Patient care assistants (PCA's) provide direct and indirect care, typically under the supervision of a qualified nurse. PCA's are responsible for assisting patients with their daily hygiene, medical dressings and dispensing medication as directed. They are required to monitor their patients' progress and to report changes promptly to their supervisor. PCA's also make sure that patients' living areas are clean and safe using good judgment and common sense.
PCA's may in hospitals, nursing homes, treatment centers, clinics, institutions or private homes. They may be asked to perform some basic nursing tasks depending on the setting. Typical duties include taking vitals, collecting bodily fluid samples, reordering medicine and charting all relevant information. PCA's keep their supervisor(s) apprised of patient progress and concerns.
PCA's must have patience, compassion, excellent listening and communication skills. To become a PCA, one must have the necessary certifications and clinical experience. Most PCA's are not required to have a specialized degree.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA) Tasks
- Assist patients with daily activities including feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, mobility, changing linens, and taking medication.
- Provide basic patient care under the direction of a nursing staff.