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Penn Medicine

Student Nursing Assistant - Student Geriatric Associate Program at HUP - Per Diem


Nurse Assistant


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States


Penn Medicine is dedicated to our tripartite mission of providing the highest level of care to patients, conducting innovative research, and educating future leaders in the field of medicine. Working for this leading academic medical center means collaboration with top clinical, technical and business professionals across all disciplines.

Today at Penn Medicine, someone will make a breakthrough. Someone will heal a heart, deliver hopeful news, and give comfort and reassurance. Our employees shape our future each day. Are you living your life's work?

This SGA Program cohort is set to begin in late Spring/Early summer with a 6-month minimum commitment. Candidates must be actively enrolled in a BSN program, with at least one round of clinical rotations completed at the time of hire. Apply now!


A Student Geriatric Associate (SGA) is a specialized role for nursing students currently enrolled in a BSN program. SGAs fulfill a critical role on the care team to provide age-sensitive care to vulnerable older adults during their hospital stay. SGAs practice at the direction of the geriatric nurse practitioner team with the overarching goal of preventing delirium and functional decline. SGAs independently deliver evidence-based interventions focused on companionship/recreation, safety, cognitive stimulation, feeding/nutrition support, and ambulation/mobility. SGAs also assist in bathing, toileting, and continence care. Students must be matriculated in an accredited BSN nursing program having minimally completed the nursing foundations/fundamentals clinical course with a 3.0 GPA overall and in the nursing major. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA overall and in the nursing major to stay in their position as an SGA.

SGAs at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania practice in several clinical areas – General Medicine, Oncology, Heart Failure, and occasionally the Emergency Department.


· Giving and Receiving of Shift Report

- Reviews written patient assignment and geriatric specific plan of care at the beginning of the shift as prepared by the Geriatric Nurse Practitioner (GNP).

- Receives verbal report at the beginning of each patient interaction from the registered nurse (RN) regarding the care that is to be delivered to each patient.

- Gives report when leaving unit, regarding the care that was delivered; any abnormalities that occur during the shift are to be reported as they occur to the RN and GNP.

· Assisting in Assessment

- Identifies the patient per hospital policy before carrying out functions.

- Assists with data collection for nursing history and physical e.g., nutritional intake, output, functional status and communicates changes to the RN in a timely fashion.

- Participates in respectful communication with patients, families and co workers.

- Provides patient and family information to the registered nurse for coordination of care and discharge planning.

- Observes skin changes and reports discoloration, abrasions, infestations or skin breakdown.

· Planning for Care Delivery

- Assists in setting mutually agreed upon realistic individual patient goals.

- Integrates the GNPs’ directions regarding the patient’s plan of care into the care given to the patient.

- Gives GNP report before the end of the shift regarding the patient’s response to the plan of care issues.

- Reports unusual findings, for example, changes in function, mental status, patient behavior, or patient complaints to the primary RN and GNP.

· Implementing Interventions

- Promotes infection control by using the appropriate hand washing techniques.

- Follows standard precautions and any other isolation precautions as dictated by the patient’s condition.

- Maintains a safe environment and protects the patient from injury by observing the patient who may be at risk for falls, confusion, disorientation, wandering or suicidal behaviors; follows Constant Observation Policy.

- Observes or monitors behavior/health state and responses to therapy.

a) Height and Weight.

b) Intake and Output.

c) Bowel and Bladder Function Checks.

d) Pain.

- Communicates pertinent observations to appropriate members of the health care team in a timely fashion.

- Works in collaboration with all members of the healthcare team.

- Performs or assists the patient with activities of daily living such as bathing, (bed, tub, shower) grooming, eating, feeding, range of motion, ambulating, transferring and oral hygiene.

- Participates in the prevention of skin breakdown.

- Applies current accepted methods of heat and cold therapy as directed by the RN/GNC.

- Provides for the patient’s oral dietary needs using currently accepted methods.

- Provides for elimination needs by giving a bed pan, urinal, emptying urinary and or bowel appliances or implementing the bowel program under the direction of the RN/GNC.

- Assists the physician to perform physical exams.

- Assists with oxygen therapy only and does not regulate the flow of oxygen.

- Encourage the use of the pulmonary toilet by using the incentive spirometer, coughing, turning and deep breathing.

- Utilizes the appropriate equipment for patient lifting.

- Reinforces health care instruction to patients according to the directions of the nurse.

- Displays competence in using the following equipment and reports findings to the registered nurse:

a) Pulse oximeter

h) Lift and transfer devices

· Documenting Care

- Documents findings, interventions and patient outcome results on patient documents. This may include I&O, walking pulse ox results or other findings.

· Evaluating Outcomes of Care

- Assists in evaluating nursing care given by comparing the patient's functional status from day to day and discussing this with the GNC and primary bedside nurse.

· Geriatric Specific Accountabilities

- Provides assistance as appropriate for ambulation, transfers, and ADL's recognizing that the older adult may need more time to complete activities.

- Provides skin care

- Speaks clearly, rather than loudly, provides adequate time for responses and addresses the older adult using full name.

- Ensures sensory assistive devices are in reach, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, and hearing amplifiers, and aids patient in appropriate use as needed.

- Reduces background noises and faces the individual when speaking.

- Follows procedure for identification of patients at risk for falls.

· Patient/Employee Safety Accountabilities

- Participates in Entity and Department wide initiatives for Patient /Employee safety.

- Demonstrates an awareness of patient/employee safety when carrying out daily responsibilities of their position.

- Validation of annual competencies required for the position.

- Identifies the patient per UPHS policy.

- Aware of the Safe Medical Devise Act.

- Aware of the Material Safety Data Sheet.

- Carries out fire and safety regulation.

- Identifies where the oxygen safety valve is located.

- Makes occupied or unoccupied bed.

- Cleans equipment as needed.

- Observes radiation precautions.

- Observes chemotherapy precautions.

- Demonstrates proper body mechanics when moving and lifting.

- Alerts the nurse to the sounding of alarms.

- Does not change settings or rates on equipment.

- Follows HIPAA policies in regard to the use of disclosure of and amendment to Protect Health Information (PHI).

- Knows limits of responsibilities and seeks guidance as appropriate.

- Identifies emergency equipment on the unit.

Education or Equivalent Experience:

-Students must be matriculated in an accredited BSN nursing program having minimally completed the nursing foundations/fundamentals clinical course with a 3.0 GPA overall and in the nursing major.

-Must be BLS/CPR certified though the American Heart Association.

We believe that the best care for our patients starts with the best care for our employees. Our employee benefits programs help our employees get healthy and stay healthy. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits program that includes one of the finest prepaid tuition assistance programs in the region. Penn Medicine employees are actively engaged and committed to our mission. Together we will continue to make medical advances that help people live longer, healthier lives.

Live Your Life's Work

We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, domestic or sexual violence victim status, citizenship status, military status, status as a protected veteran or any other status protected by applicable law.