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Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants
Quick Facts : Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants*
2010 Median Pay$24,010
Entry Level EducationPostsecondary non-degree award
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20121,505,300
Job Outlook20% (Faster than average)
Employment Change302,000


Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. In nursing homes, aides and attendants are often the principal caregivers. They have more contact with residents than other members of the staff.

What Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants Do

  • Clean and bathe patients or residents
  • Help patients use the toilet and dress
  • Turn, reposition, and transfer patients between beds and wheelchairs
  • Measure patients' vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature
  • Serve meals and help patients eat

Work Environment

Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants are frequently active, visiting patients and residents and helping move, reposition, or lift them. Because of this, they have a relatively high rate of on-the-job injury.  
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Job Outlook

Employment of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020.
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Pay

The average salary for nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants was $24,010 in May 2010.
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Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

24010

Healthcare Occupations

58203.2

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants*
Percent Change in Employment

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

20.0624

Healthcare Occupations

25.417691284418105

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

Nursing aides and attendants must earn a postsecondary certificate or award, in which they learn the basic principles of nursing and complete supervised clinical work. In some states, nursing aides and attendants can get additional credentials beyond a CNA, such as becoming a Certified Medication Assistant (CMA). As a CMA, they can give medications.
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