How to Become a Pediatric Patient Care Assistant
Research the requirements to become a pediatric patient care assistant. Learn about the job description, and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a patient care assistant in pediatrics.
Do I Want to Be a Pediatric Patient Care Assistant?
Pediatric patient care assistants are nursing assistants who work with children. Working in the healthcare industry, pediatric patient care assistants should have a desire to help others and be able to work effectively with nurses and physicians. This occupation may be physically demanding, with the need to lift and move patients. Some individuals may find working with ill or challenged children on a regular basis to be difficult and stressful. Others might find the experience of helping young patients to be rewarding.
Most employers require a high school diploma or its equivalent as minimum education, but some may prefer employees who have completed certification through a nursing assistant program. The following table shows the common requirements for becoming a pediatric patient care assistant:
|Degree Level||None; high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient*|
|Licensure and/or Certification||Optional certification as a nursing assistant*|
|Experience||None needed (entry-level)*|
|Key Skills||Communication**, attention to detail*, critical thinking**|
|Computer Skills||Office software**, medical record software**, e-mail software**|
|Technical Skills||Use of basic medical monitoring equipment*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*Net OnLine.
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma or the Equivalent
A high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement for pediatric patient care assistants. Volunteer experience at a hospital or medical facility would be beneficial. High school courses in keyboarding, science and computers can also help prospective assistants prepare for the medical field.
Step 2: Consider a Nursing Assistant Program
Although a nursing assistant program is not a requirement for this field, many community colleges and vocational schools offer this program, which may result in a certificate or diploma. Programs typically cover the basics of assisting with patient care, including simple health monitoring tasks such as blood pressure and pulse. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification is usually a requirement prior to graduation.
- Seek voluntary certification. While not required, obtaining a certification demonstrates knowledge of the field and may lead to a higher-paying or more distinguished job. Certification requirements vary from state to state, but generally involve completing a nursing assistant program and registration with a state board.
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