What does a Nursing Assistant do?

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.

Jobs Roles

  • Administer medications or treatments, such as catheterizations, suppositories, irrigations, enemas, massages, or douches, as directed by a physician or nurse.
  • Answer patient call signals, signal lights, bells, or intercom systems to determine patients' needs.
  • Apply clean dressings, slings, stockings, or support bandages, under direction of nurse or physician.
  • Assist nurses or physicians in the operation of medical equipment or provision of patient care.
  • Change bed linens or make beds.
  • Clean and sanitize patient rooms, bathrooms, examination rooms, or other patient areas.
  • Collect specimens, such as urine, feces, or sputum.
  • Communicate with patients to ascertain feelings or need for assistance or social and emotional support.
  • Document or otherwise report observations of patient behavior, complaints, or physical symptoms to nurses.
  • Feed patients or assist patients to eat or drink.
  • Gather information from caregivers, nurses, or physicians about patient condition, treatment plans, or appropriate activities.
  • Measure and record food and liquid intake or urinary and fecal output, reporting changes to medical or nursing staff.
  • Observe or examine patients to detect symptoms that may require medical attention, such as bruises, open wounds, or blood in urine.
  • Position or hold patients in position for surgical preparation.
  • Prepare or serve food trays.
  • Provide physical support to assist patients to perform daily living activities, such as getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, using the toilet, standing, walking, or exercising.
  • Record height or weight of patients.
  • Record vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse, or respiration rate, as directed by medical or nursing staff.
  • Remind patients to take medications or nutritional supplements.
  • Restock patient rooms with personal hygiene items, such as towels, washcloths, soap, or toilet paper.
  • Review patients' dietary restrictions, food allergies, and preferences to ensure patient receives appropriate diet.
  • 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.
  • Stock or issue medical supplies, such as dressing packs or treatment trays.
  • Supply, collect, or empty bedpans.
  • Transport patients to treatment units, testing units, operating rooms, or other areas, using wheelchairs, stretchers, or moveable beds.
  • Turn or reposition bedridden patients.
  • Undress, wash, and dress patients who are unable to do so for themselves.
  • Wash, groom, shave, or drape patients to prepare them for surgery, treatment, or examination.
  • Exercise patients who are comatose, paralyzed, or have restricted mobility.
  • Explain medical instructions to patients or family members.
  • Lift or assist others to lift patients to move them on or off beds, examination tables, surgical tables, or stretchers.
  • Provide information such as directions, visiting hours, or patient status information to visitors or callers.
  • Transport specimens, laboratory items, or pharmacy items, ensuring proper documentation and delivery to authorized personnel.
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