but is not limited to bathing, dressing, dental hygiene, toilet activities, grooming, feeding, transportation/transfer, etc.

12. What are the job duties of a CNA who lives with their patient, also referred to as a "live-in CNA?"

Answer: The job duties and responsibilities of a live-in CNA include:

  • Provides companionship and socialization activities to adults.
  • Perform incidental activities of daily living. Such as light shopping and errands, preparing nutritious meals or snacks, and straightening up the patient/client’s immediate environment.
  • Utilize infection control measures such as universal standard precautions, hand washing, and personal protective equipment as appropriate.
  • Administers medications and tracks patient's progress on a regular basis.

13. What are the top skills that a CNA should have? If you were hiring for this position, what skills would you be looking for?

Answer: Skills required can vary based on the CNA working in a hospital, assisted living facility, or live-in CNA. For example, a live-in CNA may need a greater deal of flexibility, adaptability, and patience than those working in a hospital. But generally speaking, these skills are the most useful:

  • Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must listen and respond to patients’ concerns. They also need to share information with other healthcare workers.
  • Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies help and care for people who are sick, injured, or need aid for other reasons. They need an empathetic attitude to do their work.
  • Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients may be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to complete these tasks with professionalism.
  • Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They must be able to perform tasks such as lifting or moving patients.

14. As a live-in CNA, how would you approach building trust with your patient?

Answer: Building trust takes time. Respect has to be established, like any other adult relationship. I need to show my patient that I understand who they are, what they require, and how to provide them with a great experience. Then, be able to connect emotionally.

From there, we can start to develop trust and respect over a period of time. The best thing to do is not to expect that trust to be established immediately. Simply because a patient "requires" the assistance of others doesn't mean they will have to respect them immediately.

15. How should CNA's handle patients with speech problems?

Answer: CNA's need to be thinking critically. In those situations, see if the patient has motor skills and ask them to write their requests. Or in other circumstances, have the patient blink their eyes for answers if their motor functions are incorrect. It's important to try to spend time connecting with the patient.

16. How would you deal with a patient who refuses to take medication?

Answer: A patient has the ability to refuse medication at any time. It is their option. But as a nurse and CNA, it's best if we approach the situation by explaining what the results could be. And/or informing the family of the medication to assist with helping the patient understand more effectively. Sometimes, it may simply be that the nurse is requesting the patient to take the medication.

17. What environments do CNA's typically work in?

Answer: The primary environments where a CNA can be found would be a hospital, an assisted living situation, or a live-in situation. This includes hospice and other facilities where medical professionals are assisting the elderly.

CNA Job Boards

Job seekers may want to use these smaller, more industry-specific job boards when searching for a position.

Top CNA job boards

For more information please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.


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