What is it Like to be a Nursing Assistant?

If you love helping people every day, becoming a nursing assistant will be a great way to earn a living. You are most likely to get deep career satisfaction by providing support and care to patients who need it. Additionally, you can get a job easily after your certification because the overall employment rate of nursing assistants is projected to grow by 8% through 2029. This growth rate is faster than average for most occupations.

Before you become a certified nursing assistant, it is best to understand what the role entails and the qualities you should have to become a successful nursing assistant.

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What Does a Nursing Assistant Do?

As a nursing assistant, you will work under the supervision of a nurse. However, your specific responsibilities and roles will depend on where you are working. For example, you might have to handle the following tasks:

  • Assist patients with some of their basic needs including, eating, dressing, grooming, and bathing.
  • Monitor a patient’s health, paying attention to any changes, and pass on crucial information to your supervising nurse.
  • Take and record a patient’s vital signs throughout your shift such as temperature and blood pressure.
  • Sanitize and clean a patient’s room.
  • Administer medication to some patients.
  • Work with the hospital’s medical technology, such as the billing software.
  • Assist a nurse with some procedures including laying out examination tools, transportation of patients to the treatment unit or the operating room, and setting up any required medical equipment.

The above roles are not exhaustive because your supervising nurse might require you to do more depending on your expertise and hands on learning. However, the key role of a nursing assistant is to act as a bridge between nurses and patients. As a certified nursing assistant, you will have to communicate your concerns about a patient to the appropriate medical staff to help the patient get the required attention they need.

Although the job is fulfilling, it is not always simple. You have to be passionate, empathetic, and committed to ensuring quality care for all patients.

Typical Day for a Nursing Assistant

Start of a Work Shift

As a certified nursing assistant you will likely report to the supervising medical staff and receive a list of your patient assignments for the day. You might stick to a single department or attend to various departments within the healthcare facility.

As a nursing assistant, you will have to review each patient’s notes written by medical staff or a nursing assistant during the previous shift.

During the Shift

As a nursing assistant, you will have to complete the tasks assigned to you by your supervisor before the end of your shift. The tasks might include administrative duties, repositioning patients, or other daily assigned functions.

You must keep a professional and positive attitude because patients rely on nursing assistants to make them more comfortable.

End of a Shift

The end of a shift’s activities can include cleaning up and serving dinner to patients. Additionally, you will have to prepare notes detailing the care offered to each patient during your shift.

Unlike other medical jobs, you do not need a bachelor’s degree to become a certified nursing assistant. However, you will have to attend state-approved formal training and pass a competency exam. The training is often shorter and more affordable than other training programs in the medical field. You can get the training from a vocational college, community college, or a technical school and sit for the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) exam in your state once you’ve completed training. Find your career with us. Contact Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences for information about this exciting career choice.