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Nursing Aides, Orderlies, Certified Nurse Assistants, Attendants

What Do Nursing Aides, Orderlies, Certified Nurse Assistants and Attendants Do?

All of these positions work under the supervision of nurses. Those with more training and advanced responsibilities often have the job title "technician" instead of "aide" or "assistant." Specific tasks include:

  • Responding to patient calls and requests;
  • Dressing, and undressing patients and helping them with personal hygiene;
  • Serving meals and feeding patients;
  • Monitoring temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates;
  • Setting up equipment;
  • Observing and recording patients' conditions;
  • Moving patients;
  • Making beds;
  • Assisting during examinations;
  • Keeping rooms clean and neat

How Do I Become a Nursing Aide, Orderly, Certified Nurse Assistant or Attendant?

Entry level nursing aides don't have to have any formal training and some employers don't even require a high school diploma or GED. In addition to studying on the job in hospitals and nursing homes, it is also possible to study to become a CNA in high schools, career & technical education centers, some community colleges, and trade schools. Programs that prepare students for certification require a minimum of 120 hours of training. Advanced certification for nurse aides is also available.

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