Personal Care Attendant Course and Training Information

Personal care attendants--also called home health aides--assist chronically ill or injured patients with daily tasks. Those interested in the profession might consider earning a certificate or associate's degree in home health care. Continue reading for information about some common courses in personal care programs.

Essential Information

Training and certification requirements for personal care attendants vary by state. Some states permit on-the-job training by a hospice or agency. Under this training method, personal care attendants work with registered nurses and experienced aides. They learn to interact with patients by assisting experienced caretakers in their duties.

Other states require candidates to attend training programs and pass certification exams before they work with patients. These credentials are also needed for employment with agencies that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments. Most training options are certificates or associate's degree programs offered by community and technical colleges. Courses combine lectures in elderly care and CPR with hands-on training requirements. Some of the subjects studied in personal care courses include:

  • Airway obstruction
  • Communication
  • Professionalism
  • Immediate injury care
  • Basic Life Support

List of Courses

CPR Course

The class combines lectures and hands-on practice with simulators to train students to properly perform CPR. Students learn methods for clearing airway obstructions and how to use an AED (automated external defibrillator). They practice providing CPR to infants, adults and children as a solo responder and as a two-person team. Successfully completing the course prepares students for basic life support certification as either a heart saver or health care provider from the American Heart Association (AHA).

First Aid and CPR Course

This course builds upon CPR class training, allowing students to improve their CPR skills and acquire basic first aid skills as well. Course materials teach immediate care procedures for stroke and heart attack victims. Students also learn treatment methods for burns, fractures, bites and other injuries. They study signs and care for shock, diabetic reactions and internal bleeding.

Personal Care Attendant Course

Students acquire the skills needed to assist clients who have chronic illnesses or injuries. They discuss and practice techniques for assisting patients in moving around their homes, with special attention to safety processes when using walkers and wheelchairs. The class also covers topics like personal hygiene, managing medications and infection control. Successfully completing the course qualifies individuals for employment with home health care agencies.

Elder Care Personal Care Attendant Course

Students undertake lessons for communicating with elderly patients and study emotional support skills. They also learn care and nursing procedures in order to help patients prepare food, dress and bathe. Course materials cover nutritional needs of elderly patients and medication management. Completing the class qualifies individuals to work in assisted living facilities and private homes as home health aides.

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