Nursing: Nursing Assistance, Orderly, Attendant
Meet Joey …
When Joey was caught in the latest round of layoffs at his manufacturing job, he decided to change careers. "I was sick of the constant downsizing, so I looked for a career in a growing field." So Joey became a Nurse Assistant, an occupation expecting more than 2,200 vacancies here in southwestern Pennsylvania by 2010. " When I was laid off, I needed to help support my family -- I needed a job right away." With just a few months of on-the-job training, Joey was on his way to a new career as a nursing assistant.
As a nursiing assistant, (sometimes called a nurse aide or orderly), Joey works in an entry-level position in a nursing department. The core of his job is helping the professional nursing staff care for sick or disabled patients. The job description for nursing assitants varies from facility to facility, but some typical responsibilities include answering patient bed calls, serving and collecting food trays, and delivering messages.
While assisting in basic patient care, Joey administers catherterization treatment, takes and records temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates. On a typical day, he may also accompany patients duriing exercise periods, transport patients in wheel chairs and stretchers, and assit the nurses in lifting and turning patients in bed.
"You have a lot of contact with patients, so it helps if you're a 'people-person,'" Joey says. Nursing assistants can also assist patients with their personal hygiene, give massages and alcohol rubs, and clean patient rooms.Back to top
Career Q and A …
Q: What would I earn?
A: The average annual salary for nursing assistant in Pittsburgh region is about $20,000. Salary levels vary dependiing on your experience.
Q: Where would I work?
A: Nursing assistants often work in long-term care facilities, like nursing homes, and some work in hospitals. As a nursing assistant, you could also work for state government agency, a mental health clinic or an outpatient care center.
Other healthcare professionals, called Home health Assistants, Perform many similar tasks, but they usually give care in a patient's home rather than a clinical setting. The job responsibilities, traininig requirements, and salary rates for home health aides are very similar to those of a nursing assistant.
Q: What kind of training would I need?
A: Most employers require you to have a high school diploma or an equivalent. In many cases, you won't need previous experience. A few employers, on the other hand, require you to have some training or experience.
Long-term care facilities, like nursiing homes, often hire inexperienced workers who must then complete 75 hours of training and pass a competencyexamination. if you complete the program, you are certified and placed on te Pennsylvania registry of nursing assistants. You can also pursue voluntary certification from The National Association for Home care. Nursing assistant training is also offered in high schools, vocational-technical centers, some nursing care facilities, and some community colleges. In those settings, you'll learn boy mechanics, nutrition, anotomy and physiology, infection control, communication skills, and resident rights. You will also develop personal care skills, such as how to help patients bathe, eat, and groom.
Q: Where can I pursue my training?
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A: Many nurse assitants get their training on the job, from employers like long-term care facilities(nursing homes). If on-the-job training isn't for you, there are a lot of other options, like vocational-technical (vo-tech) schools or programs in community colleges.
Nursing Assistance, Orderly, Attendant at a glance...
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|Type of Work
||Perform basic nursing care, assist with activities of daily living (ADL)
||Accute facilities (hospitals) and non-acute facilities (nursing homes), all shifts
||License (Certified Nursing Assistant)
||High School Diploma
|Post Secondary Requirements
|Licensure or Certification
||Voluntary certification, competency test, registry
||Some experience preferred
||Education and training needed to advance
|Average Annual Salary
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