9 Ways to Handle Patient Complaints as a CNA

9 Ways to Handle Patient Complaints as a CNA

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Are you practicing as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)? Wondering how to handle patients and patient complaints? Are you looking for some tips to handle patient complaints as a CNA working in the U.S.? Worry not!

This article will help you learn some tips to handle patient complaints as a CNA. These tips will help you understand the patient and their complaints and address them in the right way.

Tips to Handle Patient Complaints

As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), you work closely with many patients compared to other workers in the healthcare team. It is essential for a CNA to know the ways to handle patient complaints in a smooth manner. Not all patients under your care will be easy to work with, so it is required for CNAs to learn ways to handle patients and their complaints, and address them in the right ways.

Here are some ways to handle patient complaints as a CNA:

Tips to Handle Patient Complaints
Tips to Handle Patient Complaints
  • Listen carefully to your patient’s complaint.
  • Address concerns quickly.
  • Inform patients of your plans.
  • Apologize and speak cautiously.
  • Be patient with your patients.
  • Empathize with your patients.
  • Document patients’ complaints.
  • Inquire about the patient’s complaints.
  • Take responsibility if required.

Let’s now discuss these tips in detail.


As a CNA, it is necessary for you to listen to patients’ complaints carefully. Listening to patients helps to give them the assurance that their complaint is being heard. As a CNA, when you listen to a patient’s complaint carefully and patiently, you may find a way to solve and sort things out quickly.


When it comes to complaining, patients expect some kind of response from the CNA to try to solve the issue the patient is facing. So, it is not just about listening to a patient’s complaint, but it is also about how the issue is addressed and how quickly it is sorted out. Trying to resolve complaints quickly can help you build a better bond, and can earn the trust of the patient.


It is always good practice for a CNA, or any healthcare provider, to inform patients of your plans before they carry them out. If you can solve the problem on your own, it is good to inform the patient about it. But, if you require someone else’s help from the healthcare team to solve the problem, it is good practice to inform your patient about that as well. As a CNA taking care of the patient, it is also your responsibility to keep the patient updated about how their problem is being solved by your team.


A Certified Nursing Assistant handles various kinds of patients, and not all patients will be easy to handle or work with. As a CNA, if a patient is complaining about an issue, it is always good practice to pause and respond calmly. It is also good to apologize to the patient if required. Speaking calmly can make the patient also calm down.


As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you need to master the skill of being patient with patients and in handling them as well. When you patiently handle patients and respond to them calmly, it can help to calm down a patient who is agitated. Having patients is an utmost requirement when it comes to handling patient complaints as a CNA.


When a patient complains, try to put yourself in the patient’s place, and try to understand their complaints. It is essential for a CNA to empathize and respond in a soft manner when a patient is complaining about an issue they are facing. You can also seek more clarity if required to avoid having arguments.


As a CNA, it is very important for you to document patients’ complaints. You can create a form asking for the basic details of the patient, such as name, date, patient details, and the patient’s complaints. This can also help you keep track of the issue and if it is sorted out or not.


Before you react to a patient’s complaint, it is necessary for a CNA to inquire and understand the patient’s concerns. It is good practice to seek clarity from the patient whenever required. Inquiring about the problem can help you gain better clarity and understanding of the issue. It can also help you find out a solution to those issues.


If you feel like you have committed a mistake or that you should apologize, it is good to do so. As a CNA responsible for patients, you need to have the courage to take responsibility if and when it is required.

Wrapping Up

If you have been looking for tips to handle patient complaints as a CNA, this article should have helped you learn more tips on that. As a CNA, you need to have the skill and courage to handle various kinds of patients under your care. Following these tips can help you become one of the best CNAs in your state.

If you are passionate about becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant in your state, take our free CNA practice test

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the most common patient complaints?

Some of the most common patient complaints are as follows:

  • Insurance and billing issues.
  • Issues or disagreements with staff members.
  • Long waiting durations.
  • Lack of communication.

How do you deal with challenging patients?

Some ways to deal with challenging patients are as follows:

  • Be careful about your body language.
  • Set boundaries.
  • Have a proactive approach.
  • Listen patiently and carefully.
  • Do not become defensive.

What is the best way to respond to a patient?

Some of the best ways to respond to a patient are as follows:

  • Empathize.
  • Apologize if required.
  • Take responsibility if needed.
  • Address the patient’s concerns as quickly as possible.
  • Respond calmly.