As the effects of the global pandemic continue to impact staffing shortages across the country, Florida has taken action to relieve some stress for nursing homes struggling to fill shifts. Unlike restaurants or grocery stores who can shut down or limit operations due to the lack of employees, nursing homes are faced with the difficult task of remaining open with limited certified staff.
With the signing of Florida House Bill 485, nursing homes can now add a worker known as a “personal care attendant” to count towards the staffing requirement for nursing assistants. With the possibility of additional states following the bill, personal care attendants (PCA’s) or non-certified caregivers now have more opportunities for employment. The following question is, if care attendants can now count towards the staffing requirement of a CNA, what exactly is the difference? Below are a few key differences to note and reasons as to why it may be worth the consideration to get certified.
The primary difference between the two roles exists in the permission of care. While CNA’s are authorized to give medical care, PCA’s are not. This means that CNA’s are able to perform more tasks as it relates to their certified training. Such tasks include setting up medical equipment, assisting in medical procedures, or taking vital signs. CNA’s must undergo training, which is often 75 hours or more depending on your state, whereas PCA’s often only need on-the-job training. PCA’s perform care tasks that are still very needed, but less specialized.
Though both of these roles are essential to senior care providers, additional certification often makes a candidate more attractive to the employer. Thankfully, the tightening recruitment market has shined a spotlight on the value non-certified caregivers bring to care teams and creates more opportunities for employment.
Experienced nursing assistants are highly valued in the healthcare industry. If you are interested in becoming a CNA, or want to learn more about a day in the life of a CNA, more companies are hiring caregivers with no experience to start. (Search for jobs here) If you would like to get a free caregiver certification, you can do that here. If a career as a CNA and helping others interests you, this is a great precursor to becoming an expert in your field!