Nursing assistants help nurses and other members of the health care team provide
patient care. Nursing assistants also are known as nurse aides, home health aides or
• take and record patients’ temperature, blood pressure and pulse.
• set up medical equipment and perform simple treatments.
• assist patients in and out of bed.
• move patients to and from treatment rooms.
• bathe, dress, undress and otherwise assist with patients’ hygiene needs.
• serve meals and feed patients.
• clean, sterilize and assemble supplies and instruments used in surgery.
• bathe, weigh and dress residents/patients.
• make beds and perform other housekeeping activities to maintain cleanliness
in patients’ rooms, nurseries and operating rooms.
Nursing assistants usually work in hospitals or nursing homes under the supervision of
licensed health care professionals. They also may work in private homes or psychiatric
Home health aides provide in-home services for those unable to care for themselves.
Specific duties may include:
• taking patients’ temperature, blood pressure and pulse.
• administering medicines.
• changing surgical dressings/bandages.
• bathing, dressing, undressing and assisting with patients’ hygiene needs.
• helping patients in and out of bed.
• purchasing food, and preparing and serving special diets to patients and families.
• feeding patients and helping them exercise.
• performing housekeeping activities.
Average Salary Range
$14,000 – $22,000
Students intending to pursue a career as a nursing assistant should prepare by taking math, English and science classes. Most nursing assistants must complete an approved nursing program and pass a national certification exam. Home health aides also may be required to have a driver’s license and transportation
National Network of Career Nursing
3577 Easton Road
Norton, OH 44203
National Association for Home Care
228 7th St. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003