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Embed code for: Direct Care Staff
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Direct Care Staff -
Direct-care workers provide basic care to their mentally disabled, physically impaired or elderly clients. Most work in group homes, assisted-living facilities, nursing homes or hospitals. Direct-care aides might work an entire shift with a single patient, or they might work with several patients at once. Some work rotating shifts while others work the same shift every week.
Education and Training
Direct-care workers tend to have a high school diploma or equivalent. In most states, aides must complete an educational course and pass a certification examination before they can work independently. Instruction covers areas including safety, basic first aid, working with clients with dementia, recreational activities, infection control and caring for people with mobility needs. Once hired, nurses, senior aids or supervisors provide on-the-job training in areas such as delegation and much more.
Those choosing a profession in direct care must be detail-oriented, following rules and institutional procedures to ensure safety and quality. They must like working with people; a positive attitude and friendly manner can encourage and calm a client who is in pain, confused or anxious. They must be sensitive to people’s emotions, respectfully maintaining their client’s dignity and privacy. Because the job is physically demanding, they must be physically healthy, able to turn and lift disabled clients and heavy equipment. There are many tasks involved in the average day of a direct-care worker, so good time-management skills are an asset.
Direct-care workers assist their clients with eating, toileting, light housekeeping and dispensing medications. They help clients achieve the activities of daily living, such as maintaining good hygiene and dressing themselves, or assist with more complicated instrumental activities of daily living, such as shopping, cooking and doing laundry. They might assist their clients in securing and managing their health care, obtaining and using transportation, managing their finances, and securing doctor’s appointments. Some clients need help writing letters to their loved-ones, while others need to be provided with recreational and social opportunities.