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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.

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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 a negative. Others might find the experience of bringing some positives into the young patients' lives to be positive and rewarding.

Job Requirements

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:

Common Requirements
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.

Success Tip:

  • 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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    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
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      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Assisting
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        • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
        • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
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