Section 4 – Member of the Health Care Team


Nursing assistants make up an important part of the healthcare team as they offer care to individuals within need while also providing another set of eyes to help monitor resident and patient conditions. Most states require at least 75 training hours to become a nursing assistant, which is broken down into classroom instruction and clinical hours. Additionally, they must possess verified skills, pass the state board of certification examination. Beyond obtaining the certification, most state requirements include nursing assistants needing to provide proof of 12 hours of continuing education every year (at least). The facility where a nursing assistant works will offer ways to maintain the continuing education hours.

If the place of employment does not offer ways for continuing education, it is necessary to contact the NA’s supervisor for assistance in this matter.

Nursing Assistant Job Responsibilities

The nursing assistant will provide assistance in basic healthcare elements. This includes helping patients with their activities of daily living, also referred to as ADL. Some activities the NA will assist with include bathing, ambulating residents, feeding, transferring patients from beds to chairs and back when necessary, repositioning patients in bed, keeping rooms stocked, taking and recording vital signs (and reporting when changes occur) and so on.

Nursing assistants will provide assistance within their level of education and certification. They are not allowed to exceed their certification levels as this places them and healthcare facility at a liability for legal matters should something happen to the patient. This means they are not allowed to practice sterile procedures or insert/remove IVs. They will also not take doctor orders but instead that of nurses and others above them in the chain of command.

Some medical facilities to provide additional training to make exceptions for those areas listed, although it is up to the nursing assistant to know what their scope of training covers. If an NA questions if a task is within their level of experience, they should consult with a supervisor to clear anything up. Due to time constraints, a nursing assistant may be asked to do something out of their scope on accident (other healthcare professionals may not know the scope of certain NAs, especially ones who have just been hired on). It is important for the nursing assistant to not step beyond their boundaries.

Interdisciplinary Team Member Roles

Some of the other members within a healthcare community include doctors, nurses, therapists of varying degree (occupational, respiratory, speech and physical, just to name a few), dietitians and nutritionists. Every single member of the team makes up an important element and has received specific training for their role.

Doctors diagnosis residents and provide recommendations for medical care. The nurses then interpret orders given by doctors, carry the orders out and perform continual patient assessments while carrying out their own nursing interventions. Therapists such as a reparatory therapist focus on respiratory care and treatments. Occupational and physical therapists work with rehabilitating a patient. Speech therapists help when there are speech issues or oral problems such as swallowing.

There are other members of the healthcare team a nursing assistant will work with. It is essential for a nursing assistant to understand everyone’s role within the medical community.

Principles of Teamwork

There is a continual collaboration between different team members of the healthcare community. A nursing aid must be able to work with all team members they are assigned with in order to offer the greatest level of care. This includes cooperation, respect and the ability to stay on time and on track. Understanding when to report changes in patient information to a nurse is important, as is the understanding of who to report to.

Implementation of the Care Planning Process.

The nursing assistant is an important part of the nursing community and helps carry out and formulate essential care plans for patients. This includes with the nurse’s assessment of a resident, in addition to recommendations given by the nurse. These are evaluated for effectiveness and altered whenever necessary (such as based on the response of a resident).

Nursing Aide’s Responsibilities for Providing Care Based on Care Plan

Once the nurse has created a nursing care plan, it is important for the nursing aid to provide care based on this plan. Responsibilities of the nursing aid can include assessing the patient to turn patients to avoid skin issues, to provide regular perineal care and to ensure the patient receives the necessary amount of meal trays. The nursing assistant will help with any and all points within the unique care plan, as long as their level of training and certification allows for it.

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