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Become An Orderly

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Working As An Orderly

  • $239,970

    Average Salary

What Does An Orderly 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 An Orderly

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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Orderly Demographics

Gender

Male

64.2%

Female

33.7%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.2%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.4%

Carrier

9.5%

Portuguese

4.8%

Vietnamese

4.8%

German

4.8%

Thai

4.8%
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Orderly Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.5%

University of Utah

11.6%

Community College of Philadelphia

5.8%

Ashford University

5.8%

Vincennes University

5.8%

University of Georgia

5.8%

The Academy

4.3%

Essex County College

4.3%

Northeastern State University

4.3%

Utah Valley University

4.3%

A-Technical College

4.3%

Remington College

4.3%

Saint Cloud State University

4.3%

Howard University

2.9%

Arkansas State University

2.9%

Ultimate Medical Academy - Clearwater

2.9%

Brigham Young University

2.9%

State Fair Community College

2.9%

Lansing Community College

2.9%

Lincoln Land Community College

2.9%
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Majors

Business

14.1%

Nursing

12.9%

General Studies

9.4%

Medical Assisting Services

7.2%

Psychology

6.9%

Biology

5.3%

Criminal Justice

5.3%

Nursing Assistants

4.7%

Health Care Administration

4.4%

Medical Technician

4.4%

Computer Science

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Theology

3.1%

Communication

2.8%

Kinesiology

2.5%

Automotive Technology

2.5%

Human Services

2.2%

Early Childhood Education

1.9%

Political Science

1.9%

Medicine

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

38.0%

Bachelors

25.3%

Associate

17.3%

Masters

6.5%

Certificate

6.5%

Doctorate

3.0%

Diploma

2.6%

License

0.9%
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Top Skills for An Orderly

  1. Patient Care
  2. Customer Service
  3. Patient Transport
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Dispensed medications, patient care, coordination of ward activities assisting and implementing doctors orders
  • Collaborated with customer service team members to give exceptional service throughout the entire purchasing experience.
  • Trained in CPR, first aid, verbal and physical intervention crisis techniques, and positive peer culture.
  • Maintained a clean, orderly and well-stocked environment.
  • Provide emergency first aid and summon medical assistance when necessary.

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Top Orderly Employers

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