Patient Care Assistant (PCA)
Patient Care Assistants, also called Patient Care Technicians (PCT), are entry-level nursing assistants who work directly under the supervision of a registered or licensed practical nurse. They have a variety of duties depending on the type of facility and the type of patient. These may include taking and recording pulses, temperatures, and blood pressures, as well as bathing and feeding patients, and assisting physicians in examinations. Many people become Patient Care Assistants as a first step towards advanced nursing, medicine and other patient-care careers.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
One way to enter the exciting and challenging world of nursing is to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. LPNs care for the sick, injured, convalescing and handicapped under the direction of physicians and registered nurses. Most LPNs provide basic bedside care. They take vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration. They help patients with personal hygiene, feed them, record food and liquid intake and output, keep them comfortable and care for their emotional needs.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Nursing is a rewarding but highly technical field. The Registered Nurse operates and interprets intricate lifesaving equipment and understands, administers, and evaluates the effects of a wide-range of medications. Nurses also participate in patient care evaluations, discharge planning and patient education. An Associates (ADN) and/or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is required as the base for the full range of practice and responsibilities in a variety of settings.
Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
Nurse Anesthetists administer anesthesia care to patients of all age groups requiring surgery. CRNAs work directly under the guidance of an Anesthesiologist. Nurse Anesthetists are responsible for the care of patient both pre and post surgery. CRNAs responsibilities include performing a preoperative assessment on the patient, administering anesthesia and monitoring the patient's levels during the surgery, bringing the patient out of anesthesia after the surgery and performing a follow-up visit to see how the patient is recovering from the anesthesia. To become a CRNA, one must hold an active RN license and CRNA license in the current state of employment.
Nurse Practitioner (CRNP)
If you would like to assume a more advanced career in nursing, Nurse Practitioner may be a profession you would like to pursue. Nurse Practitioners work under the direct supervision of a physician and provide primary patient care to all types of patients. Nurse Practitioners can examine, diagnosis, and treat patients. Nurse Practitioners have the option to specialize in different areas of patient care including Family, Neonatal, Occupational Health, and Women's Health Nursing. Educational requirements to become a Nurse Practitioner vary by state. However, minimum requirements include being a registered nurse, completing an approved nurse practitioner program and passing the national certification exam.
Surgical Technologists are a vital part of a surgical team in the Operating Room. They work under the direct supervision of Registered Nurses and Physicians. The main duty of a Surgical Tech is to assist the physician during surgery. Surgical Techs also prep the Operating Room by placing surgical instruments and other equipment in the proper place. During surgical procedures, a Surgical Technologist has multiple job responsibilities. They distribute the instruments and equipment to the doctors when they request them. Techs also may be responsible for monitoring patient vital signs and gathering specimens from patients to transport to the laboratory for additional analysis. Surgical Technologists are also responsible for maintaining the supply room and ensuring all supplies are in order.