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Patient Sitter Job Description

patient sitter job description

Are you looking for a way to launch your career in the healthcare industry?

If so, working as a patient sitter is a great place to start. This role mainly involves supervising certain patients and providing them with companionship.

It can include a wide range of tasks, such as helping patients get out of bed and taking them to the bathroom. This job can be challenging, especially when you are working with difficult patients.

To see if you can rise to the challenge, check out my in-depth…

patient sitter job description

Patient Sitter Job Description

The job description for this role should give an overview of the medical facility you would be working. There should be details of the patients you would work with and their general needs. It should outline the type of contract being offered, the shift patterns, and the base salary for this role.

The typical tasks and duties that you would be assigned should be outlined in the job description. There will be information on the education, training, and skills applicants need to have. This will include the soft skills and other attributes that the ideal candidate needs to possess.

Read more: Patient Representative Job Description

Duties And Responsibilities

The place you work will define the tasks that you will be assigned regularly. However, certain tasks go with this job. So, here are the main responsibilities and duties that you are likely to be charged with.

Observing Patients

You will be assigned to a patient’s room and charged with observing them at all times. This includes making sure that the patient is watched over at all times. A nurse will instruct you on what to look for and report if those circumstances occur.

Listening to Patient Concerns

Once you have established a rapport, patients are likely to talk to you about their worries and concerns. You need to listen carefully when the patient tells you how they are feeling. If any action needs to be taken, you must report to the relevant nurse.

Maintaining Patient Environments

The patient’s room must be clean, tidy, and safe at all times. You need to follow the regulations established by the medical facility to ensure this. Make sure that patients are comfortable and satisfied with their environment.

Recording Data for Senior Staff

You need to take detailed notes on any changes in the condition of the patient. Maintain accurate and detailed records about troubling events. These include changes in patient behavior and violent behavior.

Skills And Attributes

This job comes with full training, and you don’t need to have a lot of medical knowledge. However, there are certain soft skills you will need to have to perform your duties well. To get a job as a patient sitter, you will need to have the following skills and attributes.


You will often see patients at their worst when you do this job. If they are scared and in pain, they are likely to be grumpy and uncommunicative at times. Having compassion for patients will help you to overcome these challenges.

Physical stamina

You need to be physically fit to do this job as you will be charged with many physical tasks. Be strong enough to help patients get out of bed and walk to the bathroom. You may have to spend several hours on your feet within a single shift.

Communication skills

You need to listen carefully to any instructions given by nurses. As well as listen to the concerns and needs of patients. You have to be able to provide clear verbal and written reports on the progress of patients.

Positive attitude

You need to be polite and friendly at all times when interacting with patients and medical staff. Patients are likely to feel depressed and worried from time to time. You need to be able to find ways to cheer them up and motivate them to get better.

Time management

You will be charged with a large number of tasks to complete throughout your shift. Prioritize tasks so that each one is completed at the necessary time. This is likely to include keeping track of patient medication, bathing, and eating times.


You need to work closely with the nurses and other medical personnel caring for your patients. It is essential to work well as a team and put the needs of the patients first at all times. Any conflicts that arise need to be smoothed over quickly to prevent them from interfering with patient care.


Many patients are likely to be physically infirm and unable to fully care for themselves. They will come to rely on you to help them to the bathroom and help care for their needs. It is important to arrive at work on time and be there for patients when you need them.

Education And Training

This entry-level job is open to people who have a high school diploma or a GED. Once you secure a role, you will be provided with full training. Taking a range of health and science courses at high school will help to boost your career prospects.


While you are still in high school, you can volunteer at a local hospital or care home. This will give you a little experience and teach you basic care skills. This experience can help you secure a patient sitter job after you graduate from high school.


Getting certified is a great way to prove that you have the skills to do this job well. When you are ready to take your career to the next level, certification will give you a foot in the door. Here are some of the best types of certification that can help you on your journey.

Basic Life Support

The Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers Classroom Course combines instruction with hands-on experience. You will learn how to recognize life-threatening emergencies and respond to them. This includes giving CPR, relieving choking, and using an AED.

Certified Patient Care Associate

You need to complete a healthcare training program and have at least a year of work experience. The Certified Patient Care Associate covers a wide range of advanced patient care techniques.

OSHA Safety Certificate

This is typically a forty-hour training program that focuses on health and safety practices. You will learn how to recognize physical hazards in the workplace and how to combat them. This certification is useful if you have your sights set on an administrative healthcare role.

The Working Environment

You will usually work in a hospital, care home, or private clinic. This is generally a full-time role, although part-time hours are sometimes available. You need to be prepared to work a range of shift patterns to meet the needs of patients.

Because some patients need around-the-clock care and supervision, you may have to work late at night. Be prepared to go the extra mile to meet the diverse needs of patients. While you may sit and play games with patients, you also need to be physically fit to perform other tasks.

Why Not Move Into Physiotherapy?

If you’re still wondering which specialization you’d like to go into, then take a look at Healthcare Jobs That Require No Experience to help you better decide.

Patient sitting takes a lot of care is about helping people. So why not take it further and try physiotherapy or even physical rehabilitation. Starting with the Physical Therapy Technician Job Description to see what the position entails.

Next, we recommend reading an Introduction to Physical Therapy, the Acute Care Handbook for Physical Therapists, The American Physical Therapy Association Book of Body Maintenance and Repair, and Physical Rehabilitation, or even maybe you’d like to try Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, or Neurologic Interventions for Physical Therapy, Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy: From Art to Evidence, and finally The Ultimate Guide to Pediatric Physical Therapy Documentation: For Student Physical Therapists and PTs all available online in 2023.

Help with your studies…

For guidance with your studies, we suggest the NPTE Secrets Study Guide: NPTE Exam Review for the National Physical Therapy Examination, as well as the Physical Therapy Documentation: From Examination to Outcome, and Acute Care Physical Therapy: A Clinician’s Guide.

Lastly, if you’re looking to become a physical therapist assistant, we found the Physical Therapy Assistant, the Therapeutic Exercise for Physical Therapy Assistants: Techniques for Intervention (Point, Physical Therapy Clinical Handbook for PTAs, and of course, Dreeben-Irimia’s Introduction to Physical Therapy Practice for Physical Therapist Assistants also available online today.

Final Thoughts

Working as a patient sitter is a great way to launch your career in the medical industry and gain work experience. The starting salary for this role is typically around $20,000 per year. This can rise to around $30,000 per year as you gain skill and experience.

Gaining special certification is the perfect way to boost your earning potential and learn new skills. The highest-paid professionals in this role can make around $40,000 per year.

You can also advance your career by becoming an orderly, a registered nurse, a medical assistant, or an occupational therapy assistant.

All the very best in your career as a Patient Sitter!

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