Nurses Assistant Duties?

Nurses General Nursing


No not a CNA....but a run of the mill Nurses Assitant.

Reason I ask is my local hospital has an entry-level opening as a Nurses Assistant and I was thinking of taking it up at night to get me some experience in a hospital setting.

What duties are entailed? I know it must be a pretty lowly position to hold but I hope itll help more then it'll hurt ;)


96 Posts

The nursing assistants where I work are all called Patient Care Techs (PCT's). They undergo a couple weeks worth of stuff in a patient care lab setting at our hospital.

After they come to the floor they orient with someone who has been there a while. Duties depend on the unit where they work, but usually these are pretty universal.

They do vital signs, baths, assist with turning. For us, they place foleys or do straight caths. They also may undergo training to draw blood on our patients. They may also be required to train for arrhythmia interpretation so they can help watch monitors. They take patients on their post op walks. They keep up with

I & O. They report unusual things to the patient's nurse. They answer lights and help feed. They help keep things presentable and just assist in lots of ways.

Our cath lab has PCT's. They pull arterial sheaths in that setting. I am not sure I like it, but I don't make the rules.

I have no idea what extra things they may do in the maternal child health setting.

The best techs I work with are those that are able to communicate with me about what I expect and what they expect. That way the rules are all clear from the beginning. Everything gets done more efficiently that way.

Stray FL

14 Posts

Would you advise it for someone JUST entering the field for experience?

I hear that the position isn't really crucial since I can enter the field straight from school, but I thought maybe it would help me in the long run somehow.


96 Posts

Funny you should ask. My husband just started his nursing education... he asked the same thing.

I definitely recommend it for the last year. Gives you a feel for things. What I told him, and what you may also find, is it may be the only job with enough flexibility to allow your course load as you progress, with classes and clinicals and all.


667 Posts

What duties are entailed? I know it must be a pretty lowly position to hold but I hope itll help more then it'll hurt.

First off, get rid of the above attitude. Any position related too HealthCare; ie: NA,CNA,LPN,RN,etc...,is revelant! They are all CareGivers. Best you find out now than later.

It surprises me that NO-ONE said this to you already. All work as a Team for the betterment of the client/patient/resident.

How would you feel to hear others say; she's just a 'lowly' student?


hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

Absolutely! No one who does their job in healthcare is lowly!

You are helping someone with there most personal needs at a time when they are very vulnerable. When you do it with compassion and sensitivity, how can you ever be lowly? You are a gift!

edited for a typo


280 Posts

Go for it! I wish I had some experience with hospitals, patients, healthcare BEFORE I hit my nursing clinicals.


12 Posts

I woked as a nursing assistant for 12 months and I think it is the best experience you can have before you start your clinicals.

P.S. Don't ever thikn of yourself as a LOWLY person. Anyone in the heathcare no matter what their position are all working toward the same goal and that is to take care of a patient to the best of their ability!

Good Luck!:D ;) :p :


87 Posts

Just for a thought....if the CNA's are low...whats high????The Doc's??The administrator's???This is another example of the public perception of the role of the actual caregivers..I really wonder who is selling this concept???...........I had an "exchange" the other day with a Social Worker . With a great ammount of haughty indignation she informed me that she was a "PATIENT ADVOCATE" sneering and insinuating that I, the nurse was not...Jeeze.....:o


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

Ok all, calm down here. Let's not turn this into a physician, administrator, social worker bash-fest.

The girl just asked if she should take the entry-level NA position.

Perhaps she described the position as "lowly" simply because she has higher aspirations for herself.

Not to imply that an NA is by-all, across the board lowly.


597 Posts

Specializes in Cardiolgy.

I think you should go for it, working with AN's as they are known over here, would be a great start, as you learn the essential skills of nursing, such as bed bathing and how to move and handle, which means that there will be less chance of you crippling your back as a student on your first placement.

Also the AN's have often been in healthcare for a while and can explain the system really well. I was going to do, this before i went to Uni, but i was not old enough, And whilst i don't regret the chance looking at other students who had been AN's they fitted into the ward team a lot quicker, and didn't have to struggle to learn all the moves and assists at the same time as writing our first assignments.



87 Posts

Sorry if my post sounded like a bash fest...Not my intent......I just continue to be saddened by the implied heirarchy implemented at all facilties...There is a definite decline in the respect and overall attitude towards all nursing staff, regardless of title....What do you think the bulk of dissatisfaction with the whole profession is being generated from..There is no nobility or even social pride associated with most positions....It is a very virtuous ambtion to be involved in the healthcare profession. At any level...But the overall social decline in the value of human life and those that care for them is the root cause here...Only by standing up for what we believe to right ...can we ever rememdy the situation.Cheap shots at any person in the healthcare setting needs to stop...The pay is only another barometer of the overall problem....I feel that eduating those who have misconceptions is the first step to revive a decling field...This can start with giving heartfelt support to any new entrant and speaking out when I hear the spin begin....If Cna's have little value this leaks over to the next level,and the next..If the corporate propaganda machine can continue to devalue the healthcare providers....they can continue with low wages, poor working conditions,poor quality of care,mandatory overtime and huge profits.....Again so sorry if you felt my post was negative ....only exercising a little free speech..

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