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How Do I Get the Best Personal Care Training?

Nicole Etolen
Nicole Etolen

A personal care attendant typically works in clients' homes or assisted-living facilities, helping with daily living activities such as bathing, cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping. The best personal care training depends on the type of agency you plan to work with. Some agencies allow on-the-job training while others require you to obtain a license before starting your employment.

Agencies that work with certain insurance companies may require you to earn licensing before sending you to a client’s home. Personal care training classes are often available through community colleges and vocational schools. The agency may also hold its own training classes. You will need a certain number of training hours — typically at least 75 — before taking the test to obtain your license. During personal care training, you will learn all the basics of caring for a client, including proper bathing techniques, good personal hygiene habits, and ethical considerations.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Choosing the best personal care training for licensure depends on the availability of classes in your area. If you have several options from which to choose, consider the costs involved in each one as well as the reputation of the training facility. Ask former students from each style of program about the pros and cons of the class. Talk to personal care agencies in your area and ask their opinion regarding which facility offers the best training. If possible, try to find a training program that offers job placement services for those who complete the program.

Getting the best on-the-job personal care training can be a little bit more challenging than attending an actual class, because you will most likely be training under a nurse or experienced personal care attendant rather than an instructor. Those who have been working on the job for many years have their own ways of doing things. While their ways may efficiently accomplish the task, it is usually best to learn the standard method of techniques, especially if you plan to test for your license in the future. If you do not understand your trainer’s instructions, ask for clarification. You may be responsible for recording vital signs and other important tasks that allow very little room for error, so it is imperative that you understand what is expected of you.

Once you have your basic training completed and have spent some time working, you may want to look into advanced personal care training classes. The majority of these classes are voluntary and not required by your job field, but they can open up additional career opportunities. Some programs, such as hospice care programs, will provide you with a certificate upon completion. Your employer may be willing to cover some of the cost of obtaining additional training.

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