Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Role of PCA



Personal Care Assistant, or PCA: As a Personal Care Assistant, or PCA, you will be assisting with the care of elderly and disabled clients. The PCA is the first line of defense against abuse, neglect, suffering, and the spread of infection. Your responsibility will be the basic care and comfort of individual clients. As the healthcare team member that spends the most time at the patient's bedside, the PCA is important in communicating the client's status and changes in condition.

Skills: The technical skills that you learn are important to the level of caregiver you become. However, you should be compassionate, kind, cheerful, and patient to be an effective caregiver. Those who care about helping others are the ones who excel in this career. Your skills, if you choose to become certified, will include: bathing, grooming, oral care, skin care, toileting, taking vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, respirations, temperature, and pain level), documentation, signs and symptoms of common disease processes, reportable changes in condition, therapeutic communication and environmental safety.

Certified or Non Certified PCA?: The required education, experience, and technical skill level varies from state to state in USA. Please do your own research. We are mentioning some details on the PCA role and requirements for the State of Texas. We do not guarantee the accuracy of these statements as the rules and regulations change with time. Please do your own research. Read the below to get a general idea about PCA roles and regulations in general. The required education, experience, and technical skill level needed for jobs in Texas depend on the employer, the type of client, and the working environment. Families may hire private duty caregivers to assist with simple duties while the family is away from home. These caregivers do not have to have formal training, or be certified, unless the hiring family prefers it. The uncertified PCA may also work in facilities or agencies that are not Medicare certified. In a Medicare certified agency, nursing home, or hospital environment, you must have completed the first 16 hours of training before giving direct patient care. Many healthcare facilities give training and testing on-site, others use local technical schools. PCA trainee candidates are not required to have a high school diploma in Texas. PCA certification curriculum is very similar to the Home Health Aide or Nurse's Aide course of study. Job duties vary slightly, but all are excellent ways to begin a health care career. PCAs who work for certified agencies, home health, hospice, or nursing homes must be trained, tested, and certified to work in Texas, unless their duties do not involve direct assistance to patients. Uncertified PCAs are often referred to as "sitters", keeping the patient company, and seeing to their most basic needs and safety. They may do light housekeeping, deliver food and water to the bedside (but may not assist with eating or drinking), change linens, and notify other health care workers of patient needs or concerns. Many uncertified PCAs provide respite assistance for families who work, need to run errands, or just to have a break from the home. Elderly or disabled clients without complicated health issues are good candidates for these PCAs. For example, elders that suffer memory loss cannot be left alone, yet don't require licensed nursing care.

Certification in the State of Texas: In order to become certified in the state of Texas you must: Have no drug related convictions, Have no convictions that involve violence, Have no felony convictions and Be at least 17 years old

Confidentiality of Patient Information: Patient information is confidential. This means that only medical personnel directly involved in a client's care, or a family member or guardian who has legal authority, may be given any information regarding your patient. Common courtesy, kindness, and respect will provide you with the first important set of skills to be a successful PCA. You will also need a healthy dose of patience and perseverance.