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Most personal care aides are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements for personal care aides, but most aides have a high school diploma.Education
Although there are no formal education requirements for personal care aides, employers may prefer candidates with a high school diploma.Training
Aides may be trained on the job by registered nurses, other personal care aides, or their direct employer. They are trained in specific tasks, such as how to work with a client who has a cognitive impairment and how to assist a client in preparing meals.
Most employers require aides to have training or certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).Important Qualities
Detail oriented. Personal care aides must follow specific rules and protocols to help take care of clients. They must pay close attention to a client’s medical condition, quickly noting any changes that may require assistance from medical personnel.
Integrity. Personal care aides should make clients feel comfortable when the aides tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe. In addition, personal care aides must be dependable and trustworthy so that clients and their families can rely on them.
Interpersonal skills. Sometimes clients are in extreme pain or distress, and aides must be sensitive to their emotions. Aides must be compassionate, and they must enjoy helping people.
Physical stamina. Personal care aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks. They often need to lift or turn clients who have a disability.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Personal care aides may be required to complete a formal training program depending on the state where they work, and state laws vary widely in terms of the requirements that must be met. Some states and organizations may conduct background checks on prospective aides. A competency evaluation also may be required to ensure that the aide can perform certain tasks.
There are no federal training requirements for personal care aides. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.