What is a PCA?

Updated: Aug 7, 2018

Photo Credit in References

Healthcare is complicated! It doesn’t help when abbreviations are used. We are left guessing and frustrated trying to find what we need. The people who provide the care and services may know but we are often left guessing.

For instance, in the health care industry, there are Personal Care Aides, Home Health Aides, Nursing Assistants, and Medication Aides to name just a few. The question is what do they do and can they help me? Our hope is to provide information about the different terms and what each does within the health care industry.

Let’s start by defining Personal Care Aide (P.C.A) . A personal care aide provides important care and services to the elderly and disabled within the client’s home. Services provided to a client may include the following:

· Grooming and personal hygiene

· Range of motion exercises

· Lifting and moving

· Cook meals and assist in feeding

· Take and record blood pressure

· Medication reminders

· Light housekeeping

· Take pulse and respirations

As mentioned in our July 10th blog article titled, Seniors Living Alone, “12.1 million older U.S. adults are living alone…the underlying factor is older adults value their independence and want to live in their own home, even if they are no longer able to care for themselves.”[1]

With the number of Seniors staying home, home health agencies are struggling to keep up with the demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “is projected to grow 41% in the next 10 years, much faster than the average for all occupations.”[2]

The demand for Personal Care Aides is evident but why choose to become a Personal Care Aide?

The benefits of being a Personal Care Aide:

· Employment which is recession proof

· A portable career (a skilled career which you can take with you wherever you go)

MyCAA scholarships are available to military spouses for positions defined as portable careers. CIHC is an approved MyCAA institution.

· The satisfaction and reward of knowing you are an integral part of granting a Senior’s desire….to stay in their home

Photo Credit in References

What type of person is a good fit to become a Personal Care Aide?

The Bureau of Statistics shares important qualities of Personal Care Aides on their website as:

· Detail Oriented

· Integrity

· Interpersonal Skills

· Physical Stamina

CIHC adds to the list of qualities:

· Compassionate

· Understands Confidentiality

Cardinal Institute for Health Careers offers a Personal Care Aide course. You can learn more on our website: www.cihealthcareers.com. You can also follow us on Facebook: @cihcareers.


Reference: The Top 10 Most Portable Careers

Accessed at: https://www.clements.com/resources/articles/The-Top-10-Most-Portable-Careers

Accessed on: July 27, 2018

Reference: How to become a home health aide or personal care aide

Accessed at: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides-and-personal-care-aides.htm#tab-4

Accessed on July 27, 2018

Reference Photo One: Older Lady and Younger One

Accessed at: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/older_adults.html

Accessed on July 27, 2018

Reference Photo Two: Personal Care Aide Photo

Accessed at:


Accessed on July 27, 2018

Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of the Cardinal Institute for Health Career’s blog is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

[1] Seniors Living Alone By Cardinal Institute (link to this article in body of blog)

[2] https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides-and-personal-care-aides.htm

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