Working in hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes and other health facilities across the United States, nursery assistants perform a list of daily job duties including assisting and transporting patients, housekeeping, helping other staff members and charting patient records. Sometimes nursery assistants take on more responsibilities of a nurse in case the head registered nurse or physician cannot perform his or her role.
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Patient Personal Care
Sick patients may often need assistance with dressing and undressing or personal hygiene, which includes moving to and from the bathroom, and grooming. Nursery assistants may need to prep patients for a surgical procedure by draping or shaving them. Other patient personal care duties include assisting with patient ambulation and exercise. When a patient needs something such as an extra pillow, a nursery assistant will get an alert and she will respond to the patient's call.
Patient Medical Care
One of the primary duties for a nursery assistant is to help the registered nurse with patient medical care. Nursery assistants are available to collect urine, sputum or faeces and transport patients to and from treatment rooms. If a patient is in severe pain, he can alert the nursing assistant to resolve the issue.
Patients often need to move from one location of a hospital, health clinic, nursing home or other health facility for convalescence, test and procedures. If patients cannot walk on their own, the nursery assistant will guide them along if they have a walking cane, or wheel them if they are confined to a mobile bed or wheelchair. If the patient can walk, the nursing assistant will lead the patient to the new location to ensure their safety.
Helping Other Staff Members
A nursery assistant may need to help other staff members. For instance, the head registered nurse or physician may ask the nursery assistant to make phone calls, move or deliver supplies or set up equipment in patient rooms for vitals. Nursery assistants could also be asked to help during surgical procedures or assist in examinations. When the nursery assistant's work shift is complete, he or she may report to the next nursery assistant about the condition of the patient.
Charting Patient Records
Another nursery assistant duty is charting documentation of a patient's vital signs; e.g., temperature, blood pressure and heart rate, liquid and food intake, symptoms and conditions. Transcription and communications skills are important characteristics of charting which nursery assistants should possess. Another important aspect is the ability to follow procedures and policies, also important for quality patient care.
Another nursery assistant duty is daily housekeeping. Nursery assistants must keep patient rooms orderly and clean; emptying bedpans, changing bed linens and remaking beds are examples of daily housekeeping duties. Housekeeping duties are important; they help patients feel more comfortable. Some programs may require nursery assistants to cook, plan, prepare and serve patients nutritious meals while having an awareness of patients' food preferences and allergies.
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