A certified nursing assistant looks after people who are dependent on support due to their age, a disability, or an illness. Nursing assistants work either in the outpatient area or in the inpatient service, e.g., in hospitals, old people’s and nursing homes, in care and nursing facilities for people with disabilities, in geriatric and nursing services, in private households of people in need of care and in church social services.
In outpatient work, i.e. providing support in the private household of the person in need of care, the specialists help the person to be cared for in coping with their everyday life. In addition to nursing measures, economic activities are also part of the job profile for nursing assistants. This includes household chores, shopping, food inspections, creating menu plans, cooking as well as exercise and employment opportunities for the people to be cared for. Furthermore, they support and advise relatives in dealing with care aids.
Depending on the federal state, a secondary school diploma or vocational qualification is required for training as a nursing assistant. You should have good grades, especially in the natural science subjects, such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. In addition, the profession requires proof of health suitability. Nursing assistant training takes place at vocational schools and is also regulated differently from state to state. It lasts two to three years. With the qualification as a state-certified specialist for nursing assistance, you receive at the same time – with an average grade of at least 3.0 – the secondary school certificate.
This training is divided into various areas, such as social care, social pedagogy, housekeeping, and a musical-creative area. The theoretical training content includes the following points:
The training content also includes general subjects such as English, mathematics, economics/politics, religion, or philosophy. In addition to the theoretical basics, an internship with 40 weeks of practical experience is also part of the training.
The profession of skilled nursing assistant requires a number of personal characteristics. So you should have a certain empathy when dealing with people in need. An open ear for the patient’s problems is also a great advantage. Therefore, communication skills are just as important as patience and mental resilience. Not to be despised is the fact that the job can be physically demanding – for example, when transferring beds to bedridden patients or when lifting people into wheelchairs.
In many federal states, the registration deadline for vocational training is the end of February for the coming training year. Anyone who decides to train as a nursing assistant should make an effort to obtain all the necessary documents and registrations.