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Become A Health Care Assistant

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Working As A Health Care Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $30,590

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Care Assistant Do At Planned Parenthood

* communicate with patients regarding services, payment and appointment scheduling.
* Provide paperwork to patients and secure payment and insurance information as needed for billing purposes.
* Provide patients with access to nurses, mid-level clinicians for triage as needed.
* Secure translation services when necessary.
* Direct Patient Care: Provides empathetic and appropriate professional care to each patient.
* Tasks may include taking accurate vital signs and medical history.
* Educating and providing information to patients to aide in securing informed consent for medical services offered per medical protocols.
* Laboratory/Specimen management: Perform waived and moderately complex lab testing including requisition preparation and submission and managing specimens

What Does A Health Care Assistant Do At Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency

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* Using principles of Patient & Family Centered Care develops and maintains a positive working relationship with patient and family, team members, department and medical center personnel
* Assists patients with activities of daily living, including hygiene, grooming, and bathing
* Responds to patients call lights in a timely manner, identifies patient needs and provides patients with appropriate response or communicates needs to appropriate team member
* Performs intentional rounding in collaboration with the RN
* Takes and records patient’s vital signs as prescribed by nursing protocol or physician order
* Measures, and records patient intake and output according to established protocol and order
* Conducts point of care tests as assigned and/or delegated
* Communicates any changes or pertinent information related to the patient’s physical appearance and attitude, I & O, vital signs, and point of care testing to the nurse.
* Records which nurse was notified for all abnormal results
* Keeps patient room neat, clean and orderly.
* Changes bed linen as scheduled and as needed
* Escorts patients on foot or transports patients on carts, beds or in wheelchairs
* Procures and stocks equipment and supplies, and insures that equipment is operable and clean
* Greets and relays information to appropriate staff, physicians, or family members
* Takes inventory of patient belongings and valuables as well as documents and secures
* Collects specimens using clean technique and labels appropriately
* Disposes of trash, linens and supplies in an appropriate manner
* Ensures patient and supply rooms are properly stocked; linen is covered
* Supports unit and medical center compliance with Regulatory standards, customer service and other initiatives
* May perform various technical procedures after training, competency validation, and upon delegation from a Registered Nurse, such as maintaining oxygen equipment, performing oral suctioning, routine incision care, providing skin care, applying and changing non-sterile dressings, applying warm and cold compresses or non-prescription topical creams/ointments, 12 lead EKG’s, phlebotomies, and discontinuing IVs, saline locks and foley catheters
* Records actions in the EHR
* Performs clerical duties in EHR; answers phones and triage's calls appropriately
* Performs all responsibilities/duties required by Patient Care Services as defined in the scope of service, to assure that the unique nature of the clients is addressed

What Does A Health Care Assistant Do At Planned Parenthood

* Direct Patient Care-
* Provides empathetic and appropriate professional care to each patient.
* Understands and abides by HIPAA standards.
* Tasks may include taking accurate vital signs and medical history, educating and providing information to patients and room and equipment preparation.
* Prepares procedure rooms

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How To Become A Health Care Assistant

Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training.


Medical assistants typically graduate from postsecondary education programs. Although there are no formal educational requirements for becoming a medical assistant in most states, employers may prefer to hire assistants who have completed these programs.

Programs for medical assisting are available from community colleges, vocational schools, technical schools, and universities and take about 1 year to complete. These programs usually lead to a certificate or diploma. Some community colleges offer 2-year programs that lead to an associate’s degree. All programs have classroom and laboratory portions that include lessons in anatomy and medical terminology.

Some medical assistants have a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties on the job. High school students interested in a career as a medical assistant should take courses in biology, chemistry, and anatomy.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Medical assistants must be able to understand and follow medical charts and diagnoses. They may be required to code a patient’s medical records for billing purposes.

Detail oriented. Medical assistants need to be precise when taking vital signs or recording patient information. Physicians and insurance companies rely on accurate records.

Interpersonal skills. Medical assistants need to be able to discuss patient information with other medical personnel, such as physicians. They often interact with patients who may be in pain or in distress, so they need to be able to act in a calm and professional manner.

Technical skills. Medical assistants should be able to use basic clinical instruments so they can take a patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure.


Medical assistants who do not have postsecondary education learn their skills through on-the-job training. Physicians or other medical assistants may teach a new assistant medical terminology, the names of the instruments, how to do daily tasks, how to interact with patients, and other tasks that help keep an office running smoothly. Medical assistants also learn how to code both paper and electronic health records (EHRs) and how to record patient information. It can take several months for an assistant to complete training, depending on the facility.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical assistants are not required to be certified in most states. However, employers prefer to hire certified assistants.

Several organizations offer certification. An applicant must pass an exam and have taken one of several routes to be eligible for each certification. These routes include graduation from an accredited program and work experience, among others. In most cases, an applicant must be at least 18 years old before applying for certification.

The National Commission for Certifying Agencies, part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, accredits five certifications for medical assistants:

  • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) from the American Association of Medical Assistants
  • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) from American Medical Technologists
  • National Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA) from the National Center for Competency Testing
  • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) from the National Healthcareer Association
  • Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) from the National Healthcareer Association

Some states may require assistants to graduate from an accredited program, pass an exam, or both, in order to practice. Contact the state board of medicine for more information.

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Health Care Assistant jobs

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Health Care Assistant Career Paths

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Health Care Assistant Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Tagalog

  • Portuguese

  • Hindi

  • Chinese

  • Nepali

  • Dzongkha

  • Filipino

  • Vietnamese

  • Armenian

  • Somali

  • Russian

  • Polish

  • Arabic

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Health Care Assistant

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Health Care Assistant Education

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Top Skills for A Health Care Assistant


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Top Health Care Assistant Skills

  1. Health Care
  2. Vital Signs
  3. Assistance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepare meals, attend to errands, provide transportation to and from health care provider.
  • Interview and record patients' medical information and measure their vital signs.
  • Give assistance to people who are sick, injured, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly and fragile.
  • Reported and documented all health related data to the online 'direct patient care' chart.
  • Provided personal care to patients in units of the hospital including critical care units.

Top Health Care Assistant Employers