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Nursing Assistant Schools and Programs

Nursing Assistant Career Overview

Nursing assistants and nursing aides are employed to facilitate the work of doctors, hospitals, and other health-related treatment facilities. Some nursing assistants are actively engaged in clinical duties such as collecting laboratory specimens, recording patients' vital signs, providing information about treatments, sterilizing medical equipment, and providing medical assistance to patients authorized by a physician. Nursing assistants also perform clerical duties that can include making appointments, recording medical data, billing, handling telephone calls, processing insurance claims, and directing patients to treatment rooms. Excellent verbal communications skills are essential to communicate clearly with patients and to put them at ease. Nursing assistant specialties can include optometric assistants who help ophthalmologists provide eye care by conducting diagnostic tests and offering preliminary treatments. Podiatric medical assistants help podiatrists with basic foot care. Many health care professionals rely on the services of nursing assistants to increase the level of patient care and operate their practices more efficiently and economically.

Nursing Assistant Job Prospects and Salary

IN 2008, well over 400,000 nursing assistants were employed in the United States and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects much faster than average job growth between 2006 and 2016. The latest mean annual wages range between $20,000 and $40,000.

Education to Become a Nursing Assistant

Education depends on the work being performed and the state in which the nursing assistant is employed. Some nursing assistants possess only a high school education while others have completed an associate's degree or been certified by one or more of the certifying agencies. Formal training is available in high school vocational training programs, at community colleges, or through on-the-job training.