Under the direction of nurses, hospital staff and physicians, resident care aides (also known as nurse aides and orderlies) assist in the basic care of residents. They are employed in hospitals, long-term care facilities, group homes, home support and community care.
A Day in the Life
Listen to A Day in the Life
Nursing aides, orderlies and patient service associates perform some or all of the following duties:
Answer call signals, supply and empty bed pans, take basic vitals, collect specimens for sampling and perform basic personal care under the direction of a nurse
Observe and monitor patient status and report changes to supervisor
Provide assistance in patients' daily activities such as bathing, dressing,grooming and eating
Lift and move physically challenged patients with specialized equipment
Transport patients in wheelchairs or stretchers, and carry messages, reports, requisitions and specimens from one department to another
Supervise patients' therapy and exercise routines
Make beds, maintain patients' rooms, monitor inventory of supplies, and perform other maintenance tasks such as cleaning or sterilizing equipment and maintaining and repairing equipment
May perform clerical work
May assist with medevacs
With additional training, nursing assistants may become operating room technicians, who perform some or all of the following duties:
Help set up the operating room and assist surgical teams with gowns and gloves
Prepare patients for surgery by washing, shaving and sterilizing their operative areas
Assist in surgery by passing instruments and supplies to surgeons, operating diagnostic equipment, and counting supplies and instruments
Observe patients' vital signs and check charts
Prepare and label specimens for laboratory analysis and may help apply dressings
Transport and position patients in the operating room and transfer patients to the recovery rooms
Clean, sterilize and restock the operating room
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in High demand.
This is a good opportunity for people in rural Yukon as this job is required in most Yukon communities. Earnings in this type of job are close to the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $37,300 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
The emergence of First Nations self-government will continue to change Yukon’s health care system. Increased health spending by First Nations governments will create new employment opportunities in health care. Nursing aides, orderlies and patient care associates should have opportunities from these changes.
Nursing staff working in Yukon require cross-cultural awareness and an understanding of First Nations history, culture and contemporary issues. They require extra sensitivity and consideration for patients who might feel fearful, anxious or uncomfortable in the hospital situation. Nursing staff also need to be willing to accommodate First Nations extended family in hospital visits, and honour traditional beliefs and practices regarding the passing of a loved one. Knowledge of First Nations languages and communication styles helps nursing assistants care for Yukon First Nations patients.
Resident care aides work in hospital wards or residential long-term care facilities. Shifts are usually 8 to 12 hours in length, and full-time employees work 36 to 40 hours per week, often through weekends, holidays or evenings. On-call and part-time work is common.
The work of resident care aides can be physically demanding. Constant standing, walking and lifting can cause back and neck injuries. New health standards that require health-care workers to use patient lifts (hoists) have significantly reduced the incidence of worksite injury.
Other Assisting Occupations in Support of Health Services (NOC 3414)
Visiting Homemakers, Housekeepers and Related Occupations (NOC 6471)
How Do I Get There
Health care assistants generally need Grade 12, and completion of a resident care attendant program is recommended. Health care assistants need physical stamina. They must patient, caring, understanding, emotionally stable and dependable. They should be able to work as part of a team and be willing to perform repetitive, routine tasks.
Yukon College's Health Care Assistant certificate program prepares students for work in any level of continuing care, including home support, adult daycare, assisted living and complex care. Admission requirements include standard first aid, FoodSafe certification, medical clearance and a criminal record check. Yukon College also offers a practical nurse diploma program. Those wishing to work in an acute care setting may require an acute care certificate in addition to their post-basic training.