Powerful Geography
Nursing Assistant / Aide

Nursing Assistant / Aide

Nursing Assistant / Aide


Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview: Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, provide basic care and help patients with activities of daily living. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.  Nursing assistants and orderlies work as part of a healthcare team under the supervision of licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses and registered nurses.  Depending on their training level and the state in which they work, nursing assistants also may dispense medication.  Nursing assistants are often the principal caregivers in nursing and residential care facilities. Nursing assistants often develop relationships with their patients because some patients stay in these facilities for months or years.  Orderlies often help patients to move around the facility, such as by pushing their wheelchairs, clean equipment and facilities, change linens, and stock supplies.

Geographic skills and knowledge are important for the nursing field, as the prevalence of many diseases, the spread of certain diseases, and health care issues are related to location.  For example, some areas may have a high cancer rate, perhaps because of industrial pollution.  Understanding that link between health issues and place is important in the health care profession for disease prevention, treatment, and advising patients.

Geographers at work:  Health geographers, medical geographers, human geographers, cultural geographers

Recommended College Courses:  Human geography, physical geography, cultural geography, environmental geography, political geography; geographic information systems

Skills:  Web-based mapping applications; map reading and interpretation; geographic information systems; computer and database systems; geographic thinking; problem-based learning models

Occupation Group: Healthcare

Learn more about Nursing Assistants and Aides from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nursing-assistants.htm

Written by Christopher Anderson