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A Nursing Assistant’s Scope of
Practice

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Certified nursing assistants have many important job duties. Their daily tasks involve helping doctors and nurses take care of patients. These tasks are called scope of practice.


Some nursing assistants work with patients in hospitals. Some work with residents in long-term care facilities. Some work with clients in private homes. Nursing assistants help patients get dressed, eat, and drink. They check patients’ blood pressure and heart rate. They help with combing hair and clipping nails. They help patients go to the bathroom. They clean patients’ wounds and give them sponge baths in their beds.


Nursing assistants help patients walk with walkers and canes. They assist patients in getting in and out of wheelchairs. They need to have the strength to help patients move from a bed to a chair. They guide patients in doing range-of-motion exercises for their arms and legs. They update health charts for each patient every day.


Nursing assistants might work with individual patients for only a few days in a hospital or a home. They might work with patients for many years in long-term care facilities. Nursing assistants need to be patient, caring, and flexible. They are busy, often walking and lifting for much of the day. They must be willing to assist doctors and nurses in a variety of ways that will best help each patient.

© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners