Example of Use of the Dictionary of Occupational Titles: Nurse Assistant

The DOT contains an “Alphabetical Index of Occupational Titles,” and includes the following entry.

355.674-014 NURSE ASSISTANT (medical ser.) alternate titles: nurse aide

Performs any combination of following duties in care of patients in hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility, under the direction of nursing and medical staff. Answers signal lights and bells, or intercom system to determine patients’ needs. Bathes, dresses, and undresses patients. Serves and collects food trays and feeds patients requiring help. Transports patients using wheelchair or wheeled cart, or assists patients to walk. Drapes patients for examinations and treatments, and remains with patients, performing such duties as holding instruments and adjusting lights. Turns and repositions bedfast patients, alone or with assistance, to prevent bedsores. Changes bed linens, runs errands, directs visitors, and answers telephone. Takes and records temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rates, and food and liquid intake and output, as directed. Cleans, sterilizes, stores, prepares, and issues dressing packs, treatment trays, and other supplies. Dusts and cleans patients’ rooms. May be assigned to specific area of hospital, nursing home, or medical facility. May assist nursing staff in care of geriatric patients and be designated Geriatric Nurse Assistant (medical ser.). May assist in providing medical treatment and personal care to patients in private home settings and be designated Home Health Aide (medical ser.).

GOE: 10.03.02 STRENGTH: M GED: R3 M2 L2 SVP 4: DLU: 89

This tells you what a nurse assistant does. And if you decode the definition trailer (the material in italics), you can learn the physical demands of the job, the language or mathematics development (education and other training time) required, how long it takes to learn the job, and the last time this definition was updated.

The definitions for these codes show the following:

  • The GUIDE FOR OCCUPATIONAL EXPLORATION (GOE) code number, useful in comparing similar jobs, is 10.03.02.
  • Strength factor (STRENGTH) for the job is M or medium.
  • The general education development (GED) for this job is 3 for reasoning, 2 for mathematical development, and 2 for language development.
  • The specific vocational preparation (SVP) is 4.
  • The job description data were last updated in 1989.

The meanings of these codes are:

Medium work is work that requires the following:

Exerting 20 to 50 pounds of force occasionally, and/or 10 to 25 pounds of force frequently, and/or greater than negligible up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects. Physical demand requirements are in excess of those for Light Work.

Reasoning 3 requires:

Apply commonsense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral or diagrammatic form. Deal with problems involving several concrete variables in or from standardized situations.

Mathematical Development 2 requires:

Add, subtract, multiply, and divide all units of measure. Perform the four operations with like common and decimal fractions. Compute ratio, rate, and percent. Draw and interpret bar graphs. Perform arithmetic operations involving all American monetary units.

Language Development 2 requires:

Reading: Passive vocabulary of 5,000-6,000 words. Read at a rate of 190-215 words per minute. Read adventure stories and comic books, looking up unfamiliar words in dictionary for meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. Read instructions for assembling model cars and airplanes. Writing: Write compound and complex sentences using cursive style, proper end punctuation, and employing adjectives and adverbs. Speaking: Speak clearly and distinctly with appropriate pauses and emphasis, correct pronunciation, variations in word order, using present, perfect, and future tenses.

The specific vocational preparation (SVP) of 4 means:

To perform this job a person must have over 3 months, up to and including 6 months, of training in vocational education, apprenticeship training, in-plant training, on-the-job training, or essential experience in other jobs.

From this information, you can determine whether this job qualifies as past relevant work.

In addition, this description may show why you cannot return to it (e.g., inability to lift 50 pounds, inability to stand and walk for extended periods, or inability to tolerate frequent job duty changes and emergencies)..