What do Nursing Assistants Do?
Nursing assistants help nurses by providing basic care to patients. Nursing assistants aren’t certified to do many medical procedures, so they do basic work while the nurses do medical procedures. These things may include changing linens, transporting patients, and checking vitals.
Nursing Assistants Skills and Abilities
Nursing assistants make rounds and make sure patients have stable vitals. As a nursing assistant, you need to have a good demeanor. You can be the one to lift a patient’s spirit and make them happy during a hospital stay. You need to have great listening skills. You have to know how to meet your patient’s needs and know when to call a nurse or a doctor.
Nursing Assistants Duties
As a nursing assistant, you will be in charge of answering a lot of patient calls. In the hospital, patients often call for water, help to the restroom, an extra pillow, or simple questions. If nurses and doctors answer every call, they won’t be able to get everything done that they need to do. It’s up to you to make sure the little things are taken care of so the doctors and nurses aren’t wasting their time. While you can’t prescribe medication as a nursing assistant, you will likely be in charge of handing it out and making sure the patients take them. You need to bring patients food and clear their trays when they are finished. If doctors need specimens collected such as feces or urine, you are in charge of making sure it’s collected and transported properly.You will also need to prepare patient rooms in between patients or if a patient has been in a room for a while. You will clean and sanitize their rooms and change the linens. When patients leave, you could be in charge of discharge instructions. You need to make sure patients and their families understand how to take care of your illnesses and injuries once they get home.
Nursing Assistants Tools and Technology
Nursing assistants use a wide variety of tools depending on the patient. You will use bedpans to help patients if they can’t get up to go to the bathroom. You will use thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, and stethoscopes to check the vitals of your patients. As you check on patients, you will need to keep their charts updated. You will use patient database software to make sure the proper information is added to their charts.
Education and Training Nursing Assistants
To become a nursing assistant, you will need a nursing assistant certificate. This is a postsecondary non-degree award. You take a few months of classes and receive a certificate stating that you are licensed o be a nursing assistant. However, some medical institutions might hire you out of high school and train you on the job. Your duties will be limited to anything that doesn’t need a license to do. 37% of nursing assistants have a high school diploma listed as their highest education. Almost 32% of nursing assistants have taken a certificate course.
Nursing Assistants Salary
The average salary of a nursing assistant is about $25,000 per year and $12 per hour. Alaska has the highest paid nursing assistants at $17.48 per hour and $36,400 per year. The state with the lowest paid nursing assistants is Louisiana. They make an average of $9.47 per hour and $19,700 per year.
Nursing Assistants Jobs by Geography
In the United States, there are 1,479,800 nursing assistants. New York has the most nursing assistants with 104,700. Next is California with 98,400. Third on the list is Florida with 86,990. The United States will need many more nursing assistants in the future, so it’s a great time to go for the career. There is a 21.1% projected percent change, adding more than 300,000 more nursing assistant jobs by 2022.