Certified Nursing Assistant 101 – Your Appearance

How you look plays a vital role in not only obtaining a job, but also how others view your importance and value while on the job. This is especially important when working as a certified nursing assistant. Since this profession requires intimate contact with patients and continual work with professional medical staff, your appearance is highly important. Although specific facilities may require different dress codes, the following information is universal amongst most, if not all, CNA positions.

Your Clothing

Much like any other nursing or doctor-related profession, certified nursing assistants are required to wear scrubs uniforms while on the clock. There are several important factors to consider when purchasing scrubs. The first, you’ll need to make sure scrubs are neither too tight or too loose. CNAs must be able to move around patients and medical equipment with ease. Therefore, scrubs that are too loose or too constricting may prevent fluid movements, or worse, you may get caught on a piece of equipment. Secondly, the color of your scrubs typically indicates the role you have within a particular facility. This is especially true in hospital settings. Consult with your manager, or human resources liaison, to determine what colors you’re allowed to wear.

Personal Hygiene

When working around illnesses and potentially life-threatening bacteria, your personal hygiene is of the utmost importance. Always make sure you’re freshly showered before arriving at work. This prevents accidental contamination of outside germs into the rooms of immune-depressed patients. On the same token, always cleanse yourself thoroughly at the end of a shift to prevent infecting others with bacteria or germs gathered throughout your work day. The easiest way to prevent germ transfer is to thoroughly wash your hands before tending to a patient and immediately afterwards. Also, avoid wearing strong scented deodorants, cologne or perfume. Patients, and other medical staff, may be sensitive to certain scents. Therefore, eliminate this potential workplace issue by using unscented cleaning products.


You’ll likely be working on tiled floors in almost every type of healthcare facility. The reason? Tile is easy to disinfect. Therefore, you must wear appropriate footwear to prevent accidental falls. Discuss footwear options with your manager, or refer to your employee handbook. Make sure to only wear sneakers that feature ultra-dense traction support for slippery surfaces. Aren’t sure where you begin your search? Talk with a friend or relative who works in the service industry as most restaurants require the same type of footwear. Of course, you may also inquire about different brands with your fellow CNAs or RNs.