The Role of Licensed Nursing Assistants

Learn the responsibilities of a Licensed Nursing Assistant

Different nursing titles may be confusing for those who don’t know much about the healthcare world. Among the different specialties, there are nurse practitioners, practical nurses, and nursing assistants among others. With so many professional titles, it’s easy to become confused about the roles each career holds.

For example, although nurse practitioners and nursing assistants both work in the same healthcare facilities like hospitals and nursing homes, there are many differences between the two positions.

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses. They hold master’s degrees, and are are able to treat certain medical conditions without a doctor. They train for about six years to achieve their title. Licensed nursing assistants (LNAs) have a much shorter training program, and are trained to assist head nurses. They are the backbone of patient care in healthcare facilities. They take care of their patients’ basic needs on a daily basis.

If you’re thinking about going back to school to become a nurse, with a desire to give direct care, show compassion to patients, and build upon your interpersonal skills, then why not enter a training program where you can learn all those skills and more? Salter Nursing offers a Licensed Nursing Assistant training program that you can complete in less than 6 months.

First you need to learn what nursing assistants do on the job every day.

What does a nursing assistant do?

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, play many roles so healthcare facilities can function properly. They provide patients with support and basic care throughout the day. They may work in hospitals, residential long-term healthcare facilities, nursing homes, and rehab centers.

During a typical day, a nursing assistant might:

  • Bathe and dress patients
  • Help with toiletry duties
  • Transfer patients in wheelchairs
  • Measure patients’ vital signs
  • Communicate with patients
  • Record symptoms and health statuses
  • Serve and feed patients
  • Stock supplies
  • Change bed linens
  • Clean and sterilize equipment

In nursing homes and residential facilities, licensed nursing assistants have much more direct contact with the residents than the other healthcare staff. LNAs have the opportunity to build strong and lasting bonds with patients they see every day. In hospitals, patients come and go relatively quickly. But in a long-term care facility, where residents stay for long periods, LNAs get to socialize with residents and their families while they provide care and emotional support when they’re going through a tough time.

Since Licensed Nursing Assistants work in around-the-clock facilities, so their schedules may fluctuate. Some LNAs may have to work night or weekend shifts.

The advantages of an LNA career

An LNA job can stimulate you physically, emotionally, and mentally. Becoming a nursing assistant means you can build the professional and caregiving skills necessary to begin a career in the healthcare field. During your work day, you can build long-lasting relationships with patients you care for on a regular basis. Since caring for others requires attention, you can also enjoy staying active throughout the day. Sometimes you will have to use your problem-solving skills to determine patient symptoms or act fast in emergencies. Quick thinking and being an active, helping hand at crucial times can help build your self-worth and make you feel part of the team.

You may also have opportunities to advance your career with additional training. Most importantly, you can benefit knowing your skill sets help your patients with necessary care. Without LNAs, people wouldn’t get the proper care they need to live comfortably or fight an illness.

If you think a career as a nursing assistant may be the right path for you, consider contacting Salter Nursing for more information about our program. We also offer Patient Care Technician and Practical Nurse training programs at our Manchester, NH campus.

We hope you take the opportunity to become a part of your healthcare community!

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