Personal care workers provide services to clients that follow these clients' care plans. They are responsible for reporting changes in clients’ mental, physical, and cognitive conditions. Additionally, they provide everyday assistance in areas such as meal preparation, housekeeping, grocery shopping, medication schedules, and going with their clients to their doctor’s appointments. Clients may also need help with personal care tasks such as dressing, bathing, grooming, and completing other related care.
Personal care workers are expected to remain professional at all times while interacting with client and their families, as well as follow all rules of their employers and any relevant laws. For example, they must follow HIPAA guidelines and confidentiality agreements to protect clients. Additionally, personal care workers must also be able to work varied hours depending on their clients' needs, and they must be able to travel to multiple clients' residence and care for a wide variety of patients, who may have disabilities and/or be chronically ill. At times, personal care workers are required to move, push, pull, and lift objects up to 100 pounds.
Requirements may vary for personal care workers. Generally, the completion of a state-approved personal care course, as well as a high school diploma or equivalent, is required or preferred. Excellent written and verbal skills are also needed to communicate with clients and their employer, as well as complete all necessary documentation.
Personal Care Worker Tasks
- Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
- Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
- Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
- Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
- Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.