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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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 with nurses and physicians. Most employers require a high school diploma or its equivalent as minimum education, but may prefer employees who have completed 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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