Continuing Care Assistants, Nurses Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates

(NOC 3413)

in All Health

Continuing care assistants (CCA), nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates help nurses, hospital staff, and physicians in the basic care of patients. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities for the elderly, and other health care organizations.

Job Outlook

Good

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  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 1590 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 3550 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 6335 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is better than average when compared to other occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Continuing Care Assistants and Other Health Support Workers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

There are a large number of job postings for this occupational grouping, in response to an aging population and the corresponding need for homecare and nursing services. This physically challenging job, which often involves shift work, has led to higher turnover than normal. Opportunities do occur in hospitals, but are more frequent in non-hospital settings.

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$18.00

Median

$20.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,257

Minimum

$32,014

Median

$43,990

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.70

Minimum

$26.60

Median

$43.30

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Continuing care assistants (CCA), nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates help nurses, hospital staff, and physicians in the basic care of patients. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted care facilities for the elderly, and other health care organizations.

Job duties

Continuing care assistants, nurse aides, orderlies, and patient service associates:

  • Bathe, dress and groom patients or residents.
  • Answer call signals, supply and empty bed pans, serve meal trays, feed or assist in feeding of patients, help patients with menu selection, shave patients prior to operators, and supervise patients’ exercise routines.
  • Weigh, lift, turn, and position patients.
  • Set up and provide leisure activities for patients and accompany patients on outside recreational activities.
  • Take patients' vitals, report or record fluid intake and output, observe or monitor patients' status and document patient care on charts, administer first aid in emergency situations, collect specimens like urine, faeces or sputum, administer suppositories, colonic irrigations and enemas and perform other procedures as directed by nursing and hospital staff.
  • Transport patients by wheelchair or stretcher for treatment or surgery.
  • Carry messages, reports, requisitions, and specimens between departments.
  • Make beds and maintain patients' rooms.
  • Maintain inventory of supplies.
  • May perform maintenance tasks like helping set-up and maintain traction equipment, cleaning or sterilizing equipment, maintaining, and repairing equipment, and assembling, setting-up and operating job-related equipment.
  • May transport patients between care facilities.

Sample job titles

  • continuing care assistant
  • emergency medical care attendant (EMCA)
  • health care aide
  • hospice worker
  • hospital attendant
  • nurse aide
  • nursing home attendant
  • orderly
  • personal care provider - medical
  • psychiatric aide

Skills

  • You should have good interpersonal skills and a desire to help others. Patience and the ability to handle stressful situations may be needed. You should be an effective communicator and a good problem-solver. You must be efficient and accurate, yet sensitive to the needs of clients.

Job requirements

  • Some high school education and on-the-job training or a nursing aide or health care aide college or private institutional program, or a college nursing orderly program and supervised practical training are required.
  • To practice as a continuing care assistant (CCA) in Nova Scotia, an individual must be a graduate of an approved CCA program and have successfully completed the Nova Scotia CCA provincial exam.
  • Some health care facilities may also require completion of specialized courses like CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), first aid and food handling/sterile processing.
  • An appropriate class of driver's licence may be required for medical attendants.

Other considerations

  • Shift work and lifting are often required.

By the numbers

Quick look

8,130

employed in 2016

66.5%

employed full-time

1.1%

self employed

90.2%
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9.8%
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43.5

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

34.6%

Halifax

$30,643 median annual income
19.7%

North Shore

$33,259 median annual income
16.0%

Annapolis Valley

$31,900 median annual income
15.1%

Cape Breton

$35,413 median annual income
14.7%

Southern

$31,391 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

95.9%

Health care and social assistance

1.3%

Other services (except public administration)

1.0%

Public administration

0.3%

Educational services

0.3%

Professional, scientific and technical services

What is the age of Employment?

22.0%

45-54

20.0%

35-44

19.0%

25-34

19.0%

55-64

14.0%

15-24

4.0%

65+

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

48.9%

College Diploma

$34,363 median annual income
20.2%

High school

$24,649 median annual income
12.1%

Trade Certification

$35,945 median annual income
9.8%

Bachelor

$22,162 median annual income
4.8%

Less than high school

$29,582 median annual income

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College Diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary, Optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Developmental Service Worker

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare individuals to apply practical knowledge and skills to support individuals with a variety of physical, mental or developmental disabilities in a family or community setting. They include courses in health care, basic nutrition, pharmacology, nursing, autism, mental health, psychology, sociology, behavioural analysis, communication, intervention, counselling and community services, and developmental services, such as literacy and life skills training.

Institutions providing this program

CBBC Career College Inc. - Sydney Campus

Sydney, NS

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Island Career Academy

Sydney, NS

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Nursing Assistant/Aide and Patient Care Assistant

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to perform routine nursing-related services to patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities, under the training and supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

Institutions providing this program

CBBC Career College Inc. - Sydney Campus

Sydney, NS

Maritime Business College

Lower Sackville, NS

Eastern College - Halifax

Halifax, NS

Island Career Academy

Sydney, NS

Futureworx Career College

Truro, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

PeopleWorx

Coldbrook, NS

CBBC Career College Inc. - Dartmouth Campus

Dartmouth, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Continuing Care Assistant

Special Requirements: Standards exist for this job in Nova Scotia. Certification or membership in a professional body may be required by employers, but a certificate is not needed to do this work.

Regulating body:
Continuing Care Assistant Registry
Bedford, NS

Contacts

Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia
Halifax, NS
Continuing Care Assistant Program
Bedford, NS
Health Care Human Resource Sector Council
Bedford, NS
Health Association of Nova Scotia
Bedford, NS