Hospital patient aides assist with the day-to-day needs of patients, from making sure they're comfortable to performing technical procedures. They need on-the-job training or some college course work in order to get started. It's a good place for someone to start if they are new to the field and want to get some medical experience under their belt.
Hospital patient aides usually do common tasks, such as administer medication, assure patient comfort, or perform routine diagnostic testing. While hospital patient aides don't necessarily require a college degree, coursework in the medical field can prove beneficial. Federal and state regulations may require licensure for certain aide positions.
|Required Education||On-the-job training or college coursework|
|Other Requirements||Licensure or certification typically required|
|Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)||20% for occupational therapy aides*|
|Median Salary (2020)||$30,180 for occupational therapy aides*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of a Hospital Patient Aide
Hospital patient aides, also known as nursing aides, are responsible for taking care of patients and ensuring their overall well-being. Hospital aides routinely check on a patient's physical and mental state of being. Aides may be required to help infirm or critically impaired patients dress, eat, bathe, or move, if necessary. In some instances, aides help senior nursing staff by performing technical procedures, such as recording blood pressure, heart rates, and temperature of a patient.
In addition to providing patient care and nursing assistance, hospital patient aides may be required to perform administrative and housekeeping tasks. Familiarity with hospital equipment is necessary, as well as an elementary knowledge of medications and treatment methods.
A hospital patient aide position helps those with little or no medical training to gain first-hand experience in the medical field. Aides typically receive an introduction to medical equipment, terminology, and regulatory medical compliance for hospital staff through on-the-job training. With exposure to hospital procedure, aides may choose to go back to school for more advanced careers in nursing or medicine.
Requirements for a Hospital Patient Aide
Most hospital patient aides only need a high school diploma, though senior positions may require experience or specific training. Essential skills and abilities may be learned through supervised employment with a more experienced nurse as an advisor. Many community colleges offer hospital and nursing aide certificate of completion programs that provide basic medical knowledge and patient care skills. Academic programs often require internship participation with affiliated hospitals and health care providers.
Federal and state requirements exist for many patient aides employed in medical facilities. Training programs often structure the curricula to cover the necessary topics for licensure testing. Hospital patient aides with at least 75 hours of accredited education may become registered with the state as certified nurse assistants.
Salary Info and Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is expected to grow by 8% between 2019 and 2029, while job opportunities for occupational therapy aides will likely increase much faster than the national average in the same decade. The BLS also reported the average annual salary earned by nursing assistants employed by hospitals as $32,050 in May 2020. Nursing assistants in the 90th percentile or higher earned $42,110 or more per year, while occupational therapy aides in the 90th percentile or higher earned $58,800 or more per year.
Hospital patient aides perform basic care procedures, such as bathing, or perhaps recording vital signs. Most hospital aides can get started in this growing field with just a high school diploma, but additional coursework might increase job opportunities. Some states require licensure and set standards for training.