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.

Should I Become 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. Individuals may find working with ill or challenged children on a regular basis to be difficult and stressful at times but overall, find the experience of helping young patients to be rewarding.

Career Requirements

Education Level None; high school diploma or equivalent (minimum)
Certification Optional professional certification available
Key Skills Communication skills, attention to detail, critical thinking, knowledge of medical record software, and ability to use basic medical monitoring equipment.
Salary (2014) $25,100 per year (Median salary for nursing assistants)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May, 2014)

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.

Step 3: Seek Voluntary Certification or Further Educatio

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. Check local schools community colleges for training programs that lead to CNA, LPN or even RN certifications and licenses.

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