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What does a Personal Care Attendant do?

Learn all about Personal Care Attendant duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Personal Care Attendant.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A personal care attendant (PCA) is a person who provides in-home support services to people with physical disabilities. PCAs help their clients with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They also provide transportation to doctor's appointments and other outings.

Personal Care Attendant job duties include:

  • Providing personal care and hygiene assistance to patients
  • Helping patients with ambulation and mobility
  • Assisting patients with eating and drinking
  • Toileting assistance
  • Providing skin care and wound care
  • Transferring patients in and out of beds, chairs, wheelchairs, etc.
  • Monitoring vital signs
  • Reporting changes in patient condition to nursing staff
  • Housekeeping duties such as laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping

Personal Care Attendant Job Requirements

Most personal care attendants have at least a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most states require certification. Some states also require experience working in a long-term care facility.

Personal Care Attendant Skills

  • Patience
  • Compassion
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability
  • Punctuality
  • Physical Stamina
  • Attention to Detail
  • Ability to Multi-task
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Observant
  • Empathetic

Related: Top Personal Care Attendant Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Personal Care Attendant

A Personal Care Attendant (PCA) is a health care worker who provides basic personal care and support services to people with disabilities. PCAs help people with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the toilet. They also help with light housekeeping tasks and providing transportation.

Becoming a PCA requires completing a training program approved by your state. Many community colleges offer these programs, which typically take a few months to complete. Once you have completed the training program, you must pass a state-approved exam to earn your certification.

Once you are certified, you can begin working as a PCA. Many PCAs find work through home health agencies or nursing homes. You may also be able to find work through private companies that provide in-home care services.

Working as a PCA can be very rewarding. You will have the opportunity to help people with disabilities live more independently and improve their quality of life.

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