A nurse's aide assists nurses and, on occasion, other medical staff members by taking care of the basic needs of patients and the unit. Nurse's aides work in a variety of health-care settings such as assisted living centers, rehabilitation centers, hospitals and nursing homes. Nurse's aides must complete a nurse's aide, or certified nursing assistant, program at a local community college. Once the nurse's aide completes the program, she takes an examination to receive her certificate. According to Payscale.com, as of May 2010, the salary range for a nurse's aide was $19,193 to $26,966.
Cleaning and Bathing
The nurse's aide helps to keep the unit in which he works clean and sterile. While most medical facilities have housecleaning departments, the nurse's aide helps clean medical equipment and other areas of the unit that contain sensitive equipment. The nurse's aide also helps patients maintain cleanliness by assisting them with bathing, shaving and shampooing hair. Those patients who are bed-bound must be bathed while in bed, and the nurse's aide must be able to do this carefully so the patient's injury or condition isn't aggravated. If the patient has an accident or vomits, the nurse's aide will clean up after this as well.
The nurse's aide spends a great deal of time communicating with patients and hospital staff. Often the nurse's aide sees a patient more frequently then other hospital staff members. Being able to communicate in a compassionate manner is very important, as is relaying any questions or concerns the patient has to the patient's nurse. The nurse's aide must be able to take directions and orders from a variety of medical staff members and have a complete understanding of what it is she's being asked to do. She will spend a good amount of time during her shift reporting back to her supervising nurse.
Basic Procedures and Care
Nurses often have so many responsibilities that it's impossible to attend to every task and do so in a thorough manner. This is where the nurse's aide comes in---assisting with basic care and procedures that frees the nurse to attend to matters that require higher-level skills. Some of the tasks the nurse's aide assists with are taking vital statistics, updating patient charts and helping patients change position or walk to the bathroom. If the patient needs to go to another area of the facility for treatment or therapy, the nurse's aide will get the patient ready and, if needed, transport him back and forth to his appointment.
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