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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 3413 Occupation: Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates assist nurses, hospital staff and physicians in the basic care of patients. They are employed in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care institutions. Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates assist nurses, hospital staff and physicians in the basic care of patients. They are employed in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care institutions.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Skill levels are assigned to tasks: Level 1 tasks are the least complex and level 4 or 5 tasks (depending upon the specific skill) are the most complex. Skill levels are associated with workplace tasks and not the workers performing these tasks.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Text Reading Text 1 2 3
Writing Writing 1 2
Document Use Document Use 1 2
Computer Use Computer Use 1 2
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2
Critical Thinking Critical Thinking 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading Text
  • Read short comments on a variety of patient care, test and admission forms. (1)
  • Read short notes from co-workers, e.g. read short notes from co-workers to learn about patients’ special requirements. (1)
  • Read labels on containers for instructions and precautions. (1)
  • Read short reports, e.g. read short reports from nurses to learn about incidents that occurred during earlier shifts. (2)
  • Read aloud, e.g. read personal letters, newspapers, magazines and books to patients to entertain them. (2)
  • Read memos, bulletins and notices, e.g. read memos and bulletins from supervisors to learn about changes to operating procedures and schedules. (2)
  • Read workplace safety materials, e.g. read Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to understand the chemical composition and possible hazards of products. (2)
  • Read profiles or reports, e.g. read patient profiles to learn about the health, behaviour and nutritional needs of specific patients and to stay informed of their progress. (3)
  • Read brochures and pamphlets, e.g. read brochures to learn about particular diseases and the use of equipment. (3)
  • Read policy and procedure manuals, e.g. read policies regarding patient care and procedures to learn how to correctly respond to events, such as medical emergencies and fires. (3)
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Writing
  • Write reminders and short notes, e.g. write short notes to inform co-workers about tasks that need to be completed. (1)
  • Write short comments in a variety of log books and forms, e.g. write short notes on forms to record patients’ progress, conditions and behaviours. (1)
  • Write short incident reports, e.g. write incident reports to document events, such as patient falls, medication errors and injuries. (2)
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Document Use
  • Locate data, such as hazards, dates, times, codes and quantities, on labels, e.g. locate symbols that identify hazardous materials. (1)
  • Locate information in lists, e.g. use lists to locate patient names and dietary requirements. (1)
  • Locate data, such as tasks, times, dates, hours and quantities, in a variety of charts, tables and schedules. (2)
  • Interpret technical drawings, e.g. scan drawings to learn how to assemble a range of motion equipment used by patients. (2)
  • Complete forms, e.g. record data, such as dates, times, weights, blood pressures and identification numbers, on a variety of patient care, test and admission forms. (2)
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Computer Use
  • Use spreadsheets to record numerical information, such as patients' vital signs. (1)
  • Operate hand-held scanners to determine vital signs, such as temperature, blood pressure and glucose levels. (1)
  • Use the Internet to access training courses and seminars offered by suppliers, employers and trainers. (2)
  • Use intranets and email applications to exchange information and documents with co-workers and supervisors. (2)
  • Use databases to retrieve and update patient information, e.g. use databases to enter data and search patient records for information about test results, treatments and medical conditions. (2)
  • Use basic features of word processing software to create letters, memos and reports and enter comments in patients' files using pre-set formats. (2)
  • Use browsers and search engines to locate information on specific diseases and medical conditions, medications and recommended treatment plans. (2)
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Oral Communication
  • Greet patients and family members and make general conversation to help them feel comfortable. (1)
  • Listen for ringing bells and patients calling for assistance. (1)
  • Talk with patients to obtain information on their current state, lend support when informed of pain and discomfort, explain medical procedures and respond to questions and concerns. (2)
  • Talk to co-workers, such as supervisors, e.g. speak with supervisors to co-ordinate activities and report on the condition of patients. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to make suggestions about improvements to work processes and discuss schedules, duties and patient care. (2)
  • Provide detailed instructions, e.g. explain detailed patient-care procedures to new employees. (3)
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Money Math
  • Count patients' money when patients are admitted into treatment. (1)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure patients' temperatures, respiration rates, weights and heights, liquid inputs and outputs, vital signs and blood pressures. (1)
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Data Analysis
  • Compare measurements of vital signs, such as temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, to normal ranges. (1)
  • Calculate summary measures, e.g. use multiple blood pressure readings to establish average systolic and diastolic measurements. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the amount of supplies that need to be ordered. (1)
  • Estimate how long it will take to dress, bathe and exercise patients, taking into account how much the patients can do, whether they are co-operative and whether the work may be disrupted by co-workers. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • The duties and tasks of nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates are assigned to them by supervisors, although they have some control over the order in which tasks are carried out. They must plan the activities for which a partner is needed or where co-ordination with other staff members is required. Certain tasks have higher priority because they must be done by the end of the workday. When disruptions occur, nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates may reorganize their tasks in light of these priorities. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Assess and prioritize each assigned task to decide which tasks need immediate attention. (2)
  • Decide when to notify nurses of changes in patients' conditions. (2)
  • Make decisions about the order of tasks, such as which patients to bathe and feed first, using the patients' needs and time preferences as guides. (2)
  • Decide whether patients are well enough to get out of bed for meals and activities, taking into consideration many aspects of their mental and physical health. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Deal with patients' families and friends who disagree with how patients are cared for. Listen to these concerns and either try to find solutions themselves or inform your supervisors. (2)
  • Encounter uncooperative patients, e.g. patients who do not want to eat, take baths or get out of bed. Speak with patients to determine the reason for their behaviour and try to get them to co-operate. Seek the assistance of co-workers and supervisors as required. (2)
  • Encounter verbally and physically aggressive patients. Speak with patients about their behaviours and seek the assistance of co-workers and supervisors as required. (3)
  • Deal with patients whose medical conditions deteriorate suddenly and unexpectedly. Follow specific protocols established for emergency situations. (3)
  • Face problems communicating with patients due to language barriers, patient disabilities and medical conditions, such as strokes. Use gestures and visual cues to communicate. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Locate the telephone numbers of physicians using telephone books, call sheets and electronic databases. (1)
  • Locate information about the status of patients by speaking with them, referring to their charts and files, and talking to supervisors and co-workers. (2)
  • Learn about patient treatment plans by reading patient files and charts and by speaking with co-workers, supervisors and other healthcare professionals. (2)
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Critical Thinking
  • Evaluate the safety of work conditions. Consider the hazards presented by chemicals, equipment, heavy weights and physically aggressive patients. (1)
  • Assess patients' functioning using a variety of tests, such as the Functional Motor Skills Inventory. (2)
  • Assess conditions to determine if patients are improving, deteriorating or stabilizing by monitoring vital signs, such as blood pressure, temperature, and heart and pulse rates. (2)
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