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When hiring a caregiver for your senior loved one, you may be surprised by how many options are available. Not only are there caregivers who spend time with older adults to prevent isolation, but also there are nurses that offer various levels of care. You might be recommended a CNA to drive your loved one around or an RN to provide medical care in your home. Knowing the difference between the two is helpful, as you can get a better understanding of what caregivers can and can’t do.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between a CNA and RN and why this makes a difference for your loved one.

What is a CNA?

A CNA is a Certified Nursing Assistant or Nurse Aide that carries out duties with the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN). CNAs are the primary health care professionals and responders to the patients they care for. They must be the eyes, ears and hands of the patient so that they are able to determine when the patient requires assistance.

When hiring a CNA to assist with your loved one, you can expect them to handle a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Companionship and socialization
  • Transportation to doctor’s appointments and errands
  • Medication reminders
  • Meal preparation and serving
  • Assistance with light housekeeping
  • Help with falls, repositioning and ambulation
  • Help with personal hygiene (i.e., bathing, dressing, toileting)
  • Tracking and monitoring vital signs

What is an RN?

An RN is a Registered Nurse. RNs carry out highly skilled and professional care. You may not notice a difference in CNAs and RNs because both are available to work 24-hours a day, but their duties are very different. For instance, RNs can handle complex tasks such as:

  • Administering IVs
  • Administering injections
  • Filling medication box
  • Wound care
  • Tracheotomy care
  • Professional assessments

There is no right or wrong type of nurse to choose. If your loved one only needs help with personal hygiene or companionship services, a CNA will meet your needs. If your parent requires skilled nursing care such as giving medications intravenously, you will need an RN.

Family Private Care is one of few Senior Home Care that offers skilled nursing. Most home care companies only offer companionship and other basic services. With the ability to care for some of the sickest individuals, Family Private Care gives many families the peace of mind they deserve. Call us today to learn more about our private care.