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Become A Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

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Working As A Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

  • 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

  • $25,710

    Average Salary

What Does A Psychiatric Nursing Assistant 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 Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

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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Psychiatric Nursing Assistant jobs

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Psychiatric Nursing Assistant Demographics

Gender

  • Female

    59.1%
  • Male

    38.7%
  • Unknown

    2.3%

Ethnicity

  • White

    71.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    20.4%
  • Asian

    6.8%
  • Unknown

    1.3%
  • Black or African American

    0.4%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    75.0%
  • Korean

    6.3%
  • Carrier

    6.3%
  • Vietnamese

    6.3%
  • Hindi

    6.3%
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Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

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Psychiatric Nursing Assistant Education

Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

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Top Skills for A Psychiatric Nursing Assistant

PatientCareServicesVitalSignsIndividualTreatmentPlansRNPersonalCareServicesSocialSkillsPmabSevereMentalHealthPatientConditionsPNA IITherapeuticInteractionsDirectPatientCareCPRPatientInformationTherapeuticCommunicationSkillsQualityPsychiatricElectronicRecordMentalIllnessDailyLivingActivitiesAggressiveBehavior

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Top Psychiatric Nursing Assistant Skills

  1. Patient Care Services
  2. Vital Signs
  3. Individual Treatment Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided patient care services on the 11-7 shift, provided personal care, verbal and supportive care as needed.
  • Obtain and record weekly vital signs of clients to track progression or regression.
  • Employed in the Summer 10+ Nursing Internship.
  • Work includes providing health and personal care services to psychiatric patients on an assigned service and shift.
  • Coordinate treatment activities that provide educational skills, therapeutic skills, and daily living, as well social skills.

Top Psychiatric Nursing Assistant Employers

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