What Is the Difference Between a Nurse Assistant and Nurse Aide?
Does a career in health care appeal to you? Would you be interested in providing supportive services for nurses? Consider becoming a nurse assistant or aide. If you're not sure of the difference between these positions, continue reading. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Nurse Assistant and Nurse Aide Defined
A nurse assistant and nurse aide are different titles for the same position. In this job, you're an unlicensed health care worker acting in a basic caregiving capacity and providing support to nursing staff. You'll generally perform routine patient care tasks under the supervision of licensed nurses and physicians. Other variations of this position include orderly, geriatric aide and hospital attendant.
As a nurse assistant, you might bathe and groom patients, bring them meals and take basic vital sign measurements, like pulse rate and temperature. You could also prepare hospital rooms, clean bedding and help patients walk around. Much of your work involves social interaction, which can include conversing, participating in activities and simply spending time with patients. You might develop caring relationships that can be beneficial to patients' mental well-being and healing.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that most employers require you earn at least a high school diploma or GED to qualify for a job as a nurse assistant (www.bls.gov). You can prepare for the career by completing a nursing aid program offered through high schools or vocational centers, and some health care institutions provide on-the-job training.
While in a training program, you'll learn practical skills in care giving, such as bathing techniques and walking support. You can expect to receive an overview of health care and science topics, including courses in anatomy, physiology and nutrition. You might also become certified in basic cardiac life support (BCLS) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The federal government regulates standards for nurse assistants who work in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. You'll need to complete at least 75 hours of coursework in a nurse training program. You can then become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) by passing a state-administered exam. The type of testing varies by state, but may be comprised of both written and practical components to test your competency as a nurse assistant.
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