Nursing Assistants

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$35,760 Median Wage (2022)
202,400 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
4.10% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

Related Work Experience: N.A.

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Up to and including 1 month

On-the-Job Training: Anything beyond short demonstration, up to and including 1 month

Detailed Work Activities

  • Give medications or immunizations.
  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
  • Operate medical equipment.
  • Assist practitioners to perform medical procedures.
  • Clean patient rooms or patient treatment rooms.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Interview patients to gather medical information.
  • Monitor patients to detect health problems.
  • Record vital statistics or other health information.
  • Feed patients.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Assess physical conditions of patients to aid in diagnosis or treatment.
  • Hold patients to ensure proper positioning or safety.
  • Adjust positions of patients on beds or tables.
  • Assist patients with daily activities.
  • Stock medical or patient care supplies.
  • Analyze patient data to determine patient needs or treatment goals.
  • Prepare medical instruments or equipment for use.
  • Dispose of biomedical waste in accordance with standards.
  • Move patients to or from treatment areas.
  • Administer therapy treatments to patients using hands or physical treatment aids.
  • Explain technical medical information to patients.
  • Provide basic information to guests, visitors, or clients.
  • Transport biological or other medical materials.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Turn or reposition bedridden patients.
  • Answer patient call signals, signal lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patients' needs.
  • Feed patients or assist patients to eat or drink.
  • Measure and record food and liquid intake or urinary and fecal output, reporting changes to medical or nursing staff.
  • Provide physical support to assist patients to perform daily living activities, such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, standing, walking, or exercising.
  • Document or otherwise report observations of patient behavior, complaints, or physical symptoms to nurses.
  • Remind patients to take medications or nutritional supplements.
  • Review patients' dietary restrictions, food allergies, and preferences to ensure patient receives appropriate diet.
  • Undress, wash, and dress patients who are unable to do so for themselves.
  • Observe or examine patients to detect symptoms that may require medical attention, such as bruises, open wounds, or blood in urine.
  • Lift or assist others to lift patients to move them on or off beds, examination tables, surgical tables, or stretchers.
  • Supply, collect, or empty bedpans.
  • Communicate with patients to ascertain feelings or need for assistance or social and emotional support.
  • Record vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, or respiration rate, as directed by medical or nursing staff.
  • Gather information from caregivers, nurses, or physicians about patient condition, treatment plans, or appropriate activities.
  • Wash, groom, shave, or drape patients to prepare them for surgery, treatment, or examination.
  • Prepare or serve food trays.
  • Change bed linens or make beds.
  • Exercise patients who are comatose, paralyzed, or have restricted mobility.
  • Restock patient rooms with personal hygiene items, such as towels, washcloths, soap, or toilet paper.
  • Clean and sanitize patient rooms, bathrooms, examination rooms, or other patient areas.
  • Assist nurses or physicians in the operation of medical equipment or provision of patient care.
  • Record height or weight of patients.
  • Transport patients to treatment units, testing units, operating rooms, or other areas, using wheelchairs, stretchers, or moveable beds.
  • Collect specimens, such as urine, feces, or sputum.
  • Provide information, such as directions, visiting hours, or patient status information to visitors or callers.
  • Position or hold patients in position for surgical preparation.
  • Set up treating or testing equipment, such as oxygen tents, portable radiograph (x-ray) equipment, or overhead irrigation bottles, as directed by a physician or nurse.
  • Administer medications or treatments, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages, or douches, as directed by a physician or nurse.
  • Apply clean dressings, slings, stockings, or support bandages, under direction of nurse or physician.
  • Stock or issue medical supplies, such as dressing packs or treatment trays.
  • Explain medical instructions to patients or family members.
  • Transport specimens, laboratory items, or pharmacy items, ensuring proper documentation and delivery to authorized personnel.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.