Career Development

What Does a Private Duty CNA Do?

Find out what a private duty CNA does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a private duty CNA.

Private duty nursing is a specialized field of healthcare that focuses on providing individualized care to patients in their homes or other private settings. Private duty nurses work with individuals who require more attention and assistance than what’s provided by traditional hospital or clinic-based nursing services.

Private Duty CNA Job Duties

A private duty CNA typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing personal care services such as bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, feeding, and grooming
  • Monitoring clients’ conditions to ensure they are safe and comfortable
  • Reporting changes in client’s condition to the nurse or doctor
  • Maintaining records of treatments given to patients and keeping track of medications
  • Communicating with clients and their families to keep them informed about their loved one’s health status
  • Assisting clients with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, grooming, dressing, and maintaining a home environment
  • Providing emotional support to clients in need of companionship or socialization
  • Helping clients with activities such as walking, exercising, reading, playing music, or watching TV
  • Preparing meals and snacks for clients who cannot feed themselves

Private Duty CNA Salary & Outlook

Private-duty CNAs are paid an hourly wage, which can vary depending on their level of experience, the type of patient they are caring for, and the company they work for.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of private duty CNAs is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for home health care services is expected to increase as the large baby-boom population ages and people remain active later in life. As the large group of baby boomers ages, more of them are expected to need home health care services. In addition, many older people want to remain independent and in their homes as they age.

Private Duty CNA Job Requirements

To work as a private duty CNA, you will likely need to meet the following requirements:

Education: Most private duty CNAs have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some CNAs choose to pursue an associate’s degree in nursing or a related field. Earning a degree in nursing can help CNAs advance their careers and increase their earning potential.

Training & Experience: Most private duty agencies will require that you complete a training program before you begin working with clients. These training programs can last from a few days to a few weeks and will teach you how to care for clients in a private home setting. You will learn how to bathe, feed, dress and transfer clients. You will also learn how to interact with clients and how to report any changes in their health.

Certifications & Licenses: In addition to the required certification, private duty CNAs can also pursue additional certifications that may help them improve their chances of finding work and increase their skills.

Private Duty CNA Skills

Private duty CNAs need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Private duty care involves working with a variety of people, including the patient, their family members and other medical professionals. As a private duty CNA, you must be able to communicate effectively with all of these people. This includes listening to and understanding the needs of the patient, relaying information to the patient’s family members and other medical professionals and explaining procedures and treatments to the patient.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Private duty care involves caring for an individual who may be experiencing a variety of emotions, including happiness, sadness, frustration and anger. A private duty CNA must be able to understand and empathize with their patient’s feelings in order to provide the best care possible.

Organization: Private duty caretakers often work with multiple clients throughout the day, so it’s important for them to be able to organize their time and resources effectively. This can include keeping track of their clients’ medications, keeping their clients’ homes clean and maintaining a schedule for their clients.

Time management: Private duty care involves multiple patients, each with their own set of needs. This means that a private duty CNA must be able to manage their time effectively to ensure they are meeting the needs of all their patients. This includes knowing when to take breaks, when to check in with their patients and when to ask for help.

Physical stamina: Private duty care involves caring for multiple patients at the same time. This requires a high level of physical stamina, as you may be on your feet for long periods of time. You may also need to lift and move patients, so physical stamina is important for this job.

Private Duty CNA Work Environment

A private duty CNA works in the home of an individual who is unable to care for him or herself. The CNA provides all of the basic care that the individual needs, including bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and transferring. The CNA also prepares meals, does light housekeeping, and provides companionship. The CNA may work shifts of eight hours or more, and may be required to work weekends and holidays. Overtime is often available, and the CNA may be called on to work at short notice. The work can be physically demanding, and the CNA must be able to lift and transfer the individual. The CNA must also be able to deal with the emotional stress of caring for an individual who is often sick, injured, or dying.

Private Duty CNA Trends

Here are three trends influencing how private duty CNAs work. Private duty CNAs will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Attention to Patient Satisfaction

As the healthcare industry becomes more focused on patient satisfaction, private duty CNA professionals will need to focus on providing excellent care.

This trend means that private duty CNAs will need to be able to provide excellent care in a variety of settings, from hospitals to nursing homes. They will also need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families, as well as understand the needs of each individual patient.

More Use of Technology in Healthcare

The use of technology in healthcare is becoming increasingly common as hospitals and other medical facilities look for ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This trend is leading to an increased demand for CNA professionals who are familiar with using technology in the workplace.

As hospitals and other medical facilities continue to adopt new technologies, CNA professionals will need to be able to utilize these tools in order to provide the best possible care for patients. This includes learning how to use electronic health records, as well as understanding how to use software that helps track patient data.

Greater Focus on Preventative Care

As the healthcare industry continues to shift towards a focus on preventative care, private duty CNA professionals will be in high demand.

Private duty CNAs are responsible for providing care to patients in their own homes, which allows them to receive the attention they need without having to travel to a hospital or clinic. In the future, this trend will lead to an increased demand for private duty CNAs, as more and more patients will want to stay home and receive care from someone they trust.

How to Become a Private Duty CNA

A private duty CNA career can be a great way to start your nursing career. As a private duty CNA, you will work with patients in their homes who need additional care and support. This is a great opportunity to learn about different illnesses and treatments, as well as the best ways to help people live independently.

You will also have the chance to build relationships with patients and their families, which can be rewarding and give you a deeper understanding of the human experience.

Advancement Prospects

Some private duty CNAs may eventually move into management positions, overseeing a team of CNAs. Others may move into home health care, working with a specific patient or family for an extended period of time. Some CNAs may also choose to return to school to become registered nurses.

Private Duty CNA Job Description Example

We are looking for a compassionate, reliable, and experienced Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to provide private duty care for our client. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of two years of experience working as a CNA, as well as a current certification in good standing. He or she will be responsible for providing personal care and companionship for our client, as well as performing light housekeeping and errand-running as needed. The ideal candidate will be patient, kind, and have a genuine desire to help others.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist patients with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and ambulation
  • Perform light housekeeping duties, such as laundry, dusting, and vacuuming
  • Plan and prepare meals in accordance with the patient’s dietary restrictions
  • Serve meals and assist with feeding, if necessary
  • Provide companionship and conversation
  • Monitor vital signs and report changes to the nurse or doctor
  • Administer medications and injections as prescribed
  • Assist with physical therapy exercises
  • Help the patient move in and out of bed, onto a wheelchair or commode, and in and out of a car
  • Maintain a clean and safe environment
  • Keep accurate records of patient care, condition, and progress
  • Transport the patient to medical appointments, if necessary

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • CNA certification in good standing
  • Minimum one year of experience as a CNA, preferably in home health or hospice care
  • Current CPR certification
  • Ability to pass a background check
  • Reliable transportation

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in nursing or related field
  • RN license
  • Two or more years of experience as a CNA
  • BLS certification
  • Experience with wound care


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