A nurse aid, or nursing assistant, performs a variety of duties that range from cleaning and bathing patients or residents in a nursing home to assisting patients with toileting and other daily living needs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They may also feed patients or serve meals.Continue Reading
Other duties of nursing assistants include transferring, repositioning and turning patients confined to wheelchairs or beds, notes the BLS. The aid may record and listen to patients’ health problems and notify nursing staff of these issues. Nursing assistants also measure patients’ vital signs, including temperature and blood pressure, and record patients’ weights. Depending on state regulations and specific training, nurse aids sometimes dispense patient medications. In some situations, aids may provide housekeeping services or transport patients from one area to another.
In most states, nursing assistants complete state-approved programs that includes taking skills tests and competency exams before placement on the state’s nursing registry, reports the BLS. A criminal background check and continuing education is often required. Additional credentials for nursing aids allow them to work in a broader range of facilities. For example, an aid may seek out certification as a medication assistant or receive certification in a specific area. As of 2012, the median pay for a nursing assistant was $24,400 per year, or around $11.73 an hour.Learn more about Careers