Health care assistants are responsible for many tasks, including feeding, dressing, and washing patients, taking patients' vital signs, bed making, maintaining clinical stock items, and other methods of assisting patients. Health care assistants generally work in healthcare facilities such as hospitals and elder care facilities; their environment can be fast-paced depending on the number of patients and available staff members. They generally work alongside nurses, doctors, therapists, and other health professionals, but their top responsibility is working with patients. Health care assistants may work under a practicing nurse in a training program that allows them to obtain various qualifications to become a nurse themselves.
Employers generally require at least a high school diploma or GED. However, some employers may require health assistant certification and at least a year of experience. Health care assistants may work days or nights, full time or part time. Skills that generally help health care assistants succeed include being polite, treating patients with kindness, having a flexible schedule, and having the ability to work and communicate well with others.