Pathfinder Tech

Health Assisting


Grade 9

  • Students are given a brief introduction to the various careers in health as well as a comprehensive overview of the educational experiences and opportunities in the Health Assisting Program at Pathfinder. 
  • Students work with medical terminology, experience hands-on lab activities, and are introduced to some of the theory behind the skills they will learn. 
  • Students evaluate whether an experience in the Health Assisting Program is the right path for them.
  • Students are introduced to the healthcare field by exploring the history and trends in healthcare, and by learning infection control, cultural diversity, abuse and neglect, nutrition, safety, communication, growth and development, and medical abbreviations. 
  • Students become familiar with the professional expectations of the health program. Medical math provides additional reinforcement of basic math concepts and the use of critical thinking through solving word problems. 
  • Students strengthen their computer skills and use of technology through research and classroom projects.

Grade 10

  • Students study anatomy and physiology to gain a deep understanding of the structure and functions of the human body and the impact of the disease process. 
  • Medical terminology and medical abbreviations are further studied. Technical writing is explored as students complete a research paper focused on a disease of their choice.
  • Students shadow in approximately ten different career- areas in a local healthcare facility. They explore the diversity of career opportunities which are available to them in healthcare and learn the preparation required for each.
  • Students begin to develop technical and professionalism skills.
  • Students learn basic nurse assistant skills including personal protective equipment (PPE) use, bedmaking, vital signs and safety skills.

Grade 11

  • Students are instructed and assessed on their abilities in certain skill areas including personal care skills and the use of items such as stethoscopes, thermometers, mechanical lifts to assist immobile patients, wheelchairs, scales, and PPE. 
  • Theories and concepts of caregiving are formally delivered – building on previous knowledge – as students complete the official Nursing Assistant Training Program  and enjoy a clinical experience at a local long-term care facility. 
  • Students receive enhanced training to care for individuals with Alzheimer’s/Dementia through a training program inspired by the Alzheimer’s Association’s Habilitation Training and mandated by state standards for all workers in long-term care settings. 

Grade 12

  • Students may choose to go out on co-op (obtain employment in the healthcare field), participate in dual enrollment (enroll in college courses), or remain in shop and receive training focused on three main areas:  medical terminology, professionalism, and college preparation. Home health aide training is also offered.
  • Students receive a full college-level course in Medical Terminology. Understanding the language of medicine helps prepare students for all health careers and expands their vocabulary and understanding of body systems and diseases. Connections made between anatomy, pathophysiology, and the context gained during their clinical the previous year reinforce content. New, advanced skills are explored to further enhance understanding.
  • As students navigate their last year at Pathfinder, a number of professionalism skills are highlighted. Students will practice for job interviews, perfect technical writing, prepare career portfolios, examine and practice customer service skills in healthcare, and create a success plan for after graduation.  
  • Another major focus is preparation for college-level study. A group project will encourage students to fine tune the skills they need to compete in college including: researching, documenting resources, utilizing APA formatting, creating presentations in multiple mediums, leadership skills, teamwork, and communication skills.
  • The home health aide (HHA) portion of the curriculum encourages students to take the skills and training they learned as CNA’s and apply that knowledge to the home care setting.

Health Assisting

 Pathfinder’s Health Assisting Program exposes students to a wide variety of healthcare career opportunities. The program provides students with skills which will allow them to enter the healthcare field directly from high school. Students also build a solid academic foundation and skills base to prepare them for furthering their education at the college level. All students are given CPR/AED for the healthcare provider training and are certified if they meet the American Heart Association criteria; they will maintain certification throughout their career at Pathfinder. Certified Nursing Assistant, Home Health Aide, and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Habilitation Training are certifications available to students who meet the requirements of each governing agency.


  • Intracranial structures model
  • Clay heart models
  • Cultural diversity project
  • Medical ethics project
  • Senior project – group effort, different topics annually
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider (for the healthcare provider, American Heart Association)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant/ Nurse Aide
  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia Habilitation Training
  • Home Health Aide
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication
  • History of societies
  • Anatomy & physiology
  • Mathematical conversions
Additional Program Info

Learning how to become an empathetic and compassionate caregiver helps students develop skills which may easily be applied to any aspect of their adult life. Students gain an understanding of basic human needs which helps them relate to others. Students master communication skills which help them in their chosen professions. Students work on interpersonal skills and have experiences which give them insight into the behavior and expectation of others. These foundational pieces of the program ultimately help students relate to the world around them and influence their growth as individuals.


Upon graduation:
  • Certified Nurse Aide
  • Home Health Aide
  • Patient Care Technician
  • Personal Care Attendant
  • Dietary Aide
  • Geriatric Aide
  • Direct Care Specialist
After completion of 1-2 years of post-secondary technical training (apprenticeship, certificate program or associate’s degree):
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • EMT/Paramedic
  • Phlebotomist
  • Ultrasound Technician
  • Administrative Health Specialist
  • Medical Lab Technician
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Surgical Technician
After completion of Advanced degree (4 year college degree or higher)
  • Registered Nurse
  • Physician
  • Surgeon
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Physician Assistant
  • Physical Therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Psychiatrist
  • Veterinarian
  • Pharmacist
  • Biomedical Engineer

Pathfinder Tech offers a wide range of vocational technical programs that give students a competitive advantage both in college and the workforce. These sixteen programs are designed to help students create and follow pathways to a career of their choice.  Pursue your passion and enjoy your education!

The Cooperative Education Program at Pathfinder is an optional experience for seniors and juniors (second half of the school year) having a minimum 1,000 hours in their technical area. Through a cooperative arrangement between the school and employer, the student will receive job placement related to their technical area of study during their “shop week” with wages paid by the employer. To be eligible, a student must have the recommendation of their technical program teachers, meet the required grade, attendance, and discipline standards. The student must also have their OSHA 10-hour card. Some technical areas may require additional certifications prior to entering the program.

To schedule a tour please contact our Guidance Department:
413-283-9701 Ext. 247
Email Our Guidance Department