Nursing Aides: What Is The Job All About

A nursing aide or assistant is one way of getting closer to becoming a nurse. This is a job for people who want to start their nursing careers right away without spending thousands of dollars for a nursing education. Being a nursing assistant is surely a fulfilling job since you get to work closely with patients too. You will be with them in each step of their recovery.

A nursing assistant plays an active role in patient’s lives. They are caregivers who are compassionate, patient, emotionally supportive, encouraging and most of all provide basic health and medical needs of patients. If you want to start your nursing career early, becoming a nursing assistant is a good decision.

What Does A Nursing Assistant Do?

What Does A Nursing Assistant Do?Nursing assistants or aides work as assistants to nurses. This means that they will be providing basic patient care too. Nursing aides work in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Part of their duties is to bathe patients who cannot bathe themselves. They also help patients in toileting and dressing up. They assist repositioning patients on beds and helps in transferring patients in wheelchairs. Nursing assistants record health concerns and report it to their superiors. They can check blood pressure, temperature and measure vital signs of patients. They help patients in eating.

Some states would allow nursing assistants to dispense medication while some do not. They are considered as principal caregivers in nursing homes. They spend a lot of time with the residents. This is where they can offer emotional support to residents they care for every day. Nursing assistants work under licensed practical nurses or registered nurses.

Becoming A Nursing Assistant

To become a nursing assistant, they should complete a post-secondary certificate. This type of training program is offered in technical schools and community colleges. Some nursing homes and hospitals offer this type of training too. Nursing assistant training programs teaches students about basic nursing skills. Students have to complete supervised clinical work to complete the training.

Becoming A Nursing AssistantAfter the completion of the training program, the nursing assistant must take a competency test. Nursing assistants should pass this exam to get certification. Titles are given to nursing assistants who pass the test. The usual title is Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA. Certified nursing assistants are placed on the state registry. Only those listed in the registry are allowed to work in nursing homes.

Different states will have different set of requirements. There are states that will require continuing education and criminal background check before giving the certification. Some states allow nursing assistants to achieve a higher title like Certified Medication Assistant or CMA. CMAs can administer medications to patients.

Nursing assistants should be empathetic to patients they work with. Since most nursing assistants work in the nursing home, they should be very patient with the seniors. Seniors can be very stubborn and easily irritated. However, nursing assistants who are compassionate and patient will easily understand what the patients are going through. Nursing assistants should always provide quality nursing care no matter how demanding a patient is. Further, nursing assistants should be able to communicate effectively with patients, residents and supervisors.

Online Nursing Assistant Training Certificate Programs

For students who do not have time to go to a technical college and study full-time, you can become a nursing assistant through getting online education. There are online nursing assistant certificate programs that you can enroll in. This training program will teach you the duties of a nursing assistant and how to perform them properly. You will be taught how to identify symptoms, make important observations and learn how to provide quality health care. Most importantly, the training program will prepare you in passing the competency exam.

The Career Of A Nursing Assistant

Many people aspire to become a nurse but since nursing education is expensive and lengthy, they choose to become nursing assistants or practical nurses first. This allows them to immerse in a nursing career to help them decide if this is a career they really want to advance in.

Nursing Assistant Training Certificate ProgramsIn 2010, there were 1.5 million nursing assistants, attendants and orderlies.55% of them work in nursing and residential care facilities while 28% worked on local, state and private hospitals. Only 3% work in home health care services and 2% work in employment services.

Nursing assistants may have an easy road to getting work but the job is quite strenuous. They stand for long periods of time and are tasked to do unpleasant things like emptying dirty bedpans and even assisting patients with toileting. Nursing assistants are prone to injuries since their jobs can be physically demanding. They have to lift and move patients constantly. However, if done properly, injuries at work can be avoided easily.

Nursing assistants work full-time. In nursing homes, they work in shifting schedules since residents need care at all hours. Nursing assistants can work at night, weekends and holidays as well.

The employment outlook for nursing assistants is expected to grow by 20% from 2010-2020. This increase is attributed to the growing aging population. There is a huge demand for nursing assistants in long-term healthcare facilities. This demand in nursing healthcare facilities provides a great employment outlook for all nursing professions.

Certified nursing assistants that are formally trained will have an easier time looking for work in long-term care facilities. This job is physically and emotionally demanding which is why employers need trained nursing assistants. If you have done some volunteer work before, this will be a plus in your resume.

The median annual salary for nursing assistants is $24,010. The top 10% earned more than $34,580 while the lower 10% earns less than $17,790. The salary for nursing assistants is not that high due to the fewer educational requirements. Nonetheless, if you do decide to advance in your career by becoming a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse, you can expect your salary to increase by 50% to 80%.

Nursing assistants play an important role in residential healthcare today and you might want to take advantage of this. This is a fulfilling job but it is always better to aim for a higher-level nursing job so you can have job security, stability, more job satisfaction and higher pay.

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