For clinicians who love to comfort people in need and make a meaningful difference in their lives, there’s no other work setting like wherever our clients call home. Home is where people most want to be, and where clinicians can use their guidance and skills to help people stay safe and healthy, prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, and keep families and loved ones together.
In the field of home care, the job description, duties, and responsibilities of a nursing assistant—or nurse aide—are to provide clients with personal care, companionship, and assistance with activities of daily living under the direction of a registered nurse.
What does a nursing assistant do?
An in-home nursing assistant can choose to work with seniors, adults, or children who are medically fragile, ill, or disabled. With specific training, they can specialize in working with clients with dementia or catastrophic diagnoses. In all cases, a successful nursing assistant becomes a reliable, familiar presence for the client and their family, providing essential care and emotional support while acting as the watchful, protective eyes and ears of their interdisciplinary health care team.
Nursing assistants oversee safety precautions and help their clients with personal and household tasks they cannot do for themselves—from bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting to eating, meal preparation, medication reminders, and light housekeeping. In many cases, a nurse aide can drive clients to appointments and accompany them on errands, helping to socialize and stay active in their communities.
Search open job opportunities for nursing assistants here.
What are the Qualities of a Great Nursing Assistant in Home Care?
When a great nursing assistant works with a regular client over time, they become their trusted—even loved—confidant, friend, counselor, and cheerleader. The best nurse aides in home care are gifted with:
- A passion to help others
- Empathy and caring
- Positivity and cheerfulness
- A kind and gentle spirit
- Superior listening and communication skills
- Independence and good judgment
- Attention to detail and protocol
- Integrity to always do the right thing
Rewards of Working in Home Health Care as a Nursing Assistant
Home health care currently represents a small percentage of all nursing assistant jobs—most are in busy, multi-patient facilities—but the chance to take your time, develop personal relationships, and work one-on-one with clients makes it so impactful and rewarding.
Demand for nurse aides is exploding and should continue to grow rapidly, as the large Baby Boomer generation ages and requires personal care assistance, and as the home becomes the preferred epicenter of health care delivery. This means ample opportunities for nursing assistants to find compatible clients, flexible work schedules, and professional development in home health care.
The Important Role of Nursing Assistants in Home Care
As a central member of an interdisciplinary home health care team who spends the most time with the client, the nurse aide is in the best position to observe clients’ needs and act as a proactive liaison between the client, their family, and the nurse clinical manager.
Being in the home allows the nursing assistant to observe everyday changes—in the client’s condition and in their home environment. Immediately communicating this information to a supervising nurse allows for timely intervention to prevent an acute situation. In this way, nursing assistants are on the front lines of health care, ensuring that clients remain safe and well—keeping them out of the hospital and enjoying their best possible quality of life with comfort, independence, and dignity.