Health Career Center

General Aides

General aides administer routine nursing services under the direction of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or Registered Nurses (RNs). These specialists are usually experienced, but they’re not authorized to perform some of the tasks of RNs since they lack training. However, general aides acquire valuable work experience which prepares them for more advanced positions. General aides are employed in the same settings as RNs, including hospitals, community centers, assisted living facilities, outpatient clinics, schools, and hospice clinics.

General aides are also referred to as Nursing Assistants, Home Health Aides, Personal Care Assistants, Geriatric Aides, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), Nurse’s Aides, Unlicensed Assistive Personnel, Patient Care Technicians, or Hospital Attendants. Job titles differ by organization.

Main Duties:
  • Monitoring patients
  • Helping RNs with various tasks
  • Dressing cuts and wounds
  • Notifying RNs of unidentified problems
  • Administering first aid and CPR
  • Bathing people admitted to hospitals
  • Feeding incapacitated patients
  • Helping patients undergoing rehabilitation exercise
  • Sanitizing patient rooms and making beds
  • Assisting incontinent patients
  • Keeping tabs on patient vital signs
  • Moving bedridden patients to eliminate bedsores
  • Reporting patient conditions to RNs
Education and Training
To obtain a general aide job, you must acquire some healthcare experience. After completing some formal training available at community colleges or hospitals, general aides can qualify for Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) positions. The CNA exam measures nursing skills and knowledge of nursing theory. After completing formal CNA training, students are required to complete clinical training and pass the certification exam sponsored by their respective state.

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