Role of a Care Assistant

Written by bianca bumpres
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Role of a Care Assistant
The care assistant (Assisted shoulder stand as part of a Thai body massage. image by Deborah Benbrook from Fotolia.com)

Care assistants are professional health care assistants in Australia providing general medical assistance to ill children, the elderly and persons with disabilities or mental illness. Care assistants act as relief to family members. They generally go by the name of "personal care assistants" in the United States. The care assistant works under a nurse, care manager or home manager and may provide relief to other care workers.

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Function

Care assistants administer medications and perform simple household chores. This would include: laundry, cooking light meals and keeping areas of the home of the patient tidy and free of clutter. If a care assistant works a night shift, he may be required to perform more detailed work. This would include helping the patient get up during the night, possibly turning the patient to prevent bedsores and administering nighttime medications. In this position, care assistants must work around social service workers and housing officers. These professionals may be responsible for taking vitals, including height and weight measurements. They help patients with certain tasks, including personal hygiene and other personal care, but promote self-care if the patient is able. The care assistant may have to occasionally deal with aggressive patients. An aggressive patient could be mentally ill or simply difficult to deal with because of an illness.

Education

Care assistants do not need formal education but learn directly from care managers or nurse managers. These assistants acquire skill through on-the-job training by observing and completing hands-on work of patient care. However, employers do look for individuals who have experience with working with the elderly or the mentally or physically impaired. Care assistants can work toward a Health and Social Care NVQ/SVQ---a certified health care position in Australia allowing the assistant to perform more detailed medical duties. This could include catheter placement and care or working with burn victims.

Personal Traits

Care assistants exhibit motivation and reliability. Care assistants are flexible and have a sense of commitment to their duties. Care assistants also see the value in other employees and care workers and see they function as part of a team. Care assistants are also physically fit in order to cope with the physical demands of the position.

Skills

He is able to organise time and workload because of possibly having more than one patient to see on a daily basis. This professional has the skill of implementing judgment accurately and timely. The care assistant can communicate with tact but persuasiveness to help patients understand the need for treatment or certain care needs. She develops clinical skills with competency. This includes taking and recording vital signs, helping the patient become ambulatory and measure proper doses of medication.

Salary

According to Reed.co.uk, care assistants working throughout Australia who are just starting out earn 10,000 euro---equal to £7,954 annually. More experienced care assistants earn about 13,000 euro---equal to about £10,340--- to 16,000 euro---equal to about £12,726.

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