Nurse Assistant – All About the Job

nurse assistantNursing is such a wide field and you first have to choose an area of specialization. Being a nurse assistant is one of the options for you. But who really is a nursing assistant, what do they do and how do you become one? It would be advisable before you make this as your nursing choice that you actually know what you are walking into.

In overall, a nurse assistant helps patients of all ages perform basic tasks. They work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a superior depending on where you will work. They are in direct contact with patients day-in-day-out thus playing a key role in helping them get better. They keep the senior nurses informed of the progress of patients and it would be unimaginable not have them playing the linkage role. So let’s see all that you should know about this arguably crucial nurse.


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Nursing Assistants: What They do

The duties of a nursing assistant and what you will be expected to do when given this opportunity include:

  • Bathing and dressing patients
  • Taking vital signs and recording them into their respective charts
  • Serve patients meals and assist those not able to feed on their own
  • Assist patients to get into beds, wheelchairs, examination tables among others
  • From time to time reposition bedridden patients
  • Getting information about the different conditions and the instituted treatment plans from doctors, nurses and caregivers
  • Providing bedpans and emptying them for the patients
  • Administer medication
  • Answering patients calls
  • Examine patients for bruises, blood in urine or other injuries/wounds
  • Ensuring patient areas are cleaned and sanitized
  • Ensuring bed sheets are changed appropriately and their workstation is restocked with the required supplies

How to Become a Nurse Assistant

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Having known the different hats you will be wearing as described above, it is also prudent to know what qualifications or certifications will be necessary for the job. Worth noting is that, unlike with other professions a bachelor’s degree or a higher certification is not necessary.

What is mandatory, however, is a postsecondary training that typically involves getting trained on basic nursing principles while at the same time doing supervised clinical work at a health care facility. What you might ask yourself next is where you can get this form of training. Well, a number of institutions including community colleges, vocational colleges, technical schools, nursing homes and some hospitals do. However, it doesn’t stop after having completed the nursing assistant training program. It is mandatory to pass an examination that proves that you are indeed competent and this gives you a ticket to getting registered in the state’s registry.

With some states having different regulations here and there, it is advisable that you contact your state board of nursing for more detailed and conclusive information on what is required. Some states do a background criminal check; just to give you some heads up. But as long you have the passion you are assured to make it out here.

Critical Attributes for a Nurse Assistant

You are now aware of what duties you will undertake and what you require to be a nursing assistant. The next important thing to know is the critical attributes that will make you succeed in this career path you have passionately chosen. These attributes are highlighted here:

  • Ability to cope: Every day comes with different challenges for the nursing assistant. For instance, a particular day the workload may not be as much. The patients meant to be seen may just be a handful only for the story to change the next week. Even during the course of a day, duties can be so diverse ranging from changing patients’ bed, monitoring vital signs, feeding patients which call upon the nursing assistants to be able to cope, be flexible to avoid any adverse outcomes to the patients or themselves. The health care system is very dynamic and requires one to be able to adapt. That is what you should be.
  • Patience: As the say, patience is a virtue. Being patient with patients is an attribute that is the key if anyone will succeed in this profession. Your patients will be diverse. In the course of practice you will come across patients who are paranoid; overly suspicious of you and their environment and at times they may direct their aggression towards you. For you to effectively discharge your duties, you have to be able to control your reactions to how the patients behave. An understanding that it is their present circumstance forcing them to get frustrated is a key in a successful nursing practice.
  • Excellent communication skills: you will have to be good in communication as you are in direct contact with patients. You cannot escape that for your duty number one demands so. It will help in making decision and delivering the best at all times.
  • Compassionate: the patients will need you care even at their dire situation. You have to be there for them and it takes a compassionate heart to do this.
  • Supportive: you should be ready to be called in and give support at all times even at the dead of the night. The support should be towards patients and all other staff.

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Where to Work and Work Expectations

You would be wondering where you will land a job once you are qualified as a nursing assistant. Just like most of the other nurses, your field is extensive. You will get jobs both in public and private healthcare institutions. Hospitals absorb the largest number of nursing assistants. They need them for a wide range of duties they perform. Nursing homes, physicians’ offices, clinics and other health institutions will need nursing assistants’ services. The versatility of this specialization will get you a job faster than most of the other specializations.

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Nurse Assistant Salary Expectations

On average, a nursing assistant will make $12.36 per hour translating to an annual average of $25,710. This may not be one of the top paying nursing options but it is not after all. If you are looking for a financially rewarding nursing option, this is not a bad one to start from. Besides, many nurses do it for the passion of it but money is still a motivation.

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Once you are set on becoming a nurse assistant you want to have sufficient knowledge on all it takes to become efficient in your profession. First of all, you need to bear in mind that legally you cannot practice on your own. It is not permitted in all states! It is appropriate to present attention giving services or practice your skill in this specialization; moreover, you should be aware that you should not start giving yourself the Certified Nursing Assistant title who can offer such facilities. Engaging in such an action would be an act of breaking the law.nurse assistantnurse assistant

Who Is a Nursing Assistant That Is Specialized?

Having a membership in the health care team is what qualifies someone to be called a professional Nursing Assistant. Regular operation being supervised by the direction of someone above such as RN; the Certified Nursing Assistant gives help in treatment care.

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Why Should Choose This Speciality?

Wanting to be in this field is influenced by many reasons, one of them being the desire to evaluate yourself and know whether you are capable of working productively in this career. In this platform, you will get to meet some health care personnel and get to interact with nurses and other several medical specialists while in action. With this exposure, it won’t take you long to determine whether you are fit to get into the nursing career or you should consider getting involved in a different area within health care and ensure that all every skill that you require is in your hands to propel your future into greatness.

If you are in a hurry to get a job, don’t waste your precious time because the nursing career requires plenty of tough training that needs proper endurance. Some of the training that you may go through is being tasked with taking care of ill people. To undergo such training it is a must for you to have the longing to help people, endurance and sympathy.nurse assistant

If you are intending to become wealthy by practising this career, you won’t be able to achieve your dreams. However, it is an outstanding platform where you will go through several proficiencies that are rare to find in various careers in the market. You will be able to boast as a result of the several accomplishments you attain and you will also enhance your social life by getting to create new relationships with your colleagues in the health care platform. Being a Nurse Assistant requires someone who is devoted to giving all their skill while getting minimal gain out of it. Moreover, you should not forget to give proper attention to your body to ensure that your health condition stays put as you exercise your career.

The Nursing Industry

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There is always an increase of those who want to join the nursing fraternity. It begs the question, why? First, there is a guarantee of landing a job faster than other professions. Becoming an assistant to a nurse is also an easy course to train for. It takes a short time to qualify. It is an easy way to begin your nursing career and later advance in your studies and career.

Where to Work as a CNA

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While on a working set up as an assistant nurse you are required to have a licenced nurse to oversee your practice. There are rules set by the federal and state to protect the public from being treated by assistant nurses that are not competent in the practice. Every assistant nurse should always receive delegated duties from a certified nurse. No matter what title someone holds whether a therapist or doctor you should ensure that you receive instructions from the authorized person.

Nursing assistant’s work is generally viewed as not being highly-skilled. In a sense, this is true. It doesn’t take as long to learn how to operate a Hoyer lift as it does to learn a new computer programming language, for example. But being a good nursing assistant is more than just a set of skills — it’s a gift.

Working Conditions

In the recent past there has been a challenge of having insufficient nursing assistants to take care of patients. Due to this situation, many assistant nurses opt to give themselves the challenge of taking care of a large number of patients at the same time. Licenced assistants in nursing appears on personnel at:

  • Nursing Homes
  • Assisted Living Facilities
  • Staffing Agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Hospices
  • Exercise Groups
  • Day-to-day care Schools
  • Medical Clinics
  • Urgent Care Centers

Career Description and Earnings

Currently, career prospects for Certified Nurse Assistants are bright. It estimates that the demand for this occupation is expected to shift at a 17% scale come the year 2024. This data exceeds the one for normal job growth in the American Nursing fraternity. It is definite that you have some amount of cash that you have in mind that you think that you are supposed to get as your monthly salary while on the nursing assistant occupation. The labor bureau provides nursing assistants with over $36,000 earnings that are determined by where you live place of work and years of experience.

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Before you commit yourself to being a CNA you should keep in mind that they receive minimal monthly earnings. The assistant nurses who have been in this field for long are paid according to their working experience and what part of the country their job is situated. In general, those people that work in the staffing agencies are more advantaged than the people that work in the nursing homes because they receive a better pay. If you want to improve your pay you need to consider joining a union. The general pay for a new nursing assistant at a nursing center ranges at $7/hr and for an experienced assistant working for an agency with a long working experience they get to earn $20/hr. Commonly, most assistant nurses take home $10 to $12/hr earnings after practicing their occupation devotedly. Any CNA that wants to upgrade their earnings can go for extra training to attain the earnings of someone senior in this field.

With the above-given information you can now evaluate yourself and know if you are ready to walk into the healthcare field comfortably.

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