The Personal Care Assistant Profession

Personal Care Assistants provide assistance to elderly, disabled, ill, and mentally disabled persons who live in their own homes or in a residential care facility. Some Personal Care Assistants work with families in which a parent is incapacitated and small children need care. Others help discharged hospital patients who have relatively short-term needs. The Bureau of Labor states that the Personal Care Assistant is projected to be the fastest growing occupation through 2018. Numerous job openings with excellent opportunities are expected. Job opportunities will be prevalent in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, home care, longterm care facilities, hospice and assisted living facilities. Personal Care Assistants can be in the form of paid employees who come into the home for a few hours a day or who live in the home fulltime or can be family members or friends of the resident.


The Personal Care Assistant Program

This comprehensive program prepares students for a position as a Personal Care Assistant. Emphasis is on giving personal care in a client's home, communications, working with ill persons, basic human needs, eldercare, nutrition, special diets, and home management. Many different types of individuals require assistance in daily tasks, assistance with minor medical tasks, and companionship because they are ill, elderly, or disabled in some way , may be of any age, and must live at home or in a home-like residential facility. Personal Care Assistants provide this assistance or provide some of the care to allow family caregivers a respite. This program will ensure students are prepared to provide a variety of essential services for their clients including health care management and monitoring, assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) ranging from bathing, dressing, eating, using the bathroom, housekeeping and laundry to medication reminders and/or management, recreational activities and companionship, security and transportation.


Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Describe long-term care in terms of the target populations, environment, care options
  • Describe the physiological, psychological, and sociological changes related to aging
  • Describe physical, cognitive, and social growth and development characteristics
  • Describe memory care needs and options
  • Explain proper procedures for infection control in a home or residential environment
  • Perform basic housekeeping procedures and safety for residents, staff, and visitors
  • Explain procedures and strategies for planning, purchasing, and serving food
  • Explain the proper procedures for safely assisting an individual in activities of daily living
  • Explain procedures for preventing fluid overload and dehydration
  • Explain proper procedures for applying a variety of warm and cold applications
  • Explain procedures involved in caring for individuals with special needs
  • Describe effective and appropriate care of an individual who is dying
  • Explain proper care for infants and children in the home or residential setting
  • Explain how to assist individuals in a home or residential environment
  • Explain common preoperative and postoperative care procedures
  • Use Microsoft Office


Education and Certifications

  • Students should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED.
  • There are no state approval and/or state requirements associated with this program.
  • There are several National Certification exams that are available to students who successfully complete this program:
    • National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) Exam
    • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification Exam.


National Certification

Upon successful completion of this Nursing Assistant Specialist program, students would be eligible to sit for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) exam. Students who complete this program are encouraged to complete the clinical externship option with their program in order to gain clinical experience. Students who complete this program can and do sit for the NHA CCMA certification exam and are qualified, eligible and prepared to do so.  Additionally, students may pursue state Certified Nursing Assistant certification if they meet certain state requirements.


Clinical Externship / Hands on Training / Practicum

Although not a requirement, once students complete the program, they have the ability to participate in a clinical externship and/or hands on practicum so as to practice the skills necessary to perform the job requirements of a professional in this field. Students will be assisted with completing a resume and/or other requirements necessary to work in this field. All students who complete this program are eligible to participate in an externship and placed with a participating organization near their location.

Note: No refunds can be issued after the start date published in your Financial Award document.