Should I Become a Nursing Assistant? | Harris Casel Institute Melbourne FL
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Should I Become a Nursing Assistant?

should i become a nursing assistant, photo of nursing assistant with patientConsider these factors about this essential healthcare role

If you’re thinking about entering the field of nursing assisting, you may have many questions about what skills are needed, whether you are well suited to the work, and more. This is a role that provides hands-on care to patients in nursing homes and residential facilities. Read on to learn more about whether a career as a nursing assistant might be a good fit for you.


One of the appealing qualities of this field is the relatively short period of time needed to complete your training. You can quickly acquire proficiency, through both classroom and hands-on training, in CPR/first aid, taking vital signs, anatomy, infectious diseases, and physiology. With the right instruction, you can be prepared to enter the workforce in as little as six weeks!

Work environment

Your workday would depend on several factors: your place of employment, the number of patients you will care for during a shift, and the healthcare specialty of your facility (if any). Working in a hospital would likely offer the most varied work, given that it handles numerous specialties and constantly admits new patients. With this type of round-the-clock care, as well as in residential senior facilities, there is likely to be a constant flow patients in need of support and monitoring. A smaller, outpatient facility might have a relatively slower pace and perhaps more predictable environment.

Routine tasks

Depending on the routine of the nurse(s) you assist, you may help to take vital signs (including body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate). You will likely also assist with patients’ basic care, including personal hygiene, as well as some housekeeping duties such as changing bed sheets. You will play a vital role in assessing the well-being of the patient and communicating with other nurses and physicians about any change in condition. Many nursing assistants also become a trusted and accessible resource for the patient’s family and loved ones, in terms of answering questions and keeping them informed.

Job outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is projected to grow 17 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.” This makes it a desirable career choice for many people.

Important skills

The work of a nursing assistant entails a high level of day to day patient interaction. If you’re looking for a way to make a direct impact on the lives of individuals, you may find this very satisfying, especially if you enjoy interacting with many different kinds of people. Determination and a positive attitude are also highly useful in this career.

If you’re looking to work closely with people, and become part of a dedicated team of professionals, the job of the nursing assistant could be for you. A next step might be to learn more about a typical day of a nursing assistant as well as training programs like the one at the Harris-Casel Institute. You could soon be on your way to a new career in healthcare!

This article is part of the Harris Casel Institute’s weekly blog. We conveniently offer many career training programs at our campus in Melbourne, FL. Contact us online for more info!