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Become A Patient Sitter

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Working As A Patient Sitter

  • 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

  • $26,695

    Average Salary

What Does A Patient Sitter 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 Patient Sitter

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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Patient Sitter jobs

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Patient Sitter Demographics

Gender

Female

74.3%

Male

22.1%

Unknown

3.6%
Ethnicity

White

80.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.4%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

2.1%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.5%

French

17.4%

Portuguese

8.7%

Amharic

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Dakota

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%
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Patient Sitter Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.3%

Wayne State University

9.5%

Western Michigan University

6.7%

Henry Ford College

5.7%

Lansing Community College

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.8%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.8%

Santa Fe College

4.8%

Florida State University

4.8%

Wayne County Community College District

3.8%

University of North Florida

3.8%

Everest Institute

3.8%

Macomb Community College

3.8%

American InterContinental University

3.8%

Oakland Community College

3.8%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

3.8%

Southeastern Illinois College

3.8%

Dutchess Community College

3.8%

Capella University

3.8%

Shawnee Community College

2.9%
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Majors

Nursing

29.0%

Medical Assisting Services

9.1%

Business

8.6%

Nursing Assistants

7.6%

Health Care Administration

5.9%

Psychology

5.7%

Biology

4.2%

Social Work

3.7%

Criminal Justice

3.7%

Medical Technician

3.7%

Liberal Arts

3.2%

Pharmacy

2.7%

General Studies

2.5%

Public Health

2.0%

Health Sciences And Services

1.7%

Management

1.5%

English

1.5%

Sociology

1.5%

Elementary Education

1.2%

Chemistry

1.2%
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Degrees

Other

34.4%

Bachelors

28.1%

Associate

18.1%

Masters

7.8%

Certificate

7.7%

Diploma

2.4%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Top Skills for A Patient Sitter

PatientCareSafeEnvironmentDailyLivingVitalSignsPatientBehaviorFallRiskDementiaPatientRoomHighRiskPatientsMedicalEmergenciesADLSurePatientCleanEnvironmentPatientStatusCustomerServiceTransportPatientsDirectObservationPatientEnvironmentMedicalStaffCNA

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Top Patient Sitter Skills

  1. Patient Care
  2. Safe Environment
  3. Daily Living
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted nursing staff with patient care by feeding patients and charting information.
  • Maintained safe environment for the patient(s) assigned.
  • Managed rooms of patients who could not mobilize properly, including elderly, who needed help with daily living tasks.
  • observe patient condition and vital signs and document and report any new signs and symptoms to health care providers
  • Report unusual patient behavior or distress to the appropriate, previously identified contact.

Top Patient Sitter Employers

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