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Everything You Need to Know About Working as a Nursing Assistant

nursing assistantIf you’re someone who truly enjoys caring for other people, then you should consider pursuing a career as a nursing assistant.

It’s hard to think of another job where you’ll have more opportunities to look after those in need and help their loved ones care for them, too.

A Day in the Life of a Nursing Assistant

There’s no way to accurately summarize a nursing assistant’s daily activities, other than to say that they are constantly caring for others.

Outside of that mainstay, nursing assistants’ workdays depend on where they work and what their patients need. This makes it a great career not just for people who love helping others but also those who crave variety and get bored easily.

What Does a Nursing Assistant Do?

In just a moment, we’ll explore the many different places you could work as a nursing assistant. Where you work will influence the type of work you do every day.

That being said, most nursing assistants will do the majority of the following duties on a regular basis, regardless of where they work:

  • Answering patient calls
  • Assisting patients with light exercise (e.g. going for walks)
  • Changing bed sheets and restocking rooms with necessary materials and supplies
  • Checking patients’ vital signs
  • Cleaning and sanitizing patients’ wounds, infections, surgical areas, etc.
  • Collecting information about patients’ conditions and treatment plans from them and/or their doctors, caregivers, and nurses
  • Examining patients for bruises, injuries, wounds, etc.
  • Lifting patients into wheelchairs, beds, exam tables, etc.
  • Oversee patients’ hygiene (including bathing)
  • Providing and emptying bedpans
  • Serving patients their meals and helping them eat
  • Turning or repositioning bedridden patients as necessary

As you can see, your regular duties as a nursing assistant vary and are very important. Your job is about ensuring patients’ comfort but also helping to facilitate the care they receive from their doctors, physicians, and family members.

Serving as a Conduit

This provides a convenient transition into one of the most important roles you’ll play as a nursing assistant: that of a messenger.

A big part of your job will be relaying important messages between your patients and their caregivers, nurses, doctors, physicians, and even their family members. Your patients will most likely have questions for you on a daily basis, which you’ll need to take to the relevant party (if you can’t answer them yourself).

As we touched on above, this may also mean communicating with doctors when you simply see or sense something isn’t right with a patient, whether or not they actually brought up any problems on their own.

In this way, you’re one of the most important people to the health of these patients.

Don’t be surprised, too, if their family members seek you out for information. Obviously, they’ll always want to talk to the doctor/physician in charge, but you’re the one who will be spending the most time around their family member. It will be you they turn to for updates on their general day-to-day wellbeing.

Where Nursing Assistants Work

Anywhere people need ongoing help from caring, qualified professionals, you’ll find nursing assistants.

Here are the most common places they work:

  • Assisted-Living Facilities
  • Continuing-Care Retirement Communities
  • Home Healthcare Services
  • Hospitals (State and Private)
  • Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Nursing Homes
  • Residential Care Facilities

While the locations are different, the vast majority of your duties as a nursing assistant will remain the same. The biggest differences will simply have to do with the people for whom you’re caring (e.g. someone who needs home health care services will require something different than someone in a nursing home).

Contact us today and we’ll send you more information about working as a nursing assistant and how IntelliTec Colleges can prepare you for this role in as few as four weeks.

Would Working as a Nursing Assistant Be a Good Fit for You?

The obvious “requirement” we’ve already covered is that you should consider working as a nursing assistant if you genuinely enjoy helping others because that is what you’ll be doing each and every day.

That said, having a big heart may not always be enough. Consider the following traits that most nursing assistants also have.

1. Great Interpersonal Communication

Earlier, we mentioned how much of your role will involve communication, so the better you are at this skill, the easier it will be to succeed as a nursing assistant.

If you’ve already been told you’re a “people-person,” that’s probably a good sign that you’d be an ideal fit for this position.

However, you should also know when it’s time to simply listen. Your patients will make it much easier to care for them if you give them the opportunity to talk about how they’re feeling.

2. Dedication

Taking care of people every day is incredibly rewarding. You’ll definitely feel the gratitude, both from your patients and their loved ones.

Of course, that’s because a lot of what you do won’t be very glamorous. You need to be very dedicated to helping others in order to clean their wounds, change their diapers, and help them on and off the toilet.

Every nursing assistant has their own “horror story” to tell, but most will also tell you that it’s completely worth it and that, over time, it just becomes a normal part of a job – and an extremely rewarding one at that.

3. A Certain Degree of Physical Fitness

Some days, working as a nursing assistant will seem relatively routine. Other days, you’ll find that you hardly have a moment to catch your breath.

So if you’re looking for a tedious way to spend your time, this isn’t the career path for you.

Nursing assistants are constantly adapting to change. This also means they’re constantly on their feet and often carrying some amount of a patient’s weight.

You don’t need to be an endurance athlete to enter this field, but it’s best for people who are at least in fairly good shape and plan on keeping it that way.

Would You Like to Pursue a Career as a Nursing Assistant?

Do you love the idea of waking up every morning knowing that there are people who rely on you to make it through the day?

If so, contact us today and we’ll send you more information about working as a nursing assistant and how IntelliTec Colleges can prepare you for this role in as few as four weeks!