To become a personal care aide, obtain a high school diploma, and then seek out any specific training or certification obtained by the state. Some states do not require personal care aides to have any sort of formal education.
In states that require formal education for personal care aides, elder care programs, home health care agencies, vocational schools or community colleges may offer training programs. These states may also require competency evaluations prior to the personal care aide working with patients. The state or the direct employer may also require background checks for personal care aides.
In some locations, the direct employer, other personal care aides or registered nurses train personal care aides. Training may include assisting clients in meal preparation or dealing with patients with cognitive impairments. Employers usually also require aides to seek out CPR and first aid training prior to beginning employment.
In addition to a basic education and any required training, personal care aides must be detail-oriented and able to follow specific protocols and rules when caring for patients. Aides must have good interpersonal skills to deal with patients in mental stress or pain, and they must enjoy helping others. Personal care aides must also be able to manage time effectively.