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, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 820 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The demand for this occupation has increased because of the pandemic. Amid outbreaks in long-term care homes, shortage conditions emerged as some continuing care assistants (CCAs) were forced to self-isolate. Burnout increased, as remaining staff were required to cover coworkers’ shifts as well as manage the additional tasks and stress associated with treating COVID-19 patients. Some CCAs are employed at multiple long-term care facilities and hospitals. During outbreaks, the intention is to limit this practice as much as possible to avoid spreading COVID-19 between facilities. Having CCAs work exclusively at one facility increases the number of workers needed, worsening the existing shortage. In addition to an increased workload and change in tasks, some CCAs experienced impacts on their personal life because of the pandemic. Many chose to isolate from their household to avoid passing the virus from their workplace to family members. It has been reported that some CCAs contracted COVID-19 because of workplace exposure.

Prior to the pandemic, demand for CCAs was already strong. Jobseekers in this occupation should have little difficulty finding employment, as there are usually many vacancies. Some vacancies arise due to turnover due to the physically challenging nature of this occupation combined with relatively low wage rates. The majority of CCAs work in long-term care facilities. The growing popularity of homecare has also increased the demand for this occupation substantially.

The median employment income for the 47% of Continuing Care Assistants and Other Health Support Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $38,631. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, the 59% of those who worked full-time, year-round had a median employment income of $43,600. (Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$15.54

Minimum

$17.97

Median

$21.60

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,257

Minimum

$32,014

Median

$43,990

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

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%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

34.6%

Halifax

19.7%

North Shore

16.0%

Annapolis Valley

15.1%

Cape Breton

14.7%

Southern

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%

55-64

19.0%

25-34

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 - Annapolis Valley Campus

Middleton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

Springhill, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

Yarmouth, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

Kentville, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

Stellarton, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

Shelburne, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Ivany Campus

Dartmouth, 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
2 Dartmouth Road
Bedford, NS B4A 2K7
(902) 832-8500
(902) 832-8505

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

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.