Career Development

What Does a Nursing Attendant Do?

Find out what a nursing attendant does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a nursing attendant.

Nursing attendants are the frontline workers of the nursing profession. They provide direct care to patients, often performing routine tasks such as bathing, feeding, and dressing.

Nursing attendants may also be responsible for monitoring patient vitals, administering medications, and providing other basic medical services.

Nursing Attendant Job Duties

Nursing attendants have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing personal care to patients such as bathing, shaving, and dressing
  • Performing basic lab tests such as collecting blood from veins, taking cultures of wounds or skin infections, and drawing urine samples for analysis
  • Making sure that patients have adequate food and fluid intake
  • Cleaning the patient’s room and linens, changing bed linens and towels, dusting furniture, and washing windows and walls
  • Monitoring patient vital signs such as pulse rate, temperature, respiration rate, and blood pressure
  • Helping patients with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Monitoring drug administration to ensure that it is being administered correctly and that side effects are monitored
  • Assisting in the preparation of sterile solutions and equipment used in operating rooms, delivery rooms, and other healthcare facilities
  • Providing support for patients and their families during difficult times such as childbirth, illness, or death

Nursing Attendant Salary & Outlook

Nursing attendants’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $115,000 ($55.29/hour)

The employment of nursing attendants is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

The need for nursing attendants will increase as the large baby-boom population ages and people continue to live longer. As these individuals age, they are more likely to require some type of medical care, such as treatment for a chronic condition or rehabilitation after a stroke or other type of injury.

Nursing Attendant Job Requirements

Nursing attendants typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: All nursing attendants must have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate. Some employers may prefer an associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing. A nursing assistant can also earn a certificate from a technical or vocational school. Courses in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry and math are helpful for those pursuing a nursing degree.

Training & Experience: Most employers require newly hired nursing attendants to complete a training program. These programs are usually part of the orientation process and last between one and three weeks. They teach new nursing attendants the basics of the job, including how to bathe and feed patients, how to clean and disinfect rooms and how to use cleaning and disinfecting agents.

Certifications & Licenses: Although not always required, certification can show current and future employers that you are a dedicated and skilled professional.

Nursing Attendant Skills

Nursing attendants need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Nursing attendants must be able to communicate effectively with patients, other medical staff and the patients’ families. You should be able to explain medical procedures, answer questions and relay messages to other medical staff. You should also be able to communicate with patients in a way that is sensitive to their needs and emotional state.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a skill that can help you perform your job well. As a nursing attendant, you may be responsible for monitoring patient health, administering medications and recording patient information. Having strong attention to detail can help you perform your job well and ensure that patients receive the care they need.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. Nursing attendants often work with patients who are experiencing physical or emotional pain. Having empathy for your patients can help you better understand their needs and provide them with the care they need.

Flexibility: Nursing attendants often work in shifts, so flexibility is an important skill to have. You may work one morning and afternoon, then work the evening and overnight. You may also work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, private homes or assisted living facilities. Being flexible can help you adapt to the changing needs of your job.

Physical stamina: Nursing attendants often work long shifts, sometimes for more than 12 hours. Physical stamina is important for maintaining energy throughout the day. You may also need to lift and move patients or equipment, so having physical stamina can help you complete your duties.

Nursing Attendant Work Environment

Nursing attendants typically work in hospitals, nursing homes, or other long-term care facilities. They may also work in clinics, physicians’ offices, or home health care agencies. Nursing attendants usually work shifts that include evenings, weekends, and holidays. They may work full time or part time, and some may be on call. Many nursing attendants work overtime or variable hours to make up for staffing shortages. The work can be physically demanding, and nursing attendants may be on their feet for long periods of time. The work can also be emotionally demanding, as nursing attendants care for patients who are often sick, injured, or dying.

Nursing Attendant Trends

Here are three trends influencing how nursing attendants work. Nursing attendants will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Registered Nurses

The nursing industry is facing a major shortage of registered nurses, which is putting a strain on hospitals and other healthcare facilities. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years, as the demand for nurses continues to grow.

As a result, nursing attendants will need to be prepared to take on more responsibility. They will need to be able to provide basic care to patients, such as feeding them and changing their linens. In addition, they will need to be able to communicate with doctors and other medical professionals about patient care.

More Attention to Patient Safety

As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly focused on patient safety, nursing attendants will need to focus on ensuring that patients are safe from harm.

This means that nursing attendants will need to be familiar with all the potential hazards that can occur in a hospital setting and how to prevent them. They will also need to be able to recognize when something has gone wrong and take action to correct it.

A Greater Emphasis on Communication Skills

As the healthcare industry becomes more complex, the need for communication skills among nursing staff will become even more important.

Nursing attendants are often the first point of contact for patients and their families, and therefore need to be able to effectively communicate information about the patient’s condition and treatment plan. Additionally, nursing attendants who are able to communicate well with other members of the healthcare team will be better equipped to handle any challenges that may arise.

How to Become a Nursing Attendant

There are many different paths you can take to become a nursing attendant. You could start by completing an online or on-site training program, or you could get started in the field by working under the supervision of a certified nurse aide.

No matter which path you choose, it’s important to keep learning and developing your skills. Take advantage of opportunities to attend workshops and training sessions, read articles and books about nursing care, and watch videos that teach techniques for providing patient care.

Advancement Prospects

Nursing attendants may advance to become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or registered nurses (RNs). To become an LPN, one must complete a state-approved education program and pass a national licensing exam. To become an RN, one must complete an accredited nursing program and pass a national licensing exam. Some states also require RNs to pass a state-specific exam.

Nursing Attendant Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide high-quality patient care in a comfortable and healing environment. We’re looking for a nursing attendant to join our team and help us provide the best possible care for our patients. The ideal candidate will have a caring and compassionate personality, as well as the ability to follow instructions and work well under pressure. He or she will be responsible for providing basic patient care, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding, as well as taking vital signs and assisting with medical procedures. The nursing attendant will also be responsible for maintaining a clean and orderly environment.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the restroom
  • Help patients move in and out of bed, onto chairs or wheelchairs, and walk
  • Take and record vital signs, such as blood pressure, temperature, and pulse
  • Serve meals to patients and help them eat, if necessary
  • Turn or reposition bedridden patients to prevent bedsores
  • Collect urine and stool samples
  • Perform basic wound care, such as changing bandages
  • Assist with physical therapy exercises
  • Answer patient calls and respond to their needs
  • Keep patients’ rooms clean and tidy
  • Stock supplies, such as linens and towels
  • Transport patients to other areas of the hospital, such as x-ray or surgery

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Certification in CPR/BLS and first aid
  • Completion of a certified nursing assistant program
  • Minimum one year experience working as a nursing attendant in a hospital, long-term care facility, or home health agency
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds unassisted
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in nursing
  • Valid RN license
  • 2+ years experience working as a nursing attendant in a hospital, long-term care facility, or home health agency
  • Experience with wound care, tracheostomy care, and feeding tubes
  • Bilingual abilities

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