While most of us are somewhat familiar with Nursing Assistants, we don't really know all that is required for them to complete their work efficiently and of the best quality. Sometimes it is time restraints that make it difficult to decide to do a job better or to get more done. This dilemma makes it critical to have an outstanding work ethic.
|Nursing Assistants must possess excellent communication skills as well. They are required to have exchanges with patients, family members, Nurses, and a variety of other medical professionals. It is crucial that they are able to effectively communicate with these various types of individuals.
It is well known that Nursing Assistants give basic care for patients including feeding, bathing, and dressing. However, when you take a look at all the various duties involved in being an effective Nurse Assistant, this is just the tip of the iceberg. While the actual duties will vary depending on the medical facility you work for, there are some that are found in most every facility.
Bathing involves either a shower or a bed bath, based on the level of care the patient requires. Each individual patient needs personal hygiene including combing hair, brushing teeth, applying makeup, cleaning dentures. Shaving is also part of the routine, and completed as needed.
Another daily requirement of Nursing Assistants is taking patients vital signs. This includes checking temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure. This information is carefully recorded on the patient's chart, and then reviewed by the Nursing staff and other medical professionals.
For those patients that need assistance with eating, the process can take 20-60 minutes depending on the abilities of the patient and how much food they consume. Each time, the Nursing Assistant needs to document the type of food and drink consumed and the amount of each on the patient's chart. Some patients have a need for vitamins and other nutritional supplements, also the duty of the Nursing Assistant to administer.
In some cases, it is also the duty of the Nursing Assistant in many medical facilities to be in charge of getting those who can feed themselves ready to be taken to the dining area. This may just involve having their basic grooming done or helping to lift them into a wheelchair and take them to the dining area.
Nursing assistants are responsible for changing any bedding or other soiled materials if found on the patient. This may change with each day, since this is on a case by case basis. It's important to document the patient's behaviors as you interact. If you notice any changes that are unexpected or not generally seen, it is important that you notify the Nurse on duty immediately. Your training will include what to look for.
Being very detail oriented will assist any Nursing Assistant with successfully performing all duties. In this profession, caring for people changes because their needs change as well as those you are caring for changes. How quickly you are having to care for new patients depends on the type of medical facility you work for.
In addition to performing all of these day to day valuable duties, Nursing Assistants are also accountable for providing emotional support to patients and their families. This can be as simple as helping patients feel comfortable with their surroundings, hanging a photo on the wall for them, or helping them to write a letter. Family members may request special things for a patient such as braiding their hair daily or keeping their fingernails short.
Being a Nursing Assistant takes practice, commitment, organization, and a sincere aspiration to help others. It can be a draining effort on some days, and often a job no one thanks them for doing. However, for those who have this passion and take pride in it, we need to stop and appreciate all that they do in a days work. They give patients and the medical profession their invaluable services.