Help patients with mobility, personal tasks and basic needs as well as providing companionship.
Personal Care Caregivers help patients with mobility, getting in and out of bed safely, and using the restroom. Just as important as allowing patients’ to meet their basic needs is the companionship these caregivers provide—an average day includes listening, reading, and perhaps playing a game of cards. All personal care tasks are directed by the overseeing Nurse in order to achieve identified patient outcomes.
Depending on the state where you’re employed, each personal care position can have a different title. In Maine, these personal care jobs are titled Personal Support Specialists (PSS), while in New Hampshire this role is referred to as a Personal Care Service Provider (PCSP). In Massachusetts, MAS Home Care refers to this position as a Personal Care Homemaker (PCHM).
While these personal care jobs may vary slightly in function, general responsibilities involve assisting patients with bathing, dressing, preparing meals, denture care, bedpan routines, and medication reminders. In addition, housekeeping responsibilities may be expected and might include doing laundry and errands such as grocery shopping or prescription pick up.
No formal education is required to work in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or personal care positions. Established home care agencies, such as MAS Home Care, will provide detailed training via an orientation before sending an individual providing personal care to a client’s home. This is to protect both the Personal Care Caregiver as well as the patient.
|Initial Training||In-Service Training||Supervision||BG Checks|
|PSS (ME)||Required to have a PSS Certification through the State of Maine.||Offer in-service care training through Care Academy to all employees||A Nurse is assigned to every client for supervision. A PSS follows the treatment plan given by an RN.|
|8 hours of certification (in office) performed by an RN.||Yearly competency training/evaluation. Additional training is offered throughout the year in-office, (case specific training available as needed).|
A Nurse is assigned to every client for supervision.
|40 hours of homemaker training, then 20 hours of training for personal care performed by an RN—including 3 house practicum.||Offer in-service care training through Care Academy to all employees|
First day, in-home introductory visit with a nurse and supervision by a nurse at least once per quarter.
Working with elderly or disabled patients presents a unique opportunity to spend your day improving the life of someone else. So, it is not surprising that those who work as Personal Care Caregivers may decide to continue on a medical career path. When you start in your Massachusetts home care position or in another home healthcare career setting, you’ll gain valuable experience that only working one-on-one in a patient’s home can provide. This will help you develop valuable skills including communication, compassion, and organization.
After working in personal care jobs, the next logical step might be to get certified or licensed as a Nursing Assistant, which can then lead to pursuing a degree as a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse.