A Nursing Assistant holds a very important position in the health care industry. Longer life spans nowadays only mean more opportunities for nursing assistants. They have to care for patients, take care of their needs and help them to day-to-day activities.
For a Nursing Assistant, the most important attribute would be a positive attitude. He should be always ready to help the patients. Many a times, it is the helpful and caring nature of the nurse—and not the medicines—which works wonders for the recovery of the patients.
He should also possess the ability to work in a team. Taking care of the patient is not a one-man job. It requires proper co-ordination and co-operation among the different personnel needed for the treatment.
He should be willing to perform routine tasks. He may also need to face uncomfortable situations like changing dirty sheets and blankets, emptying bedpans, and caring for a patient with infectious diseases.
He would be required to deal with various kinds of patients, and not all patients are cooperative. Some patients can be bad-tempered, unsettled, and fussy. So, the Nursing Assistant needs to be calm and composed in performing his duties without getting agitated.
A Nursing Assistant needs to answer the signal lights, bells or intercoms to find out about the patient’s needs. He takes care of the basic activities of patients—he bathes and dresses them. He also serves and collects food trays and feeds those patients who require help, especially bedridden patients.
A Nursing Assistant transports patients using wheelchairs or assists patients to walk. He makes patients ready for examinations and treatments, and performs such duties as holding instruments and adjusting lights. He also cleans, sterilizes, stores, prepares and issues dressing packs, treatment trays, and other supplies. It is his responsibility to take and record temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates, and food and fluid intake and output, as directed.
A Nursing Assistant may also need to assist in providing medical treatment and personal care to patients in private home settings. It is his prime duty to observe patients’ physical, mental and emotional conditions and inform nursing or medical staff if need be.
A Nursing Assistant would be expected to work 40 hours per week and in case of dire circumstances, he should be ready to work during nights, weekends and holidays.
A Nursing Assistant should have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. It is also compulsory to receive Nurse training or do a course in nursing.
He would also be required to undergo a physical examination.
Tips for the Job
- A Nursing Assistant should always have a pleasing and cheerful attitude to win over the hearts of the patients.
- He should be glad to be of help to the patients in their time of need.
- He must be patient and composed because it may get hard to deal with patients at times.
- He must be very dedicated to the job, since he may have to work long hours.