Nursing Assistant Job Description

Nursing Assistant

A brief nursing assistant job description is provided here to help understand what  nursing assistants do. Nursing assistants are also known as nurse aides, certified nursing assistants, geriatric aides, orderlies, or hospital attendants. They provide patient care and perform various care-giving tasks under the supervision of a nurse or doctor.

Common nursing assistant job duties may include any of the following
  • Answer patients' call signals.
  • Help patients to eat, dress and bathe
  • Deliver messages
  • Serve meals
  • Turn and reposition bedridden patients to prevent bedsores.
  • Observe patients' conditions
  • Measure and record food and liquid intake
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Provide patients with help walking, exercising, and moving in and out of bed
  • Provide patient care by applying dressings and supervising exercise routines
  • Prepare patients for surgery, treatment, or examination.
  • Transport patients to treatment units, using a wheelchair or stretcher
  • Clean rooms and change linens

Some nursing assistants may also dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work. Nursing assistants are often the principal caregivers in nursing homes. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, and nursing assistants may develop close, caring relationships with their patients.


Information on this page summarized from:

1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants,
(2) O*Net Online,Summary Report for:31-1014.00 - Nursing Assistants,
Image credit: Image of nursing assistant licensed from Fotolia, LLC.

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