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Working As a First-Aid Attendant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $24,000

    Average Salary

What Does A First-Aid Attendant Do

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years, assistants may develop close relationships with their residents.

Orderlies typically do the following:

  • Assist patients with moving about the facility, such as pushing wheelchairs
  • Clean equipment and facilities
  • Change linens
  • Stock supplies

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

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How To Become A First-Aid Attendant

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

Education and Training

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, nursing assistants typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training to learn about their specific employer’s policies and procedures.

Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma and receive a short period of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. Nursing assistants must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.

Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with state boards of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Orderlies do not need a license, however, many jobs require a Basic Life Support (BLS) certification, which shows they are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must be able to communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must have patience in order to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

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Top Skills for A First-Aid Attendant

  1. First Aide
  2. Fire Safety
  3. Emergency Situations
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed all aspects of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), and be able to perform all aspects of CPR/first aide.
  • Fire Safety, crisis prevention &Management, Microsoft office.
  • Administer Basic Life Support During Emergency Situations.
  • Completed Pennsylvania State Mandated Child Abuse training.
  • Demonstrated great ability to promote excellent quality, customer service, cleanliness and safety for customers.

First-Aid Attendant Demographics

Gender

Female

57.0%

Male

28.6%

Unknown

14.4%
Ethnicity

White

62.9%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

36.7%

Italian

10.0%

Portuguese

6.7%

Russian

3.3%

Urdu

3.3%

Chinese

3.3%

Vietnamese

3.3%

Japanese

3.3%

French

3.3%

Catalan

3.3%

Hindi

3.3%

Cantonese

3.3%

Mandarin

3.3%

Danish

3.3%

Korean

3.3%

Arabic

3.3%

Ukrainian

3.3%
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First-Aid Attendant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.8%

Kaplan University

7.4%

Michigan State University

5.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.9%

University of Houston

5.9%

University of South Florida

4.4%

University of North Florida

4.4%

Grand Rapids Community College

4.4%

Everest Institute

4.4%

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

4.4%

Mid-State Technical College

4.4%

Arizona State University

4.4%

University of Pennsylvania

4.4%

Walden University

4.4%

Eastern Michigan University

4.4%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.4%

Oregon State University

4.4%

University of Idaho

4.4%

Butler County Community College

2.9%

American River College

2.9%
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Majors

Nursing

15.4%

Business

11.9%

General Studies

7.5%

Psychology

7.5%

Health Care Administration

6.1%

Kinesiology

5.5%

Education

5.5%

Medical Assisting Services

5.5%

Nursing Assistants

4.8%

Criminal Justice

4.1%

Biology

3.4%

History

3.4%

Athletic Training

3.1%

Early Childhood Education

3.1%

Social Work

2.4%

Political Science

2.4%

Human Services

2.4%

Management

2.0%

Communication

2.0%

Human Development

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

32.5%

Other

32.3%

Associate

15.1%

Masters

9.1%

Certificate

6.4%

Diploma

2.3%

License

1.2%

Doctorate

1.2%
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Updated May 19, 2020