Nurse Aides also called as Orderlies or Attendants are staffs in the hospitals and clinic that provide basic patient care under the assistance of the nursing staff.
Nursing Aides are responsible for assisting patients, nurses, undertake hospital maintenance, supervise medical tasks, and ensure cleanliness and orderliness in the hospital. They have duties like feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, and moving patients as often as needed. Their tasks also include changing linens, mopping, serving medicine pills and food, etc.
They usually work in hospitals; however clinics and care centers often are in need of nurse aides.
Nurse Aides need to be extremely good with people, empathic, understanding and helpful. Apart from these qualities a few skills are needed for an ideal Nursing Aide.
- Strong communication power: To interact with the nurses, assistant doctors and patients efficiently.
- Observational skills: Must notice vital signs and report to the nurse or assistant doctor.
- Tactful: To deal with multiple patients, their diverse needs and wants.
- Multi tasking skills: Nurse Aides may need to attend multiple patients, keep a record of each patient’s details and perform their tasks accurately on timely basis.
- Orderliness and organized: Often nursing aides are required to document vital signs and changes in the patients.
The duties and responsibilities are dependable on the size and nature of the hospital/ clinic. The most obvious duties are listed below:
- Answer patient’s calls. Serve their adequate needs.
- Answer visitors. Maintain strict off-visiting hours’ code of conduct.
- Serve medicines and prescribed food on time. Prepare, serve and collect meal trays.
- Perform activities like bathing, shaving, grooming, dressing, draping patients. Prepare them for surgery, treatments or x-rays.
- Transport patients to units by using wheelchairs and stretchers.
- Clean rooms by mopping, changing linens and toiletries.
- Supervising exercises, re positioning bedridden patients, applying dressings, etc.
- Collect specimens when required. Deliver these specimens along with documents or prescriptions.
- Explain medical instructions to patients and their family.
- Maintain inventory and keep a track of them.
- Observe and document signs or changes in the patients.
Nursing aides usually work in hospitals, sometimes even in clinics and nursing homes. The job could get quite tiring since the duties are mostly active and energetic. The working hours are pre-fixed by the hospitals, shifts and over-time are usually available options, and generally the standard work time would be 8-10 hours. Leaves on public holidays are usually denied, unless formerly mentioned.
Nurse Aides are more respectable when they hold the authentic license of being one. IELTS and NCLEX passers are always honored. Training in any related medical seminars, workshops and activities adds to the profile.
Most working houses offer training officially and unofficially.
Two years of progressive experience call for an increment or promotion in most of the work places.
Tips for the Job
- Respond immediately to patients’ calls.
- Make sure visitors are clean and safe to visit patients.
- Make every patient feel comfortable and pampered.
- Look out for vital signs and changes by interacting constantly with patients.