Direct care workers (DCWs) provide hands-on, generally long term for patients; these patients may include older adults, patients with chronic diseases, and others who require regular direct care. the elderly, disease patients, and other chronic conditions. Direct care workers can generally be divided into two main categories: those that provide home-based care in clients' homes, and those that provide community-based care in organizations such as assisted living facilities. These professionals perform a number of duties in their day-to-day work, such as wrapping bandages on patients, administering IVs, administering medication, and assisting with cleaning when the patient is unable. In all tasks, direct care workers must maintain patient confidentiality and follow all organizational rules.
Educational requirements for direct care worker positions vary depending on the position and the needs of the employer. Some employers require these employees hold a high school diploma or equivalent; others require at least a postsecondary degree such as a bachelor's degree. Physical requirements for this position include potential exposure to harmful illnesses from patients; direct care workers must also be able to physically provide care to patients and assist them as necessary. Direct care workers must be able to work well independently with minimal supervision, as well as in a team setting.
Direct Care Worker (DCW) 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.