Patient Care Assistants

Patient care assistants carry out a variety of tasks such as observing patients, assisting with daily living activities, taking vital signs, charting changes in patients’ health or behavior, obtaining lab specimens, escorting patients among other tasks. These healthcare individuals work in hospitals clinics, nursing homes or other health care environments. They are generally under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Programs for patient care assistants are offered in vocational schools and community colleges. Training can be acquired through nurse technician, patient care technician or personal care assistant/technician programs. Requirements for admission may vary. Some programs may require that an aspiring patient care assistant be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Certified Home Health Aide prior to admission. Others may only require a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

patient-careSuch programs prepare graduates to perform their duties in hospitals, general surgery units, homes and nursing homes. Training usually consists of lectures, clinical rotations and lab work, including studies in in pre- and post-operative care, anatomy, physiology and nutrition. Students in medical assistant programs are also supplied with instruction in medical terminology, lab procedures, physiology and pharmacology. Graduates can either pursue the CNA credential or take other certification exams.

Employment for home and personal care aides are seen to grow by 70% between 2010 and 2020 – a growth rate much faster than many other job sectors. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts that there should be an increasing demand for care in the growing elderly population and in-home setting.  The average salary for patient care assistants was around $20,830 as of 2012, while home health aides made an average of $21,830 annually.  According to the BLS, there are no certifications or licensure requirement for these types of jobs. Some may be required to pass a competency test to break into this field.

Fundamentals of Nursing and Other Common Classes in Nursing Schools

Are you new to the nursing field? Ever wonder what nursing school will be like? Find out the answer to the question that may be on your mind: what classes do you actually take in nursing school?

1. Fundamentals of Nursing – Most nursing schools will start learners out in Fundamentals of Nursing. Names for this course can vary. Typically, in this course, you will finish your guideline nursing abilities and your important responsibilities that are required for skilled, safe and effective patient care. You may also finish certification skills, review of medical rules, and communication.


2. Human Anatomy & Physiology – Get ready to crack down and concentrate as you will enter your anatomy classes. You will understand a detailed study of the body system, how it is structured and how it works.

3. Psychology, Sociology and/or Mental Health – A lot of nursing schools will require learners to take some programs that relate to patient psychology, sociology or mental health. You will understand psychological needs, social background scenes and mental processes of sufferers. These may be entry programs to advanced psychological nursing programs.

4. Pharmacology and Dosage Computations – Do you really like math? Well, if not, be prepared to build up mental faculties to take part in a lot of it. Pharmacology is highly important in nursing and contains your biggest detailed research of medicines. It also contains computation procedures relevant to preparing and providing medicines to sufferers.

5. Nutrition & Diet Therapy – Generally, this is a small course that may be completed online or in a class room. Subjects covered here are individual dietary needs, food science and chemistry and nutritional focus points.

6. Microbiology & Pathology – Taught together or independently, these programs prepare learners for the understanding of harmful bacteria and pathogenic agents that can have an effect on our systems and the nursing care of the sufferers.

7. Medical Surgical Nursing – Learning the various illnesses and their procedures as well as how they take effect on our systems is another important part of nursing. The course provides all of the information you need to know on those specific topics and much more.