What does a Care Assistant do?
Care Assistants work at hospitals, nursing homes, private residences and other care facilities to help fulfill a patient’s basic needs. They work with patients of varying levels of independence and ability. Care Assistants frequently check up on patients to monitor their vital signs, help them move from place to place, deliver meals, feed patients, help them use the toilet and bathe. They communicate with patients about their symptoms and needs, reporting changes or concerns to other members of the patient’s care team. Care Assistants provide companionship and social interaction to prevent patients from feeling isolated and recommend mental health resources.
Care Assistant skills and qualifications
Care Assistants are not usually required to have qualifications beyond a high school diploma, but some states require them to complete certification. Useful qualifications and skills can include:
- Certification from a National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) program
- Ability to help patients requiring elder care, pediatric care and those recovering from illness and injuries
- Clinical knowledge to read treatment plans and ensure they are implemented effectively
- Excellent communication skills to share information with patients and other professionals
- Empathy and interpersonal skills to build positive relationships with patients
Care Assistant salary expectations
A Care Assistant makes an average salary of $12.62 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Care Assistant education and training requirements
While there are no specific educational requirements for Care Assistants in most states, in some they need to be certified. Minnesota has its own certification program, and New York has state-approved accreditation programs. Care Assistants in Alaska need to register with the state in order to enter their care allocation system. Some states require training such as CPR, dealing with dementia, supporting those with mobility needs or other courses specific to the setting.
Care Assistant experience requirements
Care Assistants often gain most of their experience on the job, where training and support are offered by more experienced members of the team. However, anyone with experience in a caregiving role will be at an advantage. Because Care Assistants need to be able to offer reassurance and support, experience in a customer or patient-facing role could help them to maintain their composure even under difficult circumstances.
Job description samples for similar positions
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