A state-tested nursing assistant (STNA) works in an entry level medical position in a number of settings including hospitals, retirement homes and as a home care provider. After fulfilling the state requirements for certification, a STNA is qualified to perform a number of duties assisting patients including feeding, dressing, grooming and bathing those people in need and assisting with observation or direct care under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN), as explained by Careers.org.
Other important tasks of a STNA are monitoring feeding routines and vital signs while reporting any significant changes to the RN in charge, as detailed by PayScale.
Different states have their own guidelines for becoming a STNA but basic requirements include a high school diploma, the completion of a 100-hour training course and certification in first aid and CPR. Depending on the state, a practical clinical rotation is also needed before certification is granted.
Nursing assistants also help with changing linens, collecting food trays, cleaning and prepare medical equipment, assisting with procedures executed by doctors and RNs as well as admitting and discharging patients.
Skills related to the job include strong personal communication abilities, an understanding of basic medical terminology and the ability to effectively read medical charts. The average national salary for a STNA is between $18,000 and $28,000, as of 2015.