Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.
Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:
Clean and bathe patients or residents
Help patients use the toilet and dress
Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
Listen to and record patients' health concerns and report that information to nurses
Measure patients' vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
Serve meals and help patients eat
Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.
In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.
Orderlies typically do the following:
Assist patients with moving about the facility, such as pushing wheelchairs