High School

Nursing Assistant 1a

0.5 Credits
18 weeks
medical students sitting in classroom

If you ever wanted a career that is centered around the care of others and that directly impacts the most vulnerable populations, then it’s time to explore what it means to be a Nursing Assistant. This role can be the first step on your nursing career ladder or into other healthcare positions. Learn career options, ethical and legal responsibilities, anatomy and physiology, patient care, and safety. Discover what it takes to start your journey into this highly needed field.

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.

Major Topics and Concepts

The Nursing Assistant Role

  • Identify education and certification requirements of a nursing assistant
  • Describe scope of practice and daily duties of a nursing assistant
  • Describe professional qualities and ethical behavior of a nursing assistant, as well as ways of managing conflict
  • Define delegation and identify the five “rights” of delegation
  • Identify potential employers and career paths for nursing assistants, as well as how to seek employment opportunities and ways of gaining additional education and experience in the workplace

Communication Skills

  • Explain ways to effectively communicate when part of the healthcare team
  • Describe ways of showing courteous and compassionate care when communicating
  • List and explain barriers to effective communication
  • Identify medical terms and use terminology effectively
  • Understand and use appropriate methods to report observations

Personal Patient Care

  • Explore daily personal care needs for the patient
  • Identify types of baths a nursing assistant may provide
  • Understand the importance of oral care
  • Describe nutrition for the patient and assist with meals
  • Explain how a nursing assistant helps with elimination needs

Safety in Healthcare

  • Describe standard precautions and other infection control measures
  • Explain the importance of safety and safe practices in the workplace, as required by regulatory agencies
  • Understand protective body mechanics and how to avoid injury when on the job
  • Explore how to move, lift, and transfer patients, as well as how to assist with ambulation
  • List types of common emergencies and describe actions to take when dealing with an emergency

Anatomy and Physiology I

  • Explain the structure of a cell
  • Describe how cells make up tissues, then organs, then systems
  • Discover how organ systems work together
  • Investigate the anatomy and physiology, as well as common disorders, of the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the endocrine system, and the gastrointestinal system

Anatomy and Physiology II

  • Describe how the integumentary system functions as the first line of defense for the body and list common disorders of the integumentary system
  • Explain how the nervous system functions to regulate other body systems and how it processes stimuli from the environment through the senses and list disorders of the nervous system.
  • Illustrate how the respiratory system provides oxygen to the body and list common diseases and disorders of the respiratory system
  • Discuss the function of the urinary system and list common disorders of the urinary system
  • Contrast female and male reproductive system anatomy and human sexuality and list common diseases and disorders of the reproductive system

Caring for Geriatric Patients

  • Define stages of growth and development, and apply understanding to the developmental stage of older adult or geriatric patients
  • Describe physical, psychological, and behavioral age-related changes that occur in the body
  • Identify safety measures to apply when caring for elderly patients
  • Discuss end of life care, stages of grief, and planning care for a patient who is dying

Legal and Ethical Issues for Nursing Assistants

  • Discuss legal issues that may arise while performing nursing assistant duties
  • Explain ethics and ethical issues in health care
  • Investigate the management of risk in health care and how protecting patient safety can lead to the prevention of injury and loss
  • Examine documentation of unusual occurrences and how a nursing assistant functions as a mandated reporter

Course Materials

  • Cell phone, tablet, or computer camera with sound and video recording abilities
  • A doll or stuffed animal to use as a patient
  • Various props to demonstrate proper patient care (wash cloth, razor, towel, feeding utensils, fake food items, paper for recording measurements, etc.)
  • Materials to build a model (paper, cardboard, clay, markers, etc.)
  • Slideshow creation software
  • Word processing software
  • Paper, poster board, markers


Nursing Assistant Career

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nursing assistant career by explaining nursing assistant responsibilities, describing nursing assistant education requirements, and summarizing nursing assistant career paths.

Communication Skills

Students will demonstrate an understanding of communication skills by describing effective communication, explaining healthcare terminology, and summarizing observation reporting methods.

Personal Patient Care

Students will demonstrate an understanding of personal patient care by describing personal daily needs, and explaining assistance provided by nursing assistants.

Healthcare Safety

Students will demonstrate an understanding of healthcare safety by describing workplace safety, explaining personal safety, and summarizing emergency situations.

Organ Systems

Students will demonstrate an understanding of organ systems by describing structures of cells and organs, explaining the function of organ systems, and summarizing system disorders.

Anatomy and Physiology

Students will demonstrate an understanding of anatomy and physiology by describing organ system functions, and explaining disorders of organ systems.

Geriatric Care

Students will demonstrate an understanding of geriatric care by describing stages of development, explaining age-related changes, and summarizing elderly care.

Healthcare Ethics

Students will demonstrate an understanding of healthcare ethics by describing legal issues, explaining healthcare ethics, and summarizing risk management.