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Your Nursing Assistants Questions Answered

Dec 22, 2007
There is little doubt that the healthcare field is in desperate need of help. Hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and rehabilitation clinics need nurses to be able to function in any way. Nursing assistants are in the greatest demand.

They are responsible for most of the day-to-day care of patients. Their job duties are varied depending on skill but there is a real need for qualified nursing assistants all over the world. If you are curious about the career of a nursing assistant, this article is for you.

What about background checks?

Background checks are at the discretion of the employer. Many healthcare facilities have learned how invaluable background checks are to ensure their patient's safety. A background check can turn up if the employee has a criminal record as well as if there were any cases of abuse opened up against him or her.

A criminal background check has become standard in the workplace for businesses that deal with patients or the public but often do not cover medical backgrounds unless the individual is registered with the state.

What job duties does a nursing assistant have?

Nursing assistants perform the most day-to-day living care. They can dispense medication, draw blood, provide sanitary care and even run errands for the patient if it is a home health situation.

Nursing assistants are the backbone of the healthcare industry. They are the ones who are often the primary care givers when the family cannot do so. They also provide emotional care to patients.

What kinds of questions do they ask on the nursing assistant examination?

There are two parts to the examination. The first is a written exam and the second is demonstrating that you have the required skills necessary to be licensed and caring for a patient. Testing varies according to each state's health board but there are some common items covered.

These items include: helping a patient dress, ethics, privacy act and even on which side to stand on if a patient is walking down the hall. It is not always about knowing medical terminology. Much of a nursing assistant's day is providing routine care for a patient so it is important that the assistant be able to be able to help dress, bathe and feed a patient.

How much do nursing assistants make?

That is a hard question to pin down exactly. There are many things that factor into a nursing assistant's pay. The first is whether or not he or she is licensed. The second is where the place of employment is.

Nursing homes pay generally less than hospitals do because they do not have the budget to pay top dollar to their employees. The third factor is what hours and shift the nursing assistant works. Assistants that work the "graveyard" shift (from 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.) generally make at least thirty cents more an hour than day shift employees.

I have an elderly relative who needs care during the day; can I hire a nursing assistant rather than a nurse?

Most home health agencies have a few nurses to oversee medical conditions but employ nursing assistants to come in and care for the patients during the day. If you do not want to go through an agency and intend to pay for the care out of your own pocket, hiring a nursing assistant is a great way to have quality care and companionship for your relative. You will have to do the background check yourself though if you elect not to use an agency.
About the Author
Mike Selvon's portal will expand your knowledge about nursing assistants. Visit us and leave a comment at our nursing education blog where a free gift awaits you.
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