What the world should know about being a Personal Care Assistant (PCA)

28 Nov 2015 4:45 PMDPT DPT

Experience what it's like to become a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) by getting aged care courses offered by DP Training. Learn more.

What is a PCA?

PCA’s work in Hospitals as assistants to the Registered Nurses. We cover a whole ward and must be available at a moments notice in between patient buzzers and other routine tasks.

~ Many traits are needed for a good PCA: the hide of rhino, the patience of a saint, the flexibility of a gymnast and the kindness of an angel.

~ We are NOT an RN’s nor a patient’s slave. Yes we are at bottom of food chain but still should be treated with respect. A please and thank you is always appreciated. Chocolate is even better

~ A good PCA will always work within their scope of practice (SOP) – we look like an RN with a similar uniform but we are not. Our ID badge clearly states we are a PCA. We can’t perform any tasks outside our training so patients may get confused when we can’t explain a medical procedure or decipher a chart or take a blood pressure.

We have to stay within our SOP for ethical and legal reasons.

~ We can’t give out meds. Lots of patients ask us for medications. They are in pain and of course we want to help. We can report this to the RN who will administer the right pill at the right time but we can’t give you meds RIGHT NOW – sorry.

~ We must multi task like a boss. Feeding, transferring, personal care, holding patients’ hands for reassurance, stocking trolleys, fetching items for the RN’s, answering buzzers, cleaning equipment. All this in 4 hours!  Phew no wonder we are exhausted by the end of a shift.

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