Be a Pediatrician's Nurse Assistant: Duties and Requirements

Learn how to become a pediatrician's nurse assistant. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements, and find out how to start a career in pediatric healthcare. View article »

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  • 0:01 Pediatrician's Nurse…
  • 0:36 Career Requirements
  • 1:15 Step 1: Complete a Program
  • 2:08 Step 2: Earn Certification
  • 2:41 Step 3: Gain Experience
  • 3:04 Step 4: Continue Education

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Video Transcript

Pediatrician's Nurse Assistant

So you think you might like to become a pediatrician's nurse assistant…

Pediatric nursing assistants help registered nurses and physicians tend to the needs of young patients. Some of the duties of these professionals include feeding and bathing patients and checking patients' vital signs. They also might administer medication. Nursing assistants spend long days on their feet and often need to lift patients, which can lead to injuries. These workers usually have full-time schedules and may need to work nights and weekends, since pediatric hospitals run 24 hours a day.

Career Requirements

So what are the career requirements?

Degree Level Postsecondary certificate program
Degree Field Nursing aide or nursing assistant
Certification Must pass state competency exam
Key Skills Verbal and listening communication skills, compassion, and patience; familiarity with medical recording software; familiarity with patient-care tools like defibrillators and thermometers
Median Salary (2015)* $25,710 (median for all nursing assistants)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine

Step 1: Complete a Nursing Assistant Program

Pediatric nursing assistants typically need to obtain a certificate through a postsecondary nursing assistant or aide training program. These programs are often available through nursing homes, community colleges, hospitals, and vocational schools. Students learn about topics like nursing theory, vital signs, infection control, hygiene, and restorative care. Programs usually consist of 120 hours of intensive classroom, laboratory, and clinical study, including clinical practicums.

Success Tip:

  • Learn CPR. Some employers prefer pediatric nursing assistants who are trained in CPR. For example, in-home pediatric nursing assistants must be CPR certified. Many colleges offer CPR training, and students might take such courses while earning a nursing assistant certificate.

Step 2: Earn Certification

Prospective pediatric nursing assistants must pass state-administered nursing assistant exams to work in this profession. Some states grant individuals who pass the exam the title of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), but the specific title can vary by state. Nursing assistants who have passed the exam are placed on their state's registry, which qualifies them for employment in nursing homes and other facilities. To sit for the exam, a candidate may be required to pass a criminal background check and meet other state requirements.

Step 3: Gain Experience

Pediatric nurse assistants may work in hospitals, homes, or private physicians' offices. Some of these assistants, such as in-home pediatric nursing assistants, are required to have a specific amount of training. As such, they may start out as general nursing assistants and, with experience, move on to more specialized work in pediatrics.

Step 4: Continue Education

Continuing education can help pediatric nursing assistants stay abreast of advancements in the field. Additionally, some states require nursing assistants to earn continuing education credits to maintain the CNA credential. Nurse assistants who want to become full-fledged nurses may consider earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing and obtaining registered nursing licensure.

Complete a nursing assistant program, pass the certification exam, gain nursing experience, and continue your education are the steps to follow to make the most of a career as a pediatrician's nurse assistant.

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