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Estimated Completion Time

16 - 18 Weeks


As a Nursing Assistant, you are heavily involved in the care of your patients. But what does a typical day look like? How do you care for your patients during your shift? From hospital settings to home health care, from pre-and postoperative to rehabilitation. Discover how best to communicate and work with your team to ensure a safe environment, prevent and control infectious diseases, advocate for your patient’s rights, and provide appropriate care – even for the most complex patient needs.

During this course, you will learn career-related skills and earn a badge for this accomplishment. A badge is a digital certification of your career-related learning that you can share on social media or with higher education platforms, colleges, potential employers, peers, and colleagues. Select this link to learn more about badges.

Course Requirements

  • Video recording device
  • Audio recording device
  • Camera
  • Various healthcare props to demonstrate tasks (gown, mask, gloves, fake equipment, bed, sheets, disinfectants, watch, thermometer, scale, tape measure, cups, labels, bandages, crutches, fake syringe, food tray, etc.)
  • Mode of communication (cell phone, video conferencing program, etc.)
  • Calculator
  • Sink
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Word processing software
  • Presentation software
  • A “patient” (This can be a stuffed animal, a doll, or a friend/family member.)
  • Poster board with markers
  • Graphic design software

Major Topics and Concepts

Unit 1: Health Care: How It Operates

  • Differentiate types of healthcare systems in the United States
  • Define institutional structures, policies, procedures, rules, and the role of human resources
  • Identify roles, responsibilities, and relationships in a healthcare organization
  • Explain the role of the nursing assistant in a variety of settings

Unit 2: Patient Rights

  • Describe the types of rights patients have and explain how to support and uphold patient rights
  • List regulations and methods of oversight of patient rights in health care
  • Explain the role of the nursing assistant in handling patient complaints and grievances
  • Discuss and differentiate various legal concerns for nursing assistants related to the rights of the patient

Unit 3: Patient Safety

  • Explain why medical errors occur
  • Describe the process of discovering and reporting medical errors
  • Identify types of non-medical emergencies that occur in the healthcare setting and actions you should take when they occur
  • Discuss rounding and other safety actions that can be taken to reduce the possibility of patient injury
  • Define testing and calibration and explain the goals of preventive maintenance

Unit 4: Infection Control and Prevention

  • Identify different types of pathogens and explain how they cause disease
  • Define the components of standard precautions, and discuss how standard precautions are used to prevent the spread of infection
  • List types of transmission-based precautions and how to apply each type appropriately
  • Differentiate cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization and discuss how and when each is performed
  • Describe sterile techniques and how to set up a sterile field and apply sterile gloves

Unit 5: Patient Care I

  • Describe the role of the nursing assistant in setting up the patient environment and prioritizing care within that environment
  • Define vital signs, list normal parameters, and explain how vital signs are obtained and used in patient care
  • Explain complications of immobility and how a nursing assistant provides care to prevent these complications
  • Discuss the effects of certain drugs on the body and describe precautions the nursing assistant must take when a patient is taking certain drugs
Unit 6: Patient Care II
  • Discuss fluid balance in patients and methods for measuring intake and output
  • Demonstrate correct procedure for collecting, labeling, and transporting various specimens for laboratory testing
  • Explain electrocardiography and how to perform bedside heart monitoring, including identification of common abnormal heart rhythms
  • Describe complex patient care situations, including drainage tubes, nutritional support, and terminal illness, including post-mortem care

Unit 7: Skills Related to Hospital nad Home Hellth Settings

  • Describe and demonstrate proper use of hospital equipment, including equipment used in patient transfers
  • Assist with positioning and draping patients during medical examinations or procedures
  • Discuss preoperative and postoperative patient care
  • Explain home healthcare duties and considerations for nursing assistants

Unit 8: A Holistic Approach to Rehabilitative and Restorative Care

  • Explain the hierarchy of basic human needs and how a nursing assistant works to meet them
  • Discuss the holistic approach to rehabilitation and how the rehabilitation program is designed to support the entire person
  • Describe how to respect individual preferences in a long-term care environment and maintain sensitivity to mental health and psychosocial aspects of long-term care
  • Define adaptive behaviors and coping mechanisms and identify how specific coping mechanisms may be manifested in long-term care
  • Differentiate rehabilitation and restorative care and describe how restorative care compliments the rehabilitation process


Credits .5


  • Health Care Operation and Patient Rights
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of US healthcare operation and patient rights by describing different healthcare systems, policies, and procedures; identifying roles and responsibilities of healthcare organizations; explaining the role of a nursing assistant; and describing types and regulations of patient rights, and legal concerns.
  • Patient Safety and Infection Control and Prevention
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of patient safety and infection control and prevention by explaining the occurrence and reporting of medical errors, the identification of and response to non-medical emergencies, preventative maintenance for mechanical devices, and disease control and prevention.
  • Patient Care
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of patient care by describing how a nursing assistant prioritizes patient care, obtains and uses vital signs and fluids, prevents complications of immobility, applies precautions for patients taking drugs, and handles complex patient care situations.
  • Hospital and Home Nursing
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of nursing skills related to the hospital and home settings by describing preoperative and postoperative patient care, proper use of hospital equipment; and explaining home healthcare duties.
  • A Holistic Approach to Rehabilitative and Restorative Care
    Students will demonstrate an understanding of a holistic approach to rehabilitative and restorative care by describing the hierarchy of basic needs, the rehabilitation process, long term care considerations, and restorative care.


Nursing Assistant 1a

Attend a virtual open house

We offer regular online open house webinars where VLACS staff members provide parents and students with an overview of our programs and answer questions about online learning.