Patient Care Assistant

    Patient Care Assistant


    6 Month Program


    Class Time: Mondays and Tuesdays from 5 pm - 8 pm, in addition to at home work


    This one-year program is offered to adult students 17 or older not enrolled in high school. Students attend evenings at Erie High School taking Patient Care Assistant for 6 months. Upon successful completion of this program, students will earn a certificate in PCA, soft skills certification, as well as Direct Care Worker Certification. Students can go direct to the workforce from this program as a PCA or continue their post-secondary schooling as a CNA, LPN, RN, Physician Assistant or physician.


    Health Careers Aide: CIP Code 51.0899


    Patient Care Assistant Services, Other: CIP Code: 51.0899 


    This is a program with a combination of subject matter and experiences designed to prepare individuals for entry level employment in a minimum of three related health occupations under the supervision of a licensed health care professional. Instruction consists of core course content with clinical experiences in one or two health related occupations. The core curriculum consists of planned courses for introduction of health careers, basic anatomy and physiology, medical terminology, legal and ethical aspects of health care and communications, and at least three planned courses for the knowledge and skills for the occupational area such as ward clerk, nursing assisting, etc.


    Introduction – Program of Study

    PCA perform administrative and clinical tasks in a hospital as well as to keep the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other health practitioners running smoothly. They should not be confused with physician assistants, who examine, diagnose and treat patients under the direct supervision of a physician.


    The duties of patient care assistants vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner’s specialty. In small practices, nursing/medical assistants usually do many different tasks, handling both administrative and clinical duties and reporting directly to an office manager, physician, or other health practitioner. Those in large practices tend to specialize in a particular area, under the supervision of department administrators.

     Medical assistants who perform administrative tasks have many duties. They update and file patients’ medical records, fill out insurance forms and arrange for hospital admissions and laboratory services. Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms and other office procedures and terminology are recommended for success. They also perform tasks less specific to medical settings, such as answering telephones, greeting patients, handling correspondence, scheduling appointments and handling billing and bookkeeping.
    Patient Care assistants also may arrange examining room instruments and equipment, purchase and maintain supplies and equipment, and keep waiting and examining rooms neat and clean. They help in patient care in a nursing home with assisting the RN. In addition, they function with the public; therefore, they must be well groomed and have a courteous, pleasant manner. They also must be able to put patients at ease, explain physicians’ instructions, and respect the confidential nature of medical information. Clinical duties require a reasonable level of manual dexterity and visual acuity.

    PCA work in well lighted, clean environments. They constantly interact with other people and may have to handle several responsibilities simultaneously. Many full time medical assistants work a regular 40 hour week. However, PCA's may work part time, evenings, or weekends.


    Those individuals completing this program of study may continue their education in order to develop skills and competencies that lead to other fields of specialization as a PCA.


    Assumptions of this Program of Study

    High quality programs should meet the following standards:

    1. Promote positive working relationships.

    2. Implement a curriculum that fosters all areas of skill development

    3. Use appropriate and effective teaching approaches.

    4. Provide ongoing assessments of student progress.

    5. Employ and support qualified teaching staff.

    6. Establish and maintain relationships and use resources of the community.

    7. Provide a safe and healthy learning environment.

    8. Implement strong program organization and supervision policies that result in high quality teaching and learning.

    9. Integrate academic skills and aptitudes necessary for postsecondary education, gainful employment and a foundation of lifelong learning.