What's the Job Description of a Health Care Assistant?

Health care assistants help patients recover from ailments or injuries. If you have a caring nature and want to help patients get better, keep reading to learn more about working as a health care assistant. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Health care assistants are also called nursing assistants or sometime, nursing aides. In this role, you will work under the direction of a registered nurse or doctor and focus on patient care. You will provide emotional and professional care to each patient you work with at the facility. You will also help patients eat, clean themselves, and assist them while dressing. If a patient needs to be moved from one room to another, you will help them stand and walk, if necessary. Other duties may include maintaining patient files, cleaning a patient's room, making and changing a patient's bed, and assisting nurses and doctors with medical equipment.

Important Facts About Health Care Assistants

Professional Certification Certified Medication Assistant (CMA)
Key Skills Critical thinking, situational awareness, clear communication, close listening, monitoring, service oriented
Work Environment Nursing care facilities, hospitals, residential care facilities
Similar Occupations Medical assistants, personal care aides, physical therapist assistants and aides, personal care aides, registered nurses, home health aides

Education

To perform the duties of an aide or assistant, training can be found at the community college level. In a college program, you will obtain skills in nursing, patient care, emergency procedures, and communication. The curriculum also covers topics involving client rights and infection control. In order to earn your certified nursing assistant (CNA) designation, you must complete your approved program in addition to successfully passing an exam on career-pertinent skills and information.

Licensing

To obtain a CNA license, you will need to check with your state board to determine the specific state's requirements. Generally, candidates fill out an application with the nursing aide registry and then send it to the state's licensing office. Many times, proof of education is required to be eligible for testing. Depending on the state you live in, you may be required to submit to a background and criminal check before your license will be issued.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of nursing assistants and orderlies is expected to grow by 17% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). Because of costs, many hospitals choose to discharge healing patients into the care of short-term nursing facilities; this trend could indicate additional job opportunities. As of May 2014, the BLS reported that the mean annual wage for nursing assistants was $26,250.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

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    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Keiser University

    Keiser University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Keiser University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • College of Health Care Professions

    College of Health Care Professions responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at College of Health Care Professions:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Austin, Houston, San Antonio
  • Penn Foster High School

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