The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that hospital orderlies, also called nursing assistants, must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and they must complete a state-approved education program for nursing assistants. These programs generally last anywhere from two weeks to four months, and upon completion, students must complete a state competency exam.
Most nursing assistant programs require applicants to furnish proof of high school completion prior to enrollment. Once enrolled, students take a variety of specialized courses related to nursing care. Students often learn to perform CPR, administer first aid and take vital signs. They also learn to help patients with daily tasks, including dressing, toileting, bathing and caring for their skin. Providing assistance with walking and other movement as well as learning to communicate properly with patients are also necessary skills that nursing assistant students learn.
Classes are typically offered at vocational centers and community colleges, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some private hospitals, nursing facilities and home health agencies offer orderly training, but it is important for students to make sure that the training is state approved and covers all of the information on the state competency exam. Many nursing assistant training programs also provide internship, volunteer and job-placement opportunities to students seeking immediate employment.