How to Become a Health Care Assistant

Becoming a health care assistant can lead to a fulfilling career for those that truly enjoy being an aide. As the population grows older and current health care assistants retire, the need for health care assistants should rise. If you are motivated by a fast-paced, interesting job working as a team and directly assisting other health care professionals, this job is for you.

Get emotionally, mentally and physically prepared to be a health care assistant. Set an example for your patients by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Most importantly, develop personality traits, such as empathy, good coping skills and meticulous attention to detail, that are conducive to having a career in the medical field. Learn how to help others in your daily life even if that inconveniences you.

Stay intellectually updated on health and medical news. You learn much from medical magazines, health books and research journals. For more interactive learning, go to conventions, workshops, discussions and lectures. Not only will this information help you in classes, but this is also useful for impressing your interviewers and scoring well on certification exams.

Get real-life experience by volunteering in hospitals, disaster relief work, nursing homes or by shadowing a health care professional. This also helps you gain network connections within the industry. Broaden your skill set by getting experience in clerical and administrative work.

Decide what aspect of health care you would like a career in and obtain the appropriate degrees and certifications for that field. If you are in high school, take challenging science courses, such as AP Biology and AP Calculus, your junior and senior years. If you score well enough on exams you'll be able to transfer these credits, skip the introductory courses and jump right into the upper-level courses that are directly related to being a health care assistant. Many future health care assistants obtain an associate degree within their area of interest. Take the specific courses necessary for the certification examination. Also take to a variety of courses valuable in the work setting such as advanced literature for building communication skills and psychology for understanding and analysing human behaviour.

Get certified as a health care assistant. Start studying for your certification exams early and extensively. Purchase or check out certification study books.


Learn how to get along with others under stressful and strained conditions because you will often be faced with these same conditions during emergencies in the medical profession. Become comfortable at following directions and being under constant supervision.


Being a health care assistant can be challenging. Use the real-life experience to be sure that you are well-suited for the lifestyle before wholeheartedly pursuing this career. Don't take people's lives for granted; thoroughly understand the importance of being a health care assistant.

Things You'll Need

  • Health care books, magazine and journals
  • Certification exam study books
  • Resume
  • Certification
  • Associate's Degree
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About the Author

Dianne Heath has been writing professionally since 2009. Her work has been published in "The Hill," a political commentary publication, where she covered the water wars between Georgia, Florida and Alabama, as well as within California. Heath is pursuing a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.