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Job Outlook for:
Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

SOC: 31-1014        OOH: U150

Nursing Assistants and Orderlies
Quick Stats
Total Jobs in 2016 1,564,300
Expected Growth 11%    (Faster than average)
New Jobs To Be Added
from 2016 to 2026
168,400
Median Pay $25,000 to $34,999

 

 


Short video describing: Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

 

 

Employment Outlook for Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of orderlies is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to assist and care for elderly patients in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Older people are more likely than younger people to have disorders such as dementia, or to live with chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. More nursing assistants will be needed to care for patients with these conditions.

Demand for nursing assistants may be constrained by the fact that many nursing homes rely on government funding. Cuts to programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, may affect patients’ ability to pay for nursing home care. In addition, patient preferences and shifts in federal and state funding are increasing the demand for home and community-based long-term care, which should lead to increased opportunities for nursing assistants working in home health and community rehabilitation services.

Job Prospects

The low pay and high emotional and physical demands cause many workers to leave the occupation, and they will have to be replaced. This creates opportunities for jobseekers.

 

 


 

Typical Pay for Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

The median annual wage for nursing assistants was $26,590 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,040, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $37,900.

The median annual wage for orderlies was $26,690 in May 2016. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,590, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $40,180.

In May 2016, the median annual wages for nursing assistants in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Government $31,990
Hospitals; state, local, and private 28,540
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 25,670
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly 24,830
Home healthcare services 24,390

In May 2016, the median annual wages for orderlies in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Government $32,820
Ambulatory healthcare services 28,030
Hospitals; state, local, and private 27,120
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 23,030
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly 21,660

Most nursing assistants and orderlies work full time. Because nursing homes and hospitals provide care at all hours, nursing aides and orderlies may need to work nights, weekends, and holidays.



 

What Nursing Assistants and Orderlies Do All Day

Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.

Duties

Nursing assistants provide basic care and help with activities of daily living. They typically do the following:

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Listen to and record patients’ health concerns and report that information to nurses
  • Measure patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Some nursing assistants also may dispense medication, depending on their training level and the state in which they work.

In nursing homes and residential care facilities, nursing assistants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff. Nursing assistants often develop close relationships with their patients because some residents stay in a nursing home for months or years.

Orderlies typically do the following:

  • Help patients to move around the facility, by doing such tasks as pushing wheelchairs
  • Clean equipment and facilities
  • Change linens
  • Stock supplies

Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.

 



 

Work Environment for Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Nursing assistants held about 1.5 million jobs in 2016. The largest employers of nursing assistants were as follows:

Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 40%
Hospitals; state, local, and private 26
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly 11
Home healthcare services 5
Government 4

Orderlies held about 54,000 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of orderlies were as follows:

Hospitals; state, local, and private 74%
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities) 9
Ambulatory healthcare services 6
Government 3
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly 3

The work of nursing assistants and orderlies can be strenuous. They spend much of their time on their feet as they take care of many patients or residents.

Injuries and Illnesses

Because they frequently lift people and do other physically demanding tasks, nursing assistants and orderlies have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. They are typically trained in how to properly lift and move patients, which can reduce the risk of injuries.

Work Schedules

Most nursing assistants and orderlies work full time. Because nursing homes and hospitals provide care at all hours, nursing assistants and orderlies may need to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

 


 

How To Become a Nursing Assistant or Orderly

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.

Education and Training

Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. These programs are found in high schools, community colleges, vocational and technical schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.

In addition, nursing assistants typically complete a brief period of on-the-job training to learn about their specific employer’s policies and procedures.

Orderlies typically have at least a high school diploma and receive a short period of on-the-job training.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

After completing a state-approved education program, nursing assistants take a competency exam. Passing this exam allows them to use state-specific titles. In some states, a nursing assistant or aide is called a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but titles vary from state to state.

Nursing assistants who have passed the competency exam are placed on a state registry. They must be on the state registry to work in a nursing home.

Some states have other requirements as well, such as continuing education and a criminal background check. Check with state boards of nursing or health for more information.

In some states, nursing assistants can earn additional credentials, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.

Orderlies do not need a license, however, many jobs require a basic life support (BLS) certification, which shows they are trained to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Nursing assistants and orderlies must communicate effectively to address patients’ or residents’ concerns. They also need to relay important information to other healthcare workers.

Compassion. Nursing assistants and orderlies assist and care for the sick, injured, and elderly. Doing so requires a compassionate and empathetic attitude.

Patience. The routine tasks of cleaning, feeding, and bathing patients or residents can be stressful. Nursing assistants and orderlies must have patience to complete these tasks.

Physical stamina. Nursing assistants and orderlies spend much of their time on their feet. They should be comfortable performing physical tasks, such as lifting or moving patients.

 

 

 

 

 

"Nursing Assistants and Orderlies"   SOC:  31-1014     OOH Code: U150

Thank you BLS.gov.