Copyright

Patient Care Associate Career Information and Requirements

Patient care associates provide bedside care to patients and assist them with daily living activities. They also serve as the ''eyes'' and ''ears'' of the nursing staff by providing vital patient information. Preparing for a patient care associate position usually involves completing a 2-year degree program.

View 2 Popular Schools »

Working as a Patient Care Associate

Today's patient care associate expands the role of a traditional nursing assistant. Patient care associates are caregivers who hold a high level of technical training and often have more direct patient contact than any other member of a healthcare team.

Patient care associates work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse and assist with routine care. Their duties include assistance in turning and positioning, exercising, bathing, bed making, feeding, catheterization, obtaining specimens, CPR, first aid and checking vital signs. Patient care associates also observe their patient's mental, emotional and physical conditions and report any changes to the nursing staff. Some patient care associates receive additional training to provide electrocardiogram and phlebotomy (blood work) assistance, depending on the job requirements of the hiring institution.

Patient care associates may be employed by hospitals, nursing homes, doctor's offices, labs and clinics. This career requires long hours of standing and walking, a thorough understanding of emergency procedures and the ability to stay calm in stressful situations.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), career opportunities for nursing assistants, including patient care associates, will increase by 19% from 2008-2018. This increase is due to a growing elderly population and the financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients quickly, causing a rise in admissions to nursing care facilities.

Education Requirements

Most patient care associates earn an associate's degree from an accredited community or technical college. These programs typically consist of both classroom and laboratory training. Most programs require the prospective student to be at least 18 years old and possess a high school diploma or GED. Typical coursework may include basic nursing skills, medical terminology, math, nutrition, infection control, personal care skills and electrocardiogram and phlebotomy training.

Many hospitals and healthcare facilities offer training programs for patient care associates that are augmented by experience working under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN). Patient care associates are not required to be licensed, since the supervising RN completes any tasks that require a licensed professional. However, many patient care associates obtain certification as nursing assistants (CNAs) at the beginning of their training.

Show me popular schools

Related to Patient Care Associates

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Patient Care Associate Training and Course Information

Also known as patient care technicians (PCTs), patient care associates provide hands-on assistance to patients under the...

Biomedical Instrumentation Courses and Training Programs

Biomedical instrumentation - sometimes known as bioinstrumentation - focuses on how electrical equipment can measure...

Patient Care Certification: Program Summary

Students who receive a certificate in patient care are able to become patient care technicians, often times becoming the person...

Sonography Technology Schools: Tips on Choosing a School

Sonographers help diagnose illnesses and injuries by taking images of a patient using sound waves. Aspiring sonographers and...

Schools for Aspiring Radiation Therapy Technicians: How to Choose

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • AS in Medical Assisting

    Which subject are you interested in?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
        • Clinical Nursing
        • Critical Care Nursing
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Neonatal Nursing
        • Nurse Anesthetist
        • Nurse Midwife
        • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
        • Nursing Administration
        • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
        • Occupational Health Nursing
        • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
        • Pediatric Nursing
        • Registered Nurse
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
        • Nurse Anesthetist
        • Registered Nurse
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
        • Registered Nurse
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
        • Clinical Nursing
        • Critical Care Nursing
        • Mental Health Nursing
        • Neonatal Nursing
        • Nurse Midwife
        • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
        • Nursing Administration
        • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
        • Nursing Science
        • Pediatric Nursing
      • Public Health and Safety

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics