What Is A Personal Care Assistant?

what is a personal care assistantIf you are wondering what is a personal care assistant, you are not alone. This is a career that has gained in popularity over the past few decades, and these professionals are an important part of the home health care team.

These individuals provide assistance to individuals who have:

  • Mental disabilities
  • Physical disabilities
  • Additional health care needs

Personal care assistants also help with tasks that are related to ADLs. Other basic nursing tasks can be completed by these professionals, but only under a registered or licensed nurse’s supervision. They not only provide care in an individual’s home but they can also assist clients in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Professional caregivers can work in any location where their services are needed due to a disabled and/or an aging population.

Different Types of Personal Care Assistants

If you are unfamiliar with the term, and you want to know what is a personal care assistant, these professionals are also known as:

  • Nursing assistants
  • Home health aides
  • Home health assistants
  • Nurse aides
  • Nurse techs

Typically, personal care assistants with state certifications work in long term care facilities. However, more personal care assistants are becoming important parts of health care teams that focus on the health and safety of clients who live at home.

The Responsibilities of Personal Care Assistants

The responsibilities these caregivers have depend on the client’s location as well as the client’s personal needs. Some of the duties include:

  • Mobility assistance
  • Rehabilitation assistance
  • Grooming assistance
  • Bathing assistance
  • Dressing assistance
  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation
  • Companionship
  • Transportation assistance

Skills and Training

Although personal care assistants are not required to undergo extensive training, they must show that they are competent in skills such as communication and manual dexterity. They should genuinely enjoy helping others and should also be compassionate.

It is not uncommon for personal care assistants to also take formal classes in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, psychology, infection control, mental health disorders and documentation. The majority of these classes can be completed in one semester or less.

For anyone who wants to know what is a personal care assistant and if they can benefit from their services should understand the responsibilities, required skill level and any necessary certifications the caregivers should have. Enlist the help of a home care agency in helping you select the best caregiver for your needs.

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