Personal Care Assistant
If you are passionate about providing care for others and making a positive impact on their lives, becoming a certified personal care assistant may be ideal for you. Personal care aides provide direct care to physically or mentally challenged clients within residential facilities, hospices or private homes. Care workers are generally patient, compassionate people, with a happy or cheerful demeanor. They perform a variety of essential and physically demanding tasks while remaining calm under pressure. Care assistants are employed by public, and private agencies or are hired directly by clients’ families.
Under the supervision of a registered nurse, patient care assistants follow a care plan while observing, recording and reporting on the patient’s condition. Our program teaches students how to provide quality care that maintains the health and safety of their clients which includes:
Housekeeping: Making bed/ changing bed linens, doing laundry, ironing and lightly cleaning patient areas (bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.).
Nutritional support: Developing menus, preparing grocery lists, grocery shopping, preparing meals, feeding, measuring and recording intake of food and fluids.
Personal and environmental safety: Preventing accidents, utilizing body mechanics to safely turn, reposition, or transfer patients in or from bed, chair, wheelchair.
Personal care functions: Bathing, showering, grooming, skin care, toileting, walking, assisting with use of medical supplies and equipment, wound dressing, safely turning and repositioning
Performing and recording simple measures:
- Weigh patient
- Blood pressure
- Vital signs: temperature, pulse, respiration
- Obtaining lab specimen
- Intake and output
- Urine test for glucose and ketones
Other activities: Completing personal business, running errands, accompanying patient/client outdoors to medical appointments or social/recreational activities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for personal care assistants in 2018 was $24,200. With a growing elderly population and a strong preference for in-home care, personal care is one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. Job prospects for personal care assistants are excellent, and employment is predicted to increase by 36% over the next 10 years.