Resident care aides work primarily in nursing centers which care for hospice patients, dementia patients, and senior residents. They typically assist residents with daily living activities, such as feeding, dressing, showering, and grooming, and they must ensure that living areas are clean and fluid/liquid intakes are monitored at all times. As directed, they may also record vital signs such as blood pressure and body temperature, administer medication, or remind residents to take medication in a timely manner.
Many employers require applicants to have an up-to-date CNA License, current CPR/First Aid certification, and fire safety training. They may also be required to observe patients to detect symptoms such as bruises or open wounds which may require medical attention and, if applicable, report their observations to authorized staff, registered nurses, or patients' physicians.
Strong communication and interpersonal skills are important in this position, and flexibility is also important, as nursing facilities operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Resident care aides usually work on a rotating shift schedule, and the ability to speak a second language, such as Spanish, can be helpful. Educational requirements are not strict for this position, though a high school diploma or equivalent may be a minimum requirement. Prior work experience may also be required by some employers, while others provide on-the-job training.
Resident Care Aide Tasks
Maintain records of patient care, condition, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
Transport clients to locations outside the home, such as to physicians' offices or on outings, using a motor vehicle.
Monitor food and liquid intake and vital signs.
Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
Perform a variety of duties as requested by client, such as obtaining household supplies or running errands.