Duties of a Nursing Assistant
Most of us are familiar with Nursing Assistants, but we don’t really know all that is required for them to complete their work efficiently and of the best quality. Time restraints can often make it difficult to decide to do a job better or to get more done. Thus, having an outstanding work ethic is of the utmost importance.
Nursing Assistants must also have excellent communication skills. They are required to have interactions with patients, family members, Nurses, and a variety of other medical professionals. It is imperative that they are able to effectively reply and communication that needs to take place with these various types of individuals.
It is widely known that Nursing Assistants provide basic care for patients including feeding, bathing, and dressing. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg when you take a look at all the various duties involved in being an effective Nurse Assistant. While the specific duties will vary according to the medical facility you work for, there are some that are found in most every one.
Bathing is generally either a shower or a bed bath depending on the level of care the patient requires. Personal hygiene including combing hair, brushing teeth, applying makeup, cleaning dentures all needs to be done for each individual patient. Shaving is also to be taken into consideration, and completed as needed.
Taking patients vital signs are a daily requirement of Nursing Assistants. Taking vital signs includes temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure. This information that is recorded on the patients chart, and reviewed by the Nursing staff and other medical professionals.
For patients requiring assistance with eating, the routine can take 20-60 minutes depending on the abilities of the patient and how much food they consume. The Nursing Assistant needs to document the type of food and drink consumed and the quantities of each on the patient’s chart. Some patients will need to take vitamins and other nutritional supplements, also the duty of the Nursing Assistant to administer.
It is also the duty of the Nursing Assistant in many medical facilities to be responsible for getting those who can feed themselves ready to be taken to the dining area. This may just be having their grooming done or helping to lift them into a wheelchair and take them to the dining area.
Nursing assistants will need to change any bedding or other soiled materials if found on the patient. This is a case by case basis and will vary each day. While interacting with the patient, you will need to document their behaviors. It is important that you notify the Nurse on duty if you see any changes that are unexpected or not generally seen. You will be trained in what to look for.
Keeping a sharp eye for details will assist any Nursing Assistant with successfully performing all duties. Caring for people changes because their needs change as well as those you are caring for changes. How quickly you are caring for new patients depends on the type of medical facility you work for.
In addition to performing all of these essential duties, Nursing Assistants can also provide emotional support to patients and their families. This can be by helping patients feel comfortable with their surroundings, hanging a photo on the wall for them, or helping them compose a letter. Family members may want you to do certain things for a patient such as braid their hair daily or keep their fingernails short.
Performing all the duties of a Nursing Assistant takes practice, dedication, organisation, and a sincere desire to help others. It can be an exhausting effort on some days, and often a job no one thanks them for doing. However, for those who enjoy what they do and take pride in it, we need to stop and see all that they do in a days work. They provide invaluable services to patients and the medical profession overall.