Patient Care Assistance and Nursing Services
What is Patient Care Assistance?
Patient care assistants help provide care, support, and services to patients in a hospital or health care environment. Patient care assistants constantly work under the direction and supervision of nurses and patient support service managers as part of a team. They provide ancillary support to nursing, medical and allied health staff, ensuring patients’ health needs are met. This position involves interacting with patients face-to-face and helping them with their daily tasks.
Duties of Patient Care Assistants
The general role of a patient care assistant is to help support other individuals with things that they may not be able to do by themselves and get them the best quality of life possible. Patient care assistants help patients in hospitals, medical offices, and home care facilities. The kind of assistance required depends on the patient’s requirement. This includes a wide range of services as listed below.
- Patient care assistants assist nurses with patient repositioning and handling.
- They undertake restocking duties.
- They collect and deliver urgent medication, supply items, specimens, and x-ray reports as the nurses or medical health staff require.
- They provide emotional support, guidance, and quality care to the patients.
- They monitor a patient’s physical and behavioral changes and report any unusual situations to the necessary health care professional.
- They maintain a clean environment for better hygiene and faster recovery of the patients.
- They ensure timely administering of medication.
- They assist patients in physical therapy exercises.
- They regularly monitor the patient’s blood pressure, heart, and pulse rate and update the medical care team.
- They monitor the patients’ food and liquid intake and assist in feeding the patient.
- They escort patients through wheelchairs to hospitals and other medical facilities to attend treatments, appointments, or further diagnosis.
- They assess a patient’s health improvements and update medical records accordingly.
Skills Required for Patient Care Assistants
A well-trained assistant should demonstrate the following skills.
- Caring is the essence of nursing. Patient care assistants should naturally have a desire to care, serve and help people. They need to anticipate the patient’s requirements and plan accordingly. This means they must be good at listening to what a patient says and need to recognize the behaviors and identify the needs of the patients.
- They should be well organized and should be able to prioritize handling the range of assigned duties skillfully.
- They need to be physically fit and strong to be able to lift heavy objects.
- Another essential skill is being able to help patients handle the basic tasks of day-to-day life. A good assistant knows how to perform or help with tasks to make the patient feel safe, supported, and capable.
- Cleanliness is very crucial in health care services. Nurses get exposed to various illnesses, and there is a substantial risk of cross-infection, particularly when patients are ill. Patient care assistants clean the patient, clinical equipment, discharge, transfer patients from their beds, and accommodate patient repositioning.
- Patient care assistants need to be aware of the patient’s medical condition and requirements. They should be able to recognize and report abnormalities and changes in a patient’s health status to family members and the necessary doctors or caretakers. This means they need exceptional attention to detail to notice subtle differences with their patients from day to day.
- Another important quality required for a patient care assistant is good people skills. This field demands dealing with people all day long, including patients, nurses, doctors, families of the patient, and other medical experts. The assistant needs to keep a calm and clear head, even if the patient is irritable or stressed. Not everyone will be in their best mood in cases of medical emergencies.
The range of duties a patient care assistant has, are extensive, and they must be capable of following instructions and working as part of a team. Patient care assistants require great stamina to be able to keep up with the demands of their jobs.’
The Benefits of Patient Care Assistance:
- Patient safety
- Patients receive the treatment they require
- Patients are treated with respect and dignity
- Patients have improved healthcare outcomes
- Patient satisfaction is improved
- Patients receive customized treatment
- Helps in early detection of health conditions
Where Do Patient Care Assistants Work?
Patient care assistants can work at any place where nurses and doctors need assistance. They may work in:
- Nursing homes
- Ambulatory health care services
- Home healthcare services
- Residential care facilities
By providing vital support to patients and medical staff, Patient Care Assistants streamline the process of medical care and boost the patient’s overall comfort and convenience.
Understanding the Difference Between Patient Care Assistance and Nursing Service
A Patient care assistant is different from a nurse in various ways. Though both their jobs deal with caring for patients that require a certain level of individual care, their day-to-day jobs differ. When comparing nursing service and patient care assistance, the scope of work varies in both cases. Nurses have more autonomy to do their jobs than patient care assistants, who are assistants to nurses and other medical care providers. Patient care assistants have a more limited scope and work under supervision, but they ease the workload of other caregivers, allowing for better overall patient care. Patient care assistants usually spend their time tending to the patients’ basic needs under their care. On the other hand, a nurse is far more involved in the medical care of the patient and has more direct responsibility towards the patient. While they may seem similar, nurses and patient care assistants work in different environments, have different educational qualifications, and earn different salaries.
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