16 May 2023
What is a Personal Care Assistant?
3 min read
The Personal Care Attendant (PCA – also known as a Personal Care Assistant) is responsible for the delivery of care and services for residents in all areas of activities of daily living in accordance with the residents’ identified needs and preferences. The PCA provides support which considers the residents’ physical, spiritual, social and cultural needs and which enables residents to maintain their own wellbeing and independence for as long as possible.
What skills and attributes does a Personal Care Assistant need?
• Sensitivity and understanding
• Is respectful and kind
• A desire to help people
• The ability to work well with others
• Patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
• The ability to accept feedback and work well under pressure
• To be thorough and pay attention to detail.
What does a Personal Care Assistant do?
A Personal Care Assistant’s job description is varied depending on the setting they work in. In an aged care setting they:
Support the residents’ activities of daily living by:
- Assisting with elements of personal hygiene, grooming, manicuring and oral and dental care
- Communicating effectively, which might include the maintenance and the fitting of hearing aids and glasses, or just holding their hand and listening
- Encouraging the residents’ mobility and socialisation, by assisting with walking or wheeling them in a wheelchair, or maybe using other aids and transfer equipment
- Supporting and assisting residents with food and beverages as required
- Maximizing the residents’ physical function by assisting with rehabilitative treatment such as physiotherapy exercises
- Observing and reporting promptly to the nurses any changes in the condition or wellbeing of residents
- Respecting the resident’s privacy and dignity at all times
- Providing comfort and reassurance so that no residents experiences isolation and loneliness unless determined by choice.
- Respecting the residents traditions and culture
Is a Personal Care Assistant the same as a carer?
The role of a carer is often seen as heroic and self-sacrificing. The general public's view is of someone dedicating their own life to support a partner or family member. A personal care assistant, on the other hand, is paid to do a job, and works under the supervision of a nursing team to do that job.