A Day in the Life of a Nursing Assistant | Salter School of Allied Health and Nursing
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A Day in the Life of a Nursing Assistant

what is it like to be a nursing assistant, red cross imageYou can get nursing assistant training in less than 6 months

Are you looking for a job training program that can get you in the workforce quickly? The Licensed Nursing Assistant program at the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health is a 125-hour program for people who are interested in being part of the healthcare industry. If you apply now, you could be ready for work in less than 6 months!

What is a nursing assistant? Nursing assistants typically work in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, home health care, or other facilities where people need help with their basic needs. NA’s are responsible for taking care of patients or nursing home residents who need help with eating, bathing, personal hygiene, walking, and other basic functions.

A typical day as a Nursing Assistant

At the start of your day, you will receive your assignment. It will be a list of the patients you will be helping during your shift and what their needs are. The previous nursing assistant or head nurse will give you the latest information on these patients as he or she goes off shift.

Once you’ve reviewed your assignments, it’s time to start tending to patients. Typically, the first thing you do when you enter a patient’s room is to greet them and begin taking their vital signs. After measuring their vital signs, it’s extremely important to record this information right away, so that you are keeping accurate documentation. The documentation is essential for the nursing staff to have, and you don’t want the head nurse to be waiting on you.

For many patients, you will also need to check their intake and output of fluids, and record it on their chart. Next, if it is mealtime, you might assist patients with eating their meals. You may need to record how much the patients ate, especially for patients who are on special diets.

After mealtime, you may need to help a patient move to his or her bed or take a patient to the bathroom. Some patients may need help with personal hygiene, or taking a short walk for exercise. Nursing assistants are often responsible for helping a patient bathe, change clothes, or get into a wheelchair. For patients who are diabetic, you will have to run checks regularly on their blood sugar.

During your shift you may also have to change bed linens. It’s important that patients’ linens are changed every day to help prevent the spread of infection. You may also be expected to help with general tasks like straightening up a patient’s room, removing dirty dishes, or refilling water pitchers. You will also be responsible for helping the head nurse with additional duties as needed.

You will see many patients every day, so an important part of your job is managing the responsibilities and your time effectively so that you can best serve your patients. As you can see, it’s always an active day!

The unique responsibility of LNAs

LNAs spend more time with the patients than other healthcare workers. They handle the patients’ personal needs and often have the opportunity to develop bonds with the patients. One of the important responsibilities of the LNA is to pay close attention to changes in the patient. Because you are with the patient for longer periods of time, you may be the first to notice a change to their health or behavior. When you do, always report the change to the head nurse right away.

If you are interested in learning more about the Licensed Nursing Assistant program at Salter Nursing, get in touch with us through our simple online form. Located in Manchester, NH, we offer programs for nursing assistants, patient care technicians, and practical nurses.