6.1 Introduction to Provide for Basic Nursing Care Needs

Learning Objectives

  • Carry out the basic nursing skills required for the nursing assistant
  • Adapt care to meet the physical needs of the aging client
  • Apply heat and cold applications
  • Administer nonprescription (OTC) medications
  • Define the principles of nutrition and fluid needs
  • Provide client comfort measures
  • Assist with end-of-life care for the dying client
  • Assist with postmortem care
  • Recognize the general effects of prescribed routine medications

The general scope of practice for nursing assistants (NAs) relates to helping individuals with their activities of daily living (ADLs), including facilitating fluid and nutritional intake. NAs also complete actions that provide comfort and increase clients’ quality of life. Quality of life refers to the degree to which an individual is healthy, comfortable, and able to participate in or enjoy life events.

Nurses may delegate actions to nursing assistants that provide comfort to residents, such as application of nonprescription, topical medications or heat and cold treatments. Nursing assistants may also provide care to residents in special situations, such as end-of-life care or postmortem care. End-of-life care is a term used to describe care provided when death is imminent and life expectancy is limited to a short number of hours or days. Postmortem care refers to care provided after death has occurred through transfer to a morgue or funeral provider. Knowing how to safely and respectfully implement these delegated interventions is essential.



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