Patient Care Assistant Classes with Detailed Course Descriptions

Patient care assistants work alongside nurses and other healthcare professionals, and they perform basic medical care for patients in a variety of healthcare facilities.

Essential Information

Patient care assistant classes offer training in basic medical care and can qualify students to work alongside nurses in medical facilities or in home care settings. Certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs in patient care assistance can lead to a career as a nursing assistant, an EKG technician or home health aide, among other job options.

Students learn to assess patients' needs and perform basic medical procedures, like drawing blood, checking vital signs and reading EKGs. Students typically take courses in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, pathogen control and disease prevention. A clinical practicum is usually required for programs in this field. Here are some common concepts taught in patient care assistant classes:

  • Doctor's offices/hospitals
  • Human body
  • Illness/disease
  • Proper nurse procedures
  • Patient awareness

List of Classes

Patient Care Assistant Course

Students taking this combination clinical and lecture course learn the ethical and legal responsibilities for those in health care. They study bloodborne diseases, such as AIDS, and airborne diseases that include the flu. This course familiarizes students with the basics of caring for patients and providing safety, comfort and fulfillment of their basic needs.

Medical Terminology Course

Through this course, students study the medical terms commonly used in and around a doctor's office or hospital to refer to procedures and body parts. They learn the correct pronunciation and spelling of the terms and their abbreviations. Students study the structure of the words and learn to recognize their prefixes and suffixes so they can combine terms and still understand their meaning.

Body Systems Course

This introductory patient care assistant course familiarizes students with the physiology and anatomy of the human body. Students study the basic structures, including the muscular, skeletal, cardiac and respiratory systems, and the way they connect to one another. The class examines body functions and discusses how to determine what is making things function improperly when a person is ill. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to identify the major body parts and explain how body systems work.

Nutrition Fundamentals Course

This patient care assistant class introduces students to the ways nutrients are absorbed and digested by the body. Students learn the practical aspects of nutrition and study how proper diet can help improve health and metabolism. Students also practice using nutrition as therapy to solve common health problems.

Clinical Practicum Course

Through this course, students gain practical experience in a health care facility where they report to a doctor or nurse in charge. The course may be completed multiple times throughout the program, advancing in difficulty and responsibility. In beginning courses, students simply observe; in later courses, they practice providing patient care, including drawing blood, performing electrocardiograms, cleaning and sterilizing equipment.

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