Summer 2014 Personal Care Aide Training Begins Summer Term

Personal Care Aide Training Begins Summer Term

By Chris Cunningham

Shirley Little with colleague Dale GiladJust a little extra help with bathing, dressing and meal preparation is all that many older citizens need to live independently in their own homes, says Shirley Little, a registered nurse who will provide Lane Community College's 40-hour Personal Care Aide training, with colleague Dale Gilad.

Some clients may need more hands-on care, Little explains, "but they can receive that care at home." Unlike certified nursing assistants, personal care aides do not need to be certified by the State of Oregon.

Little will provide hands-on training labs on bathing, body mechanics, and bed making, and discuss methods for communicating with compassion and respect, while Gilad will lecture on client safety, hospice care and reporting elder abuse.

Gilad, who is a retired registered nurse, notes, "You can't just go into the home and say, 'This is how we are going to do things.' The personal care aide has to find out what the client's needs are."

Lane's PCA training is suitable for family members who are caring for loved ones, as well as those who are seeking employment in an agency.

This work often appeals to people who are innately compassionate, Gilad says. Serving as a PCA "is a good way to give back," to the community, she adds. "You're not a volunteer, but you are still giving of yourself."

Employment as a PCA also attracts those who like to work independently and set their own hours. Local agencies typically start new employees at $9 an hour, but some increase the starting pay to $10.38 if the applicant has completed Lane's PCA training.

The demand for PCAs will continue to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cost: $359, includes text, handouts, and lab. For more information, call (541) 463-6262.