Learning about Personal Care in the Health Care Assistant Program

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The time has finally come, we get to start becoming hands on! In HCA170( Personal Care Course ) we are learning all our practical skills and getting to put all the theory we have learned to the test. This module is designed to teach us the skills we will need to know for when we go out on our practicum. We are attending most of our classes in the lab and really getting hands on. We are learning things like how to properly wash our hands, it is something so little and something that we do every day but you’d be surprised what is left on your hands when you don’t do it properly.

We are also learning different safety precautions for clients that may have certain kinds of diseases. We’re not just learning proper hygiene and safety precautions we are learning all the different things we will be doing on a daily basis, things like having to give a partial bed bath and perricare, how to perform proper mouth care and grooming techniques and we also got to feed each other to see just how it feels being fed and to learn how to feed someone without taking away their dignity or independence. We’ve also gone through how to help dress a person with various kinds of disabilities and change their bedding, even while they are in bed.

One thing I like that we are getting to learn is proper body mechanics which I think is very important. Health Care Assistants need to be so careful and aware of the way they work , it is quite a physically demanding job and you need to use proper body mechanics to prevent yourself from getting injured at work , an HCA is at risk for hurting themselves- most especially their backs due to improper lifting / transferring of clients. A bad back injury can end your career if it is severe enough. In the coming weeks we will be learning even more practical skills – we are learning how to do everything to take the best care of our resident as possible. Things like how to properly transfer them from bed to their walker or wheelchair, how to properly assist your client to the washroom/ help them in the washroom.

As an HCA your main goal is to help your client be as independent as possible, you want to always remember that they are people as well, they still have emotions, and want to be able to control and make choices about their life as much as they can. Remember to always put yourself in your residents shoes, how would you want to be taken care of? We are also learning how to take vital signs and there is a certificate we get during the module for Medication Management. One thing I find great about Stenberg is that there are so many different course/certificates that you get throughout school that just helps add to your resume and helps make it that much easier to get a job.

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