A care assistant today delivers very direct care to the client. As the trained nurse's role changes to become more administrative, a lot of nursing care is shifted to the care assistant. Also the care assistant now receives more training and has more responsibility and accountability. The patient often feels more comfortable in the presence of the care assistant, and may turn to him for support. The care assistant is often an advocate for the patient.
Delivering Personal Care
Care assistants work in a variety of settings: the client's home, hospital, residential care homes. The care assistant will carry out personal care, including helping clients bathe or go to the toilet, and with other personal hygiene needs. The care assistant must carry out these duties in a way that maximises the client's dignity and independence, while minimising any dangers. The care assistant need to have a good understanding of health and safety legislation and practice.
Other Physical Needs
The care assistant may have to help the client to eat and drink. She should ensure that the client dictates the pace and that she does not rush him. She should sit at the same level as the client and make sure that his clothing is protected, and that he is helped to wash afterwards. The care assistant might be required to fill in nutrition and fluid charts, to monitor the client's input. The care assistant often has to help the client to move, and he should attend appropriate training courses to learn how to do this safely, according to legislation and regulations
The care assistant has a duty to ensure that clients' emotional and psychological needs are addressed. He needs to have good communication skills, and to listen actively to the client. The care assistant will have to complete records correctly and to have a good understanding of confidentiality requirements. The care assistant needs a strong awareness of health and safety issues, and maintain infection-control practice at all times. The care assistant will have to communicate in an appropriate and confident way with relatives and other care workers.
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