Every hospital, clinic, and nursing home needs a team of skilled professionals to provide personal care to patients, and nursing assistants play a key role. Nursing assistants answer patient call signals, turn or reposition bedridden patients, and ensure each patient receives the appropriate diet. They help patients with daily living activities such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, walking, and exercising. Nursing assistants measure vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature. They gather, observe, and listen to patients’ health concerns, then document and share them with supervising licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. People in this field use technology such as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), billing software, health information databases, and medical record software. A knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word is helpful. Nursing assistants must complete state-approved training, lasting between a few months to a year, then pass their state’s certification exam. They work in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, home health agencies, doctor’s offices and long-term care facilities or nursing homes. Communication with coworkers and patients is a key aspect of a nursing assistant’s job. Their role is vital to patients’ daily health and well-being.
What they do:
Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, or move patients, or change linens. May transfer or transport patients. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.
On the job, you would:
Answer patient call signals, signal lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patients' needs.
Turn or reposition bedridden patients.
Provide physical support to assist patients to perform daily living activities, such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, standing, walking, or exercising.
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
medicine and dentistry
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
looking for ways to help people
understanding people's reactions
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
Concern for Others
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Medical procedure coding software
Electronic mail software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
CNA Geriatric Specialty
CNA Mentor Specialty
Nurse Assistant Certified
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.
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