- Technical nurse assistants perform a variety of duties to help individual patients. This includes cleaning and readying rooms, helping patients eat, walk, dress or bathe, lifting and moving patients in and out of beds or wheelchairs, attending to distress calls and preparing equipment and supplies. Assistants may also check patient vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate and temperature) several times during a shift and report any changes to physicians.
- Technical nursing assistants work in many different environments such as medical or surgical hospitals, nursing homes, private or home-care practices, and mental health and psychiatric service facilities. Nursing assistants stand for long periods of time and handle heavy workloads. The position is physically demanding and exposes the nursing assistant to dangerous diseases and illnesses, occasionally resulting in injuries or infections.
- Nursing assistants must be emotionally stable, patient, friendly and in good health. They must have strong organizational and communication skills, work well in a team environment and possess a desire to help others.
- Generally, nursing assistants are required to have a high school diploma or the equivalent. Formal classes are offered in community, vocational or technical colleges. Previous experience is helpful, but not universally required, except for advancement into other health occupations. Most training is provided on the job, but some federal-run facilities, such as nursing homes, do require certification.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 nursing assistants made a median hourly wage of $11.46. Wages depend upon previous experience and the type of facility by which they are employed.