Bridging the Gap: How a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program Prepares Students for General Surgical Measures


This article explores how a CNA program can prepare students for assisting with general surgical procedures, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in this critical aspect of patient care.

Understanding the CNA Program

A Parent CNA program is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in healthcare, providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to care for patients under the supervision of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). 

The curriculum typically includes classroom instruction, laboratory training, and clinical experience in a healthcare setting.

The Role of CNAs in General Surgical Processes

1. Preoperative Preparation

This may involve assisting with preoperative procedures, such as taking vital signs, obtaining patient history, and ensuring that the patient understands the surgical process and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

2. Operating Room Assistance

During surgery, CNAs provide essential support to the surgical team. This may include setting up the operating room, sterilizing equipment, preparing surgical trays, and assisting with patient positioning and draping.

3. Intraoperative Monitoring

CNAs assist the surgical team by monitoring the patient’s vital signs and providing any additional support or assistance as needed during the procedure.

4. Postoperative Care

After surgery, CNAs play a vital role in the patient’s recovery process. This may involve monitoring vital signs, assisting with wound care, providing pain management, and helping the patient with activities of daily living as they recover from the surgical procedure.

The Integration of General Surgical Processes into CNA Training

1. Didactic Instruction

CNA programs include didactic instruction on general surgical processes, providing students with an understanding of common surgical interventions, patient preparation, and intraoperative and postoperative care.

2. Hands-On Training

In addition to classroom instruction, CNA programs incorporate hands-on training in simulated laboratory settings, where students learn essential skills, such as sterile technique, surgical instrument handling, and patient positioning.

3. Clinical Experience

CNA students gain valuable clinical experience through supervised rotations in healthcare settings, where they have the opportunity to observe and assist with general surgical processes under the guidance of experienced healthcare professionals.

Case Study: CNA Training in Surgical Care

Let’s consider the case of Emily, a CNA student enrolled in a training program at a local community college. As part of her clinical rotation, Emily had the opportunity to assist with a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Under the supervision of her clinical instructor, Emily:

  • Assisted with preoperative patient preparation, including obtaining vital signs and ensuring patient understanding of the procedure.
  • Helped set up the operating room and prepare surgical instruments and equipment.
  • Assisted the surgical team during the procedure by handing instruments, maintaining a sterile field, and monitoring the patient’s vital signs.
  • Provided postoperative care and assistance to the patient as they recovered from surgery.


A CNA program provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to assist with general surgical processes, preparing them for a critical role in the operating room and postoperative care settings. 

By integrating instruction on surgical care into the curriculum, CNA programs ensure that graduates are well-equipped to provide safe, compassionate, and effective care to surgical patients. 

As the demand for skilled healthcare workers continues to grow, CNAs trained in surgical care play an essential role in ensuring positive patient outcomes and promoting overall quality of care.

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.