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Caregiving 101: Understanding the titles and roles of paid care providers

 

Whether you are communicating with home care staff or long term care facility staff, it can be confusing to know who is who and what exactly they are allowed to do.  Maybe you need to hire someone to come in to your home and help, but you don’t have any idea what you really need.  You find a listing of all the home care providers in your areas, but you still don’t even know the questions to ask.

 


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This article is written to shed some light on the difference in care providers and the care they can provide.

Types of care providers (not the agency – but the person providing the care)
R.N. – Registered nurse

Role
Health care professional responsible for assessment and evaluation of the health condition of a patient as well as the planning and implementation of a treatment plan.  May work in a home or clinical setting.

Training and Education

~Three to four year program at an accredited nursing college including clinical practice and State Board of nursing licensure.  Varying levels including diploma, Associate degree or Bachelors Degree can qualify as an R.N.
~ Has successfully taken a State Board of nursing test to be licensed
~ Must maintain set hours in the field annually to maintain licensure
~ Must complete annual continuing education hours to maintain licensure

Supervision
Under the supervision of a physician

Tasks they can perform
 

~ Medication administration

 

~ Medication set up

  ~ Injections

  

~ IV
  ~ Wound care

 

~ Tube feedings

  

~ Foot care
  ~ Use of lift devices

 

Other titles that might be used
Nurse

 

L.P.N. – Licensed Practical Nurse

Role
Health care professional responsible for evaluation of a patient’s health condition as well as implementation of a treatment plan.  May work in a home or clinical setting.

Training
~ In addition to high school diploma or GED, must take one year State approved practical nurse training program
~ Has successfully taken a State Board of nursing test to be licensed
~ Must maintain set hours in the field annually to maintain licensure
~ Must complete annual continuing education hours to maintain licensure

Supervision
Supervised by a Registered Nurse or physician

 

Tasks they can perform

~ Personal care

~ Medication administration

~ Transfers

~ Use of lift devices

~ Nursing tasks with some limitations or oversight

 

Other titles that might be used
Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs)

 

C.N.A. – a Certified nurse Aide

Role
Hands-on care provider in a home or clinical setting.

Training
~ Minimum of 75 hours of combined training in classroom and clinical settings
~ Has successfully taken a State Board of nursing test to be certified
~ Must maintain set hours in the field annually to maintain certification
~ Must do continuing education hours to maintain certification

Supervision
Supervised by a nurse

Tasks they can perform

~ Personal care

~ Medication reminding

~ Transfers

~ Use of lift devices

Other titles that might be used
Certified Nurse Assistant
Aide
Orderly
Nurses Aide
Nurses Assistant

 

PCP – Personal Care Provider

Role
Hands on care provider in home, assisted living or adult day setting.  Considered to provide "unskilled" care meaning no formal education is required.  The majority of care that is needed by seniors is at this level.

Training
~ Typically trained or competency tested by hiring agency
~ Equivalent of 20 hours training in most states

Supervision
By hiring agency

Tasks they can perform
~ Personal care with some limitations
~Medication reminding with some limitations
~Housekeeping

Other titles that may be used
~ Personal care assistant
~ Care Assistant
~ Orderly

 

Homemaker

Role
Provides primarily home cleaning tasks rather than personal care tasks

Training
~ Typically trained or tested by hiring agency
~ Equivalent of 20 hours training in most states

Supervision
By hiring agency

 

Tasks they can perform

~ Light housekeeping
~ Companionship
~ Errands
~ Meal preparation
~

Accompany to physician appointments or social engagements

 

Other names you might hear them called
Companion
Friendly Visitor

 

* This role is typically different than a housekeeper who has little or no interaction with the client and typically provides all cleaning equipment and supplies.  A homemaker may provide many of the same tasks using the client’s equipment and supplies.

 

 

 

Comments

  • Anonymous 3 years ago

    I would like to know the limitations for tasks that PCP's can do? What personal care can't they do? And what on medication reminders are their limitations?

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