Studies & Degrees in Nursing Assistant
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Nursing assistants are care workers, who work in various institutions, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, etc., and assist the nursing staff by providing care for patients. This is a healthcare profession, involving responsibilities like feeding patients, emptying bedpans, changing diapers or beds, or helping patients bathe/go to the toilet. A nursing assistant would also be trained to measure pulse, check blood pressure and breathing.
On top of that, as a nursing assistant you would be responsible to check the patient’s condition regularly, report it to the nursing staff, and in cases when the patient is hospitalized for a long period of time, you may take care of rehabilitation and making sure the patient is moved on a regular basis. Therefore, the job can also require some heavy lifting when patients need to be helped with getting up and walking. Finally, nursing assistants may be trained to help patients with prescribed physical therapy exercises, work with patients on a home setting, or work with patients, who are in coma.
If you posses a good-hearted, patient nature, you would perfectly correspond to the profession of a Nursing Assistant. Emotional stability is another quality that is important for all healthcare workers of this type in order to be able to carry out their profession. They should also be aware that long term relationships are formed with many patients, which requires good communication skills and open-mindedness. Other qualities include:
- Physical strength
- Team player
- Not repulsed by tasks like bathing, cleaning patients, etc.
Employers of this field mainly require a high school diploma, or the equivalent. Preparation for a Nursing Assistant job can definitely start from high school, by taking subjects like biology, psychology, health psychology, algebra, computer skills, and also courses in dental/medical assisting.
Overall, options for study are very wide. Training is offered in high schools, community colleges, vocational schools, and even employers. On the job training can include areas such as body mechanics, nutrition, anatomy and physiology, cognitive impairments and mental health issues, infection control, personal care skills, and records-keeping. These courses normally take six to eight weeks, finishing with an exam and provide certification of a nursing assistant. There are even opportunities to take a home nursing assistant course.
Career options of Nursing Assistants are very good, as a great number of the population on Earth is getting of a higher age, which would mean more healthcare workers would be needed to meet the new demands on rehabilitation and long term care. For this reason, major employers are expected to be nursing homes and long term care facilities. Employers would also include state hospitals, private clinics, or any other institutions, offering healthcare services. To wrap it up, you would be a valuable member of a healthcare team, working closely with patients who need your assistance.