Patient Sitter Job Description

Patient Sitter Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a patient sitter. Feel free to use our patient sitter job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a patient sitter.


Who is a Patient Sitter?

A patient sitter is a member of the hospital staff who is in charge of watching over a certain patient’s conduct and habits while they are in the hospital or medical center. He or she will work under the supervision of nursing staff and provide updates and reports on patient status. A sitter has usually indicated if the patient is a flight risk or a danger to himself or others in the hospital. Other situations may necessitate the use of a sitter, such as when the patient requires a lot of attention and care owing to a medical condition.


Patient sitters may or may not be certified or registered nurses, but they usually have some combination of education and training that qualifies them for the role. Even with this knowledge, the patient sitter will receive some on-the-job training to ensure that he or she is prepared for daily tasks as well as any emergency scenarios that may arise during a shift.

Transporting patients throughout the hospital, assisting with drug administration, responding to the patient’s numerous requirements, washing or otherwise grooming the patient, and even dressing the patient are all responsibilities of a patient sitter. The patient sitter is in charge of contacting the relevant medical personnel in cases where the patient becomes agitated or begins acting in a way that could endanger himself or others. The patient sitter as well changes the linens on the hospital bed and assists the patient with food preparation. Being a patient sitter requires a lot of patience and understanding. Some patients may feel confused, irritable, or sad, leading to aggressive words or actions. The sitter must retain self-control and is expected not to involve in arguments with the patient or engage in any actions that may further aggravate the patient, or engage in any unprofessional behavior that may worsen the situation. Even if family members arrive to visit the patient while they are on duty, sitters are not allowed to leave the room until they are released. The sitter may be able to leave the room if a doctor is present, but only for a brief time.


Patient Sitter Job Description

Below are the patient sitter job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a patient sitter job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a patient sitter include the following:

  • Supervise patients in her care without being distracted.
  • Notify the nurses when patients require assistance or intervention.
  • Assist patients with emotional support and friendship.
  • Monitor vital signs and look for changes in the patient’s condition.
  • Refrain patients from executing any unapproved medical procedures or behaviors.
  • Maintain the privacy of patient information.
  • Utilize calming approaches such as chatting softly and soothingly, reading to the patient, and caressing the patient’s hand to redirect them from pulling at lines to try to calm disturbed patients.
  • Notify the nurse if the patient needs assistance with toileting, hunger, or if the patient poses a danger to themselves or others.
  • Report any changes in the patient’s mental or physical health.
  • Provide safety in the hospital context for patients who require continuous surveillance by a sitter.
  • Take vital signs and record any pertinent patient information.
  • Ensure that the patients’ things and the environment are comfortable and safe.
  • Observe the patient(s) in the room at all times, and never leave the patient alone.
  • Follow the RN’s instructions for patient care and submit a shift handoff report to the RN who was assigned to you.
  • Maintain a safe environment by removing hazardous items and reviewing the area for potential hazards regularly.
  • Notify the assigned RN and the unit team leader to try to calm disturbed patients.
  • Use suitable techniques to prevent infection in the patient(s) and yourself, as well as contamination of the patient’s belongings, equipment, and supplies.
  • Report on happenings and observations regularly, both orally and in writing.
  • Assist with food, activities of daily living (ADLs), bathing, toileting, and ambulation for the patient(s).
  • Assist the nurse in screening all guests’ items.
  • Comprehend the patient’s prescribed activity level.
  • Avoid wearing anything around the neck (ID badge, stethoscopes, necklace).
  • Does not share patient information with anybody other than the nurse or physician.
  • Respect the patient’s right to dignity while keeping safety in mind.
  • Communicate job responsibilities to the patient and family.



The qualification for the role of a patient sitter is as follows:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Prior knowledge of basic functions, such as checking vital signs.
  • Ability to work night shifts, weekends, and holidays.


Essential Skills

The essential skills required for this role are explained below:

  • Kind-heartedness: It is necessary for health care that patient sitters are able to sympathize with patients and understand their difficult conditions. Empathy is frequently cited as a basic feature of good, therapeutic consultations, according to a British Journal of General Practice paper, albeit there is less research into its effectiveness.
  • Ability to communicate without any hindrances: Communication is essential in all industries, but it is much more so for patient sitters. In addition to speaking with co-workers, patient sitters must speak with patients and their relatives. Evidence suggests that a patient’s ability to follow through with medical recommendations, self-manage a chronic medical condition, and adopt preventive health habits are strongly linked to a health care team member’s communication skills, according to the Institute for Healthcare Communication.

Patients’ opinions of the quality of the healthcare they received are strongly dependent on the quality of their interactions with their healthcare practitioner and team, according to a study published in the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management. This shows that good patient care and satisfaction require strong communication abilities.

  • Collaboration skills: A team player mindset is a crucial characteristic among patient sitters. Numerous health-care occupations are similar to team sports, with many personnel working together to provide care to patients. It’s critical that you understand how to work with these colleagues in the patient’s best interests. Higher team functioning is linked to better patient outcomes, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
  • Professionalism: Work ethic is a set of principles centered on dedication to one’s job. Professionalism, punctuality, and your entire attitude and behavior are all aspects of your work ethic. Labor ethic is defined by some businesses as a belief in the moral value and importance of work, as well as its intrinsic potential to improve character.

Because many healthcare disciplines require more hours than a typical 9-to-5 job, future healthcare workers must develop a strong work ethic. Health care is a demanding career due to the long hours. The subject matter might be depressing, and if you don’t have the desire to advance in your profession, you can find it stagnates.

  • Ability to manage stress effectively: In health care, lives are actually on the line, which is already a lot of strain to deal with. According to studies, healthcare employees who do not have effective stress-management strategies are at significant risk of burnout. Burnout is a state of long-term tiredness and disinterest in one’s work. The most effective healthcare professionals not only know how to deal with pressure but thrive on it. To avoid burnout, healthcare employees must also practice excellent stress management and understand how to get away from their demanding jobs.
  • Positive Attitude to work: A positive mental attitude is beneficial to all employees, but it is especially effective in health care. Patient sitters must have a positive attitude despite the responsibilities of the job, the stress of teamwork, and the numerous interactions with patients. The harsh reality of health care can quickly wear someone down, resulting in stress and other undesirable outcomes.
  • Resilience and flexibility: Working on a team requires flexibility because many healthcare occupations do not follow the traditional 9-to-5 schedule. You might be asked to take up a shift or remain late by your co-workers. A difficult patient may consume more of your time than you anticipated. You must be adaptive to new, different, or changing circumstances in addition to dealing with your schedule. Every day, health care workers deal with something new. You may suffer in your work if you don’t know how to break off from a pattern and adjust quickly.
  • Effective time planning: Time management is essential in any profession, but it is more critical in health care, where lives are literally on the line. At work, you’ll be tugged in many directions, so knowing how to prioritize and triage urgent matters is critical. A health care professional’s day can be quite hectic, and it can feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day. Prioritizing your goals can help you advance in your job.
  • Self-confidence: Because health-care jobs need you to interact with patients, it’s critical that you exude confidence in your abilities. According to a study published in the Patient Experience Journal, confidence is one of the most important elements influencing performance. Furthermore, the study found that confidence led to higher ratings on patient evaluations after therapy. Confidence in your abilities speaks to patients and influences their experience.
  • Friendly Attitude: You don’t know everything, no matter how well-trained you are. You can manage criticism and implement change when you have a receptive attitude. The field of health care is constantly changing. Even the most skilled staff will eventually encounter knowledge gaps as medicine, technology, and processes evolve. You must be able to accept criticism and grow from it.


How to Become a Patient Sitter

To become a patient sitter you ought to consider the following steps:

  • Consider obtaining a relevant degree: While some patient sitter professions do not require a college diploma, obtaining one can improve your knowledge and skills, allowing you to be a more successful patient sitter. A nursing or health and human services degree might help you prepare to provide direct patient care. Furthermore, a postsecondary degree will set you apart from other job candidates and broaden your employment options.
  • Shoot for part-time jobs or apprenticeships: You can work part-time as a caretaker or as an apprentice while obtaining your degree. Part-time work or an apprenticeship will provide you with practical experience and the opportunity to witness an experienced patient sitter in action. It can also help you gain essential skills and information that will help you land a full-time job.
  • Obtain state-required certifications: If you wish to work as a patient sitter, many states will require you to have a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Certified Home Care and Hospice Executive (CHCE), or Home Health Aide (HHA) certification. CNA certification is available from the Red Cross, a local hospital, or online. You’ll receive your CNA certification after completing the required number of in-person clinical hours and passing the exam in your state.

To earn a CHCE certification, you must have prior experience in at-home care or hospice care, as well as pass a 223-question exam that covers legal requirements, compliance, and planning. You must demonstrate competency in medical operations such as treating wounds, monitoring blood pressure, and providing medication to earn an HHA certification.

  • Apply for patient sitter positions: You can apply for patient sitter employment after accumulating experience and obtaining the appropriate credentials. You could work on your own or in a hospital or physical therapy clinic. Patient sitters can be found in nursing homes and community facilities that cater to elders. Signing up with a staffing agency will assist you in finding the perfect client for in-home caregiving employment.
  • Join a professional organization: Patient sitting is an ever-changing industry, so patient sitters must keep up with everything from care advancements to healthcare regulations. Joining a professional organization like the Professional Association of Caregivers can offer you the necessary educational resources and emotional support to succeed as a patient sitter. You can also participate in workshops and conferences to expand your professional network.


Where to Work as a Patient Sitter

Patient sitters work mostly in hospitals and nursing homes.


Patient Sitter Salary Scale

Wage projections are based on salary survey data from anonymous employees and employers in the United States. A patient sitter with 1-3 years of experience makes an average of $31,917 per year. A senior-level patient sitter (8+ years of experience) makes an average of $51,293 per year.

The average gross salary for a patient sitter in London, United Kingdom is £31,296 per year, or £15. This is £6,663 more than the average patient sitter pay in the United Kingdom. They also receive a £300 bonus on average. Wage estimates are based on salary survey data from anonymous employees and employers in London, United Kingdom. A patient sitter with 1-3 years of experience makes an average of £23,496 per year. A senior-level patient sitter (8+ years of experience) earns an average of £37,760 per year.

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