Wound Care University

In The Care Zone: What A CNA Can And Can’t Do
Jul 4, 2024
In The Care Zone: What A CNA Can And Can't Do

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are integral to the healthcare team, providing essential care and support to patients across various settings. However, can CNA do wound care? There’s often confusion about the scope of their responsibilities, especially when it comes to specialized tasks like wound care. Understanding what a CNA can and can’t do is crucial for maintaining patient safety and ensuring effective care. This article explores the specifics, particularly focusing on their involvement in wound care and other related duties.

The Role of a CNA

CNAs provide basic care to patients, assisting with daily activities that patients may struggle with due to illness, injury, or aging. This includes bathing, dressing, and feeding. They play a vital role in the day-to-day comfort and well-being of patients, acting as the eyes and ears of the nursing team by reporting changes in patient conditions.

What CNAs Can Do in Wound Care

The question of “Can CNA do wound care?” largely depends on the regulations set forth by the state’s nursing board and the policies of the healthcare facility. In some settings, CNAs may assist with certain aspects of wound care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN). This might include helping to position patients to relieve pressure on wounds, changing non-sterile dressings, and providing general skin care to prevent pressure ulcers.

Limitations in Wound Care

While CNAs may assist with some aspects of wound care, there are clear limitations to their involvement. They are typically not allowed to perform sterile wound care, assess wounds, or administer medications, including topical treatments that require a nurse’s judgment. These tasks require the advanced training and clinical judgment of RNs or LPNs. It’s essential for CNAs to understand these boundaries to avoid practicing beyond their scope, which could jeopardize patient safety and their professional certification.

The Importance of Training and Supervision

Proper training and supervision are paramount when CNAs are involved in any aspect of wound care. Even for tasks that fall within their scope, CNAs should receive specific training to ensure they understand how to perform these duties safely and effectively. Supervision by a qualified nurse is also crucial, providing guidance and intervention as necessary to maintain the highest standards of care.

Collaboration and Communication

Effective collaboration and communication among the healthcare team are vital. CNAs should always communicate with RNs and LPNs about any changes in a wound’s appearance, signs of infection, or patient discomfort. This open line of communication ensures that patients receive timely and appropriate care, addressing any issues that may arise during the healing process.

Expanding Wound Care Skills at Wound Care University

At Wound Care University, we recognize the importance of comprehensive wound care education for all members of the healthcare team, including CNAs. Our wound care 101 course provides a solid foundation in basic wound care principles, enabling CNAs to support the nursing team more effectively. For those looking for more in-depth knowledge, our wound care certification courses cover a wide range of topics, from the types of wounds and dressing selection to prevention strategies and the latest in wound care technology. Our new wound care certification course in person and live online introductory course in hyperbaric medicine and wound care are also excellent resources for those who wish to expand their knowledge and skills.

At Wound Care University, we are committed to empowering CNAs and other healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute effectively to patient care.


Wound Care University

Get In Touch