What would our clients do without the PCA?
PCAs give so much of themselves each and every day. PCAs play a huge role in a client’s life. Many times PCAs can be exhausted, frustrated, and overwhelmed, but that doesn't stop them from caring for their clients. They trudge forward and do tasks that make their client’s lives better. PCAs are the eyes and ears on the client and perform a very important role in helping the client stay at home rather than going to a nursing home.
Part 1: Overview & Safety / Universal Precautions
(Optional) Download text & links for all 7 parts. Click the Word icon on the left.
Step 1. Watch each of the following videos.
Step 2. Who is your supervisor? What is their role?
Your PCA supervisor is the Program Manager assigned to your client. This Program Manager informs you about HIPAA, your Client’s care plan including client needs such as bathing, dressing, toileting, meal preparation, housekeeping, etc.
The Program Manager ensures you are aware of any health care conditions that require attention. They will provide you with the information about your client's care manager, including the care manager’s name and phone number.
The Program Manager will also make sure the PCA is aware of relatives, friends, or others serving as backup caregivers. They know the client’s emergency contact person. They keep track and document the client's doctor’s name, number in case of emergency as well as any special needs such as dentures, hearing aid, the name of the pharmacy, and phone number.
Your Program Manager is in charge of after-hours emergency procedures. They will be your first contact in the event of an emergency, and if you need to call out sick before and during shift. They will provide you instructions on what to do if another caregiver does not show up for their shift, contact the agency, and ensure coverage. They will also provide you with information on the policies for transporting clients.
They are your information guide and will help you provide the best care for your clients as mandated by the state of Connecticut
Step 3. Universal Precaution/Standard Precautions:
1. UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS
Follow safety techniques and good hygiene habits to stop the spread of germs
and infections. To prevent the spread of infection and disease:
Do not touch a person’s body fluids.
Maintain a safe and clean work environment.
Put waste in the right place.
Use standard precautions and protective equipment to prevent spreading
blood-borne pathogens (Germs spread from blood are called blood-borne
Wash hands frequently and correctly.
Wear gloves, apron or mask as needed.
2. Hand Washing
Frequent hand washing is an easy way to avoid getting sick and spreading
illness. Know when to wash your hands and how to wash the person. While you
can never keep your hands germ-free, you can limit the transfer of bacteria,
viruses, and other germs.
Wash your hands before:
Providing personal care
Wash your hands after:
Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands
Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
Contact with any bodily fluid (changing incontinent pads, using the
Direct contact with the person for personal care
Handling garbage or contaminated clothing
Removing gloves and other personal protective equipment
Use alcohol-based hand rubs if hand washing is not possible. Be aware that
hand rubs are not effective against all germs so wash hands with soap and
water as soon as possible.
3. Protective Equipment
The agency should provide all necessary protective equipment.
Use protective equipment when you are in a setting that may expose you to
blood-borne pathogens. Protective equipment includes:
Containers for “sharps” are items such as needles and razor blades. If there are no sharps containers in the home, find a safe place to discard them where there is no risk of needle sticks. The agency should tell you what to do and whom to contact if you are stuck by a needle.
Double-bags for waste. May use plastic laundry bags. Tape bags shut.
4. Bloodborne Pathogens
A pathogen is something that causes disease. Bloodborne pathogens are
infectious diseases carried in the bloodstream. Bloodborne pathogen infection
may be caused by being stuck with a used needle or if bodily fluids touch a
sore, broken skin, or mucous membranes like the eyes, nose, or mouth. The
most common bloodborne pathogens are hepatitis and HIV. If you believe you
have been exposed, contact your supervisor immediately.
Appropriate use of gloves
Use gloves if you are likely to touch contaminated items. Some situations
include when you:
Change bandages or dressings
Clean areas where body fluids have spilled
Touch urine or stool
Touch dirty items used in personal care
Tissues with mucus, saliva
Application and Removal of Gloves
Apply clean gloves, do not reuse gloves. If gloves are not available in
the home, contact your agency immediately.
To remove gloves after caring for the client:
With the right hand, grab the opening of the glove on the left hand and pull the glove over fist, removing the glove inside out. Discard glove.
With left ungloved hand, grab the glove on right hand near the opening and pull the glove over fist, removing the glove inside out. Discard glove.
Always throw gloves away in a plastic garbage bag. An ungloved hand should never touch the outside of the contaminated glove.
Wash your hands