This is a true career story as told to JustJobs. If you are considering a career in health care, check out our website for interviews with a phlebotomist, a substance abuse counselor, and a myriad of other health care professionals.
I worked as a nurse’s aide for three years for a convalescent home dealing with various aspects of elder patient care. As a caring, hard-working and positive individual, I helped many people carry on with their daily lives well into their old age.
A white, female in this field is a positive point because I was very non-threatening to both sexes. Women in the field do not generally feel discriminated against. They are seen as humanitarians and caretakers, which is natural for them.
In this position, a day would consist of attending to a list of patients. You must take care to dress them, take them to meals, and help feed and clean them. No medications are administered through a nurse’s aide. Instead, nurse’s aides assist the nurses.
A nurse’s aide position requires much patience. There should be timely breaks, though when there is a busy day that does not always happen. The people that do this type of position work full shifts, but there are part-time positions available that might not be as stressful.
As most people do, when I first became a nurse’s aide, it was my first step in becoming a nurse. I wanted to go into nursing, so I looked at the various nursing homes in the area and applied. When I was offered work with the nursing home for which I currently work, I didn’t hesitate to take the job.
One lesson I learned the hard way was to always check the equipment you must use. A blood pressure cuff is an important tool and if does not work properly, it must be replaced. Several readings on patients that were almost alike prompted me to take it in for a check. It was faulty and was replaced immediately.
Commitment to the job is important. It is something that you don’t learn, but something that you feel. You return to perform your duties because you know they are very important.
Sometimes strange things can happen on the job when you are a nurse’s aide. You might have to help assist when a patient forgets where they are and they want to go home. It can be a little frightening that they forget where they are, but when you are patient with them they usually are okay within minutes.
At the holidays, a nurse’s aide is considered part of the family for the sick person. It is wonderful to see the family all together enjoying that their older person is still with them. They are very joyous and the holidays are special. You become very close to your patients when you are a nurse’s aide.
Challenges are part of life and being a nurse’s aide is a position that has several of them. It will make a huge difference when you manage them and face them head on.
There is stress involved in being a nurse’s aide, as in all jobs. The key is to know your duties well and perform them within the time limitations that you are given.
I was paid the minimum wage salary in my regional area, plus two dollars an hour roughly. A good worker will receive raises usually once or twice a year. It can be a decent living for some, but for others they might wish to pursue their nursing degree so that they can make more money.
If you work full time in this profession, you will usually start out at a one-week paid vacation per year. It will then lead to more, the longer your duration with the establishment you work for.
There are many places that will hire someone one and train them to be a nurse’s aide. Other institutions require a certificate. The certificate does not take long to acquire and will ensure a person to be employable for a nurse’s aide position in almost any establishment.
If you want to be a nurse’s aide, you first must have immense patience and compassion. You need to also be able to lift people and heavier items and be able to perform physical duties that might not necessary be part of other jobs. You must not mind wearing a uniform because all nurse’s aide’s must wear them.
Being an instrumental part in the medical field is very important. In order to see myself in this field in the future, I would educate myself to the level of nurse or doctor (practitioner) to help to continue to improve the quality of life for other people.
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Nurse’s aide image from Shutterstock