Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
Are you interested in a career in the health industry? Becoming a nurse assistant or a patient care assistant requires less than a year of formal training beyond high school and can lead to several career opportunities. Continue reading to learn about nurse assistant programs, topics they cover and the career outlook for nurse and patient care assistants.
Inside Nurse and Patient Care Assistance
Nurse assistants and patient care assistants, also called nurse aides, work alongside physicians and nurses to provide basic health care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they deliver messages, serve meals, clean rooms, make beds, take a patient's pulse or blood pressure, give routine medications or take patients for treatments or tests (www.bls.gov). They may also dress, groom and bathe patients.
To become a nurse assistant, students can complete a certificate that takes as little as a semester or as much as a year to complete. The program includes a variety of lectures, labs and clinical practicums. Courses address legal issues, death and dying, anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, medical ethics, the role of the nurse assistant, nursing theory, controlling infection and taking vital signs. Rotations provide practical experience working with patients in a hospital, nursing homes or a doctor's office so students become familiar with the pace and learn the procedures. Graduates should be able to help nurses develop a nutrition plan for patients, provide daily care to patients and handle emergencies.
The BLS states that nurse assistants should be physically healthy, emotionally stable, dependable, patient, tactful, understanding and interested in helping people. They also should have good communication skills and be able to work as part of a team. Nursing aides must also earn licensure, for which requirements vary by state. The BLS projected that between 2008 and 2018 the employment of nurse assistants would increase by 19%. As of May 2010, the median annual salary for nursing aides was $24,010, according to the BLS.
Learn More About Nurse and Patient Care Assistants
Nurse assistants and patient care assistants take over the routine jobs in a medical facility, freeing doctors and nurses up for more pressing concerns. Whether you're interested in learning about degree programs, including online options, the career possibilities, certification requirements or specialization options, Education-Portal.com has the resources to answer your questions so you can decide whether the field is a good fit for you.
The following pages include information about the individual courses and degree programs that can prepare you for a career as a nurse assistant or a patient care assistant.
- CNA Classes
- Patient Care Assistant Classes
- Nurse's Aide Programs
- Nurse Aide Certificate
- Nurse Assistant Programs
Learn about the job responsibilities, employment outlook and salary requirements for the following careers in nurse and patient care assistance.
Distance Learning Options
Distance learning courses and programs are available for aspiring nurse assistants. Read about the topics you'll study and how they can prepare you for this field.
To work as a nurse's aide, you must have a license or a certification to practice. The following are of the certifications you can earn, including the requirements.
- Nursing Assistant License
- Nurse Assistant Certification
- CNA Certification
- Patient Care Assistant Certification
As a nurse assistant, you can work in many different places. The following pages identify some of the specializations available.
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