Nursing Assistants

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About the Job

Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties such as feed, bathe, dress, groom, or move patients, or change linens. May transfer or transport patients. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

It is also Called

  • Ward Helper
  • Ward Attendant
  • Ward Aide
  • Surgical Aide
  • Student Nurse
  • State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA)
  • Practical Nurse
  • Patient Sitter
  • Patient Care Technician (PCT)
  • Patient Care Associate
show all

What They Do

  • Stock or issue medical supplies, such as dressing packs or treatment trays.
  • Explain medical instructions to patients or family members.
  • 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.
  • Transport specimens, laboratory items, or pharmacy items, ensuring proper documentation and delivery to authorized personnel.
  • Provide information such as directions, visiting hours, or patient status information to visitors or callers.
  • Transport patients to treatment units, testing units, operating rooms, or other areas, using wheelchairs, stretchers, or moveable beds.
  • Position or hold patients in position for surgical preparation.
  • Administer medications or treatments, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages, or douches, as directed by a physician or nurse.
  • Assist nurses or physicians in the operation of medical equipment or provision of patient care.
  • Wash, groom, shave, or drape patients to prepare them for surgery, treatment, or examination.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Education Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $29,190 with most people making between $21,620 and $38,250

Outlook

1.17%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 79,130 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 88,350 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 922 openings due to growth and about 1,788 replacement openings for approximately 2,710 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation



Pennsylvania Department of Education