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. Job duties can include measuring patients' vital signs, turning or moving patients for comfort or delivery of care, and helping with daily tasks like eating and bathing. 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.
|Education Level||None; high school diploma or equivalent (minimum)|
|Certification||Optional professional certification available|
|Key Skills||Strong communication and critical thinking skills, attention to detail, knowledge of medical record software, ability to use basic medical monitoring equipment|
|Salary (2015)||$25,710 per year (Median salary for nursing assistants)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Steps to this Career
Working pediatric care assistants often have a combination of skills and experience.
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 Education
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.
Pediatric patient care assistants have at least a high school diploma. Post-secondary training programs provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to provide patient care, including safely moving patients, taking vital signs, and using medical record software as needed. Voluntary professional certification is available and may lead to better job prospects.