A Nursing Assistant may also known as a nursing aide, personal care worker, geriatric aide, unlicensed assistive nursing personnel, orderlies, or hospital attendants. They title often depends on the institutional and local governmental policies. Nursing assistants generally perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and medical staff. They will often answer patients call lights, deliver messages, serve meals, make beds, help patients to eat, dress, and bath. They also may provide skin care to patients; take their temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure.
Other duties of nursing assistants may include helping patients get into and out of bed and walk. They also may escort patients to operating or examining rooms and help to keep the patient rooms neat and clean. A nursing assistant may also be responsible to set up medical equipment, store and move supplies. Many times a nursing assistant may be requested to observe a patient's physical, mental or emotional condition and report any change to the nursing or medical staff.
The job outlook for nursing assistants and related careers is excellent. According to the United States Department of Labor the overall employment of nursing assistants and related careers "... is projected to grow much faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014." In the United States the median hourly earnings of nursing assistants, nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants was $10.09 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.59 and $12.09 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.31, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.02 an hour.
Nursing assistants may also choose to work as home care aides helping the elderly, disabled, ill, and mentally disabled persons live in their own homes or in residential care facilities instead of in health facilities. Most personal and home care aides work with elderly or physically or mentally disabled clients who need more extensive personal and home care than family or friends can provide.
Some aides work with families in which a parent is incapacitated and small children need care. Others help discharged hospital patients who have relatively short-term needs. Nursing assistants, home care aides and related professionals should have a desire to help people and not mind hard work. They should be responsible, compassionate, emotionally stable, and cheerful. In addition, aides should be tactful, honest, and discreet because they work in private homes.
Job training and education for nursing assistants and aides varies greatly. Many receive on the job training while others may take traditional or internet based classes. Certain jobs may require additional certification or licensure, so it is important that students check with their local medical or nursing regulatory agencies to assure that a particular training program will meet their needs. In the United States many jobs require nursing assistant to take additional state approved classes and testing.
The nursing assistant often plays an important role in providing basic care while ensuring the safety and comfort of patients. If the idea of making a positive difference in the lives of others while enjoying above average salaries, benefits and job security appeals to you, a career as a nursing assistant or related healthcare profession may be worth considering.
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