If you’re looking for a career in the healthcare field, you might consider enrolling in a nursing assistant education program. These nursing professionals enjoy rewarding career opportunities in hospitals, long-term care facilities and private homes, where they provide basic nursing care to patients and residents. These jobs are also in high demand, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 21 percent growth rate for nursing assistant jobs from 2012 to 2022 – much faster than average when compared to other occupations.
There are two main reasons that account for this high rate of growth: the aging baby boomer population and the growing rates of chronic conditions, such as dementia, which will lead to an increased need for skilled nursing professionals. Better healthcare is also leading to longer overall lifespans, creating an increased need for geriatric care in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Career of the Nursing Assistant
As a nursing assistant, you’ll spend a great deal of time with patients – taking their vital signs, helping them eat and reporting any concerns to the nursing staff. Other job responsibilities may include:
- Dressing and grooming patients
- Assisting with their mobility
- Changing sheets
- Assisting with medical procedures
These professionals typically require certifications, which may be earned after completing an approved nursing assistant education program. These programs are offered at allied health schools, such as the Harris Casel Institute.
Students enrolled in the nursing assistant education program at Casel learn through a combination of theoretical and hands-on coursework. Basic anatomy and physiology, along with infectious diseases and blood borne pathogens are taught in the classrooms, with students practicing their hands-on skills in the student clinic and during their externship. All students in the program must complete 40-hours in an approved healthcare facility, where they’ll work under the supervision of a Certified Nurses Aide. This experience is great preparation for the licensing exam, which students will take after earning their nursing assistant diplomas.