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Become A Resident Care Assistant

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Working As A Resident Care 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

  • $34,673

    Average Salary

What Does A Resident Care 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 Resident Care 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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Average Length of Employment
Care Provider 2.5 years
Medication Aide 2.4 years
Home Health Care 2.4 years
Nurses' Aide 2.3 years
Direct Care Aide 2.2 years
Care Taker 2.2 years
Care Associate 2.2 years
Resident 2.0 years
Resident Care Aide 1.9 years
Resident Aide 1.6 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 14.9%
Internship 4.2%
Server 3.3%
Volunteer 3.1%
Waitress 2.4%
Teller 2.3%
Top Employers After
Cashier 4.8%
Server 2.9%
Internship 2.8%

Do you work as a Resident Care Assistant?

Resident Care Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

86.9%

Male

11.0%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

69.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.8%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

2.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.6%

French

9.7%

Chinese

3.2%

Mandarin

3.2%

German

3.2%

Dakota

3.2%

Cantonese

3.2%

Ilocano

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Russian

3.2%

Hindi

3.2%

Tagalog

3.2%

Hmong

3.2%

Thai

3.2%
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Resident Care Assistant Education

Schools

University of Wisconsin - Stout

9.8%

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

7.0%

Chippewa Valley Technical College

7.0%

Eastern Michigan University

7.0%

Riverland Community College

7.0%

Globe University

5.6%

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

4.9%

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

4.9%

Grand Valley State University

4.9%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

4.2%

Monroe Community College

4.2%

Nicolet Area Technical College

4.2%

Lakeshore Technical College

3.5%

Northcentral Technical College

3.5%

Minnesota State University - Mankato

3.5%

University of Central Arkansas

3.5%

Madison Area Technical College

3.5%

Capella University

3.5%

Viterbo University

3.5%
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Majors

Nursing

26.9%

Medical Assisting Services

12.2%

Health Care Administration

10.1%

Nursing Assistants

10.1%

Business

8.7%

Psychology

6.3%

General Studies

3.2%

Social Work

3.2%

Biology

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Medical Technician

2.0%

Education

1.7%

Pharmacy

1.5%

Health Sciences And Services

1.5%

Human Services

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.4%

Cosmetology

1.4%

Early Childhood Education

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

38.8%

Bachelors

24.9%

Associate

17.7%

Certificate

7.7%

Masters

4.9%

Diploma

4.6%

License

1.4%
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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Resident Care Assistant?

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Top Skills for A Resident Care Assistant

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  1. Resident Care
  2. Personal Care
  3. Laundry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Certified nursing assistant/Resident care assistant.
  • Provided care for residents with dementia including; personal care, planning & implementing activities, housekeeping & laundry and medication administration
  • Served the residents breakfast, lunch and dinner Made sure residents were comfortable at all times Cleaned, did laundry
  • Documented residents records on daily flow sheets --Passed on a daily report to the oncoming shift --Assisted with ADL's
  • Provided individualized assisted living services to senior citizens diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other Dementia.

How Would You Rate Working As a Resident Care Assistant?

Are you working as a Resident Care Assistant? Help us rate Resident Care Assistant as a Career.

Top Resident Care Assistant Employers

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Jobs From Top Resident Care Assistant Employers

Resident Care Assistant Videos

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