Depending on the state an aide resides in, he or she may or may not be required to have a high school diploma. There are certification requirements that vary by state. Checking with your state's state nursing board will provide the certification that's required. As nursing jobs continue to rise in demand, so do those who provide assistance to those nurses. Often, nurse aides are found in nursing homes, hospitals and even private residences.
Some of the job responsibilities include bathing and dressing patients, delivering meals, checking pulse and heart rates, reporting any changes in a patient's health and recordkeeping. It's important to realize job duties will vary depending on the setting one chooses. For example, those working in nursing homes will face issues that come with elderly patients and must prepare for the reality of death. These aides come to know their patients since long term care is generally part of a nursing home setting. Those in hospital settings tend to not become so familiar with the patients in their care and sometimes have more ambulatory patients that won't require as much physical assistance. Still, these jobs are sometimes physically demanding. Aides typically are on their feet the majority of their shifts and must move patients at times. There are procedures that must be closely adhered to as well.
Nurse's aides, as well as all others in the medical field are more prone to infections and diseases such as influenza and hepatitis. Paying close attention to and adhering to medical procedures is critical. Further, many patients are sometimes disoriented and extremely ill and as a result, can often be a danger to themselves and those caring for them. It's important for a nurse's aide to have a ''tough skin'' and recognize the behaviors which aren't normal or personal.
Home health aides are another area that is expected to grow in the next decade. These aides usually visit patients in their homes to ensure they're in safe environments and are taking medications are regular intervals. Some even provide meals. Often, home health aides provide grooming and bathing assistance to those who are at home, but aren't completely independent.
Income opportunities vary based on experience and where aides choose to build their careers. Overtime opportunities are readily available to further increase income. In most states, nursing aides are paid an hourly wage and benefits such as medical insurance are often provided. Hourly rates average around $10.00 per hour with overtime opportunities paid at time and a half per federal guidelines.
The states that offer the highest salaries are those on the west coast and in the northeast. Southern states usually are the states with lowest wages. Still, those who choose these professions are genuinely concerned with the patients they work with and say the experience plays a far bigger role than the monetary gains. Indeed, those with the most patience and ability to work well under stress are the ones who generally excel in the role as a certified nurse aide.