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There is no question about it – being a personal care assistant (PCA) can be a challenging job with a lot of responsibility as well as long and often unsociable working hours. However, it is a career that many choose and there is a reason why.
It is incredibly rewarding.
There are not many careers available where you can make a real difference each and every time that you go to work. As a PCA you can truly have a positive impact on the quality of life for the individuals you care for. Whilst job descriptions may revolve around the completion of tasks the client is unable to do alone like cooking or cleaning, many PCA’s will tell you this is only a small part of the job. The big part is the companionship and care you provide.
The time you spend each day with your clients may be the only contact that they have with another person and that interaction, that conversation, that smile will stay with them and help them. As a PCA you may be your clients only connection to the outside world, their chance to converse and their chance to regale stories of their lives. And certainly, whilst the job demands attention to the medical and physical needs of your client this companionship is where you will see the rewards. Small conversations can make a big difference.
It is also a career in which you may be able to watch your clients flourish and grow. You may be lucky enough to see small changes in their abilities which you know will have taken a huge amount of effort to achieve. The simplest tasks like answering the front door to you or making a cup of tea on their own can become the biggest and most significant step. Indeed, Margret, a PCA for two women with Down’s Syndrome, spoke to us about how giving her clients choices to help them lead a normal life and seeing them smile were the two most rewarding parts of her job.
Did you know it takes on average 12 muscles for a person to smile? As a PCA seeing those 12 muscles moving and working together to make a smile on your client’s face will be among the most rewarding moments of your job.