National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2011


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341 - Assisting occupations in support of health services

3411 - Dental assistants

Dental assistants assist dentists, dental hygienists and dental therapists during the examination and treatment of patients and perform clerical functions. Dental assistants work in dentists' offices, community health centres, clinics and in educational institutions.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • certified dental assistant
    • certified intra-oral dental assistant
    • dental assistant
    • registered dental assistant

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Dental hygienists and dental therapists (3222)
    • Dental technologists, technicians and laboratory assistants (3223)
  • Main duties

    Dental assistants perform some or all of the following duties:

    • Prepare patients for dental examination and assist the dentist during the examination
    • Sterilize and maintain instruments and equipment
    • Prepare dental instruments and filling materials
    • Take and develop X-rays
    • Polish teeth and clinical crowns and apply fluoride and sealant
    • Take preliminary impressions for diagnostic casts
    • Fabricate and place temporary crowns and restorations
    • Educate patients concerning oral hygiene
    • Invoice patients for dental services
    • Schedule patient appointments and record dental procedures performed
    • Order dental and office supplies
    • May perform intra-oral duties such as remove sutures, take and record vital signs, apply desensitizing agents, topical anaesthetic, anticariogenic agents and apply and remove rubber dams.
  • Employment requirements

    • Completion of an eight-month to one-year college or other program in dental assistance
      Completion of secondary school with on-the-job training is required.
    • Licensing is required to perform intra-oral duties in all provinces. In Quebec, intra-oral duties are not performed by dental assistants.
  • Additional information

    • In some provinces there are two levels of dental assistants: Level I - chair-side assistant and Level II - intra-oral assistant. Progression from Level I to Level II is possible with education, training and licensure.

3413 - Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates

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, assisted care facilities for the elderly and other health care establishments.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • emergency medical responder
    • health care aide
    • hospital attendant
    • long term care aide
    • nurse aide
    • nursing attendant
    • orderly
    • patient care aide
    • patient service associate
    • personal care attendant - medical
    • psychiatric aide
    • resident care aide - medical

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Licensed practical nurses (3233)
    • Other assisting occupations in support of health services (3414)
    • Personal care attendants - home care (See 4412 Home support workers, housekeepers and related occupations)
  • Main duties

    Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates perform some or all of the following duties:

    • Answer call signals; supply and empty bed pans; bathe, dress and groom patients; serve meal trays, feed or assist in feeding of patients and assist patients with menu selection; weigh, lift, turn, and position patients; shave patients prior to operations; supervise patients' exercise routines, set up and provide leisure activities for patients, accompany patients on outside recreational activities and perform other duties related to patient care and comfort
    • Take patients' blood pressure, temperature and pulse; 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 such as 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 such as assisting with the set-up and maintenance of 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.
  • Employment requirements

    • Some secondary school education and on-the-job training
      A nursing aide or health care aide college or private institutional program, or a college nursing orderly program and supervised practical training are required.
    • Some health care facilities may also require completion of specialized courses such as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), first aid and food handling/sterile processing.
    • An appropriate class of driver's licence may be required for medical attendants.

3414 - Other assisting occupations in support of health services

This unit group includes workers who provide services and assistance to health care professionals and other health care staff. They are employed in hospitals, medical clinics, offices of health care professionals, nursing homes, optical retail stores and laboratories, pharmacies and medical pathology laboratories.

  • Illustrative example(s)

    • autopsy assistant
    • blood donor clinic assistant
    • cast room technician
    • chiropractic assistant
    • clinical laboratory helper
    • lens grinder, ophthalmic
    • morgue attendant
    • ophthalmic laboratory technician - retail
    • optical laboratory assistant
    • optometrist assistant
    • orthopedic technologist
    • rehabilitation assistant
    • sterile processing technician
    • therapist assistant - medical

    All examples

  • Exclusion(s)

    • Medical technologists and technicians (See 321 Medical technologists and technicians (except dental health))
    • Operating room technicians (See 3233 Licensed practical nurses)
    • Other technical occupations in therapy and assessment (3237)
    • Pathologists' assistants (See 3212 Medical laboratory technicians and pathologists' assistants)
    • Pharmacy clerks (See 6421 Retail salespersons)
    • Pharmacy technicians (See 3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health))
  • Main duties

    The following is a summary of main duties for some occupations in this unit group:

    • Orthopedic technologists assist orthopedic surgeons in the treatment of orthopedic diseases and injuries by applying and adjusting casts, splints, bandages and other orthopedic devices; assisting in the application, maintenance and adjustment of traction equipment; cleaning and dressing wounds; and removing casts, sutures, staples and pins. They also instruct patients and their families and other health care professionals with respect to orthopedic matters.
    • Rehabilitation assistants prepare and maintain equipment and supplies; assist in activities for the rehabilitation of patients as directed by health care professionals and may perform routine office functions.
    • Optical/ophthalmic laboratory technicians and assistants operate laboratory equipment to grind, cut, polish and edge lenses for eyeglasses according to prescriptions received and fit lenses into frames; make minor repairs for customers such as replacing frame screws or straightening frames; and maintain and repair optical laboratory equipment or machinery.
    • Pharmacy aides help pharmacists and other pharmacy staff with packaging and labelling of pharmaceutical products and may help in maintaining prescription records and inventories of medications and pharmaceutical products.
    • Sterile processing technicians operate and maintain sterilization equipment such as instrument washers, sonic sinks, cart washers and steam autoclaves to clean and disinfect trays, carts, linens, supplies, instrumentation and equipment for re-use according to standardized safety practices. They reassemble equipment and assemble packs of sterile supplies and instruments for delivery to hospital departments.
    • Blood donor clinic assistants set up and dismantle equipment; prepare and maintain cleanliness of collection areas; maintain supplies; record information on donors; monitor donors throughout procedure and assist with post-donation care and donor reaction care as assigned under supervision of a registered nurse; and label and process donated blood.
    • Morgue attendants assist pathologists at autopsies by laying out surgical instruments; preparing solutions for preservation of specimens; transferring bodies from morgue to examining table; removing organs and tissue specimens, as instructed by attending pathologist, and placing them in preservative solutions; and cleaning and sewing up bodies for release to funeral home.
  • Employment requirements

    • Orthopedic technologists usually require completion of secondary school
      Several months of on-the-job training
      A college orthopedic technologist program.
    • Registration with the Canadian Society of Orthopaedic Technologists is available and may be required by employers.
    • Health care courses or short-term college programs related to the work of medical therapy assistants, such as recreational therapy programs, are available and may be required by employers.
    • Pharmacy aides require completion of secondary school
      Several months of on-the-job training.
    • Sterile processing technicians require completion of secondary school
      A six- to nine-month sterile processing college program.
    • Completion of secondary school and several months of on-the-job training are usually required for other assisting occupations in this unit group.
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