Nursing assistants, also called Nursing Aides, are entry-level nurses who work directly with patients under the supervision of a registered or licensed practice nurse. They have a variety of duties depending on the type of facility and the type of patient. These may include taking and recording pulses, temperatures, and blood pressures, as well as bathing, feeding and giving massages and assisting doctors in examinations. Many people become Nursing Assistants as a first step toward nursing, medicine and other patient care careers.
A high school diploma/GED is not required, although applicants must be at least 16 years of age. Programs have been established to allow students to receive training while enrolled in high school. Upon graduation, the high school student is prepared to enter the work force as a nursing assistant or patient care assistant. Individual counselors will provide the details for entry into training. Training programs provide instruction and supervised clinical experiences related to basic patient care, interpersonal/communication skills, safety measures, infection control, medical terminology, nutrition, basic anatomy, vital signs, CPR, and employability skills. Supervised clinical experiences for nursing assistants is provided in nursing homes. A minimum of 40 clinical hours is required. They may also complete additional clinical hours that may include rotations to hospitals and home health agencies. The nursing assistant component, which is a state approved, non-matriculated course that promotes quick entry into the work force, is approximately 120 hours of training. Clinical experiences for patient care assistants occur in hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and private homes. The patient care assistant program is approximately 290 hours. Successful completion of an approved program in either nurse assisting or patient care assisting prepares the student to take the National Nurses Aide Assessment Program.
- Bevill State Community College – School of Health Sciences
- Calhoun Community College – Division of Health
- Lurleen B. Wallace Community College
- Reid State Technical College
- South University
- Southern Union State Community College
- Trenholm State Technical College
- Wallace State Community College
- Wallace State Community College – Hanceville