A certified nursing aide is a vital cog in the machinery that provides medical care in today’s health network. They are needed to be on hand to perform basic patient care activities, such as bathing, dressing, feeding, grooming, taking vital signs, noting patient health concerns, and other services under the direction of the nursing staff.
Because the positions are so vital and because the U.S. population is aging and requiring more medical care, nursing aide jobs are expected to grow by 21 percent by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That far exceeds the national average growth figure for all occupations, which stands at 11 percent.
So finding a nursing aide job will primarily depend on the location and what type of facility attracts you. Currently there are about 1.5 million certified nurse’s aides working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics, long-term and nursing care facilities, government offices, prisons, and home health care services.
To qualify in most states, an individual must take an approved education course from a hospital, vocational or technical school, community college, or other school and complete supervised clinical work. Then the applicant must pass a state-mandated competency test before they can become certified for employment.
To be effective in your nursing aide job, experts suggest that you should be personable and compassionate and have good communication skills. As a nurse’s aide, you could often be working with patients who are frightened and in pain, and need to be comforted so the other medical professionals can better do their jobs. It also doesn’t hurt to have good physical stamina, since much of the job could include lifting or positioning patients who can’t offer any help.
Above all, the experts say, a good nurse’s aide will have patience and be able to deal with the stress that comes from working with people who are not used to needing someone to help provide for their most basic needs.