Nurse assistants are actually the bulk of what people assume to be nurses in hospitals and related fields. Nurse assistants are vital to the medical industry: They spend more time with patients than any other medical professional. They also handle all of the other necessary jobs that doctors and registered nurses simply do not have the time for. Nurse assistants often find their job very fulfilling as they possess the ability to truly help people in need of medical attention and to have a direct impact on their health and care.
Nurse assistants work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or physician and their working environment can range from the extremes of the emergency room to the relatively mundane responsibilities of a university nurse's office. They may be very busy or they might not have many patients to handle depending on the environment. The working hours for a nurse assistant also vary depending on where they work. If they work at a pediatrician's office, they will likely work an eight hour shift anywhere between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. If they work in a hospital they might work days, nights, 12 hour shifts or sometimes even double shifts.
Nurse assistants use a variety of tools including a stethoscope, watch, blood pressure cuff, penlight, scissors, and many other tools depending on where they work. Requirements for becoming a nurse assistant includes a high school diploma and completion of a nurse assistant training course. In many cases, they must also be able to lift at least 75 pounds and many positions require prior experience in the field.
Nurse Assistant Tasks
- Position, feed, bathe, dress and assist patients with grooming and other tasks.
- Observe patients' conditions, measure and record food and liquid intake and output and vital signs, and report changes to professional staff.
- Assists with direct patient care under the supervision of the RN or other medical professionals.
- Provide patients with help walking, exercising, and moving in and out of bed.