One of the most common question asked by those wishing to enter the nursing profession as a nurse assistant.
A question most often asked by friends, family and the trainee nurse assistants is do they have to draw blood? The only and definitive answer to this is a resounding NO.
Nurse Assistants do not need to draw blood under any circumstances during the duties of their day. The senior staff will never call upon the assistant nurse to draw blood directly from a patient.
The senior nurse might invite the nursing assistant to assist in preparing the work area or comfort the patient/client during the procedure, but will never be asked to draw the blood.
There are many reasons why this happens and the foremost reason is the term bodily assault. To draw blood from a person there needs to be a legal reason as to why the blood is being drawn, such as a medical emergency in the Emergency and Accident Department.
Other legalities include having the permission of the person to draw blood from them, the blood sample needs to be taken by a qualified and registered practitioner such as a Register Nurse or Phlebotomist or a legal requirement of a law enforcement officer to name a few.
The certified and training nurse assistants are not required at all to administer intravenous injections or medications to patients or clients within their care. This role is performed by senior staff who are qualified and have been assessed as competent authorising them to perform such a duty. Registered Nurses and Phlebotomist staff are such authorised persons having completed their training.
The ideal way to approach such questions as to the duties or requirements of a nursing assistant is do their duties fall within a carers role or a clinical role. The certified nursing assistent is a role of a carer performing the duties surrounding the care of the patient or client. The clinical role is performed by registered nursing staff and medical practitioners.
It is this understanding of the role played by the certified nursing assistant being that of a carer that readily defines the duties required of them. An example of this is the nurses assistant does not stitch a wound or use a scalpal on a patient or client.
Having this understanding the certified nursing assistant know’s very clearly the boundaries and the scope of work duties required of them. It is an accepted practise for a assistant in nursing to decline performing a duty asked of them if it consists of a clinical nature. In practise, senior staff are well aware of the boundaries and will never place a nursing assistant in a position of jeopardy mainly due to legal requirements and litigation in a court of law.
Ideally, nursing homes where the vast majority of nurses assistants are employed are managed well clearly defining to staff under their control the work duties required of them and the restrictions and scope of those duties.
The certified nursing assistant role is restricted to that of a care giver where they assist clients or patients in bathing, feeding, assistance in dressing, oral care and safely positioning them in a bed or chair.
We have often found that a major hurdle to job seekers wanting to enter the field of nursing assistants is the fear that they might be asked to draw blood. It would make you wonder how many suitably qualified people the industry has missed out on for the fear of this one question. What we do find however is once the prospective student is advised of their duties and that there is no need to perform any clinical duty at all, then we often have an eager student ready to commence their health industry career.
We have provided a comprehensive page outlining the position description of a assistant in nursing or nurses assistant detailing the scope of work asked of them and can be found here what are the duties of a nurse assistant