Working as a PA
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Personal Assistants (commonly known as ‘PAs’) are employed directly by people who need care and support to enable them to live their life independently in the way they choose.
Each role is unique and Personal Assistants carry out a wide range of tasks based on the individual needs of their employer, providing flexible support with things like personal care, healthcare, domestic tasks, employment and social activities.
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Working as a Personal Assistant
The overall aim of PA work is to support someone to exercise choice and control and lead a full, active and independent life.
Rather than being employed by an agency or other care provider, Personal Assistants are employed directly by the person they provide care and support to (these employers are sometimes known as ‘individual employers’ or ‘Direct Payment employers’).
The work is very flexible and most roles are part-time across different days and times.
Many Personal Assistants work for more than one employer. Although each role is different, PA job descriptions commonly include some or all of the following tasks:
Assistance with personal care such as bathing and toileting, taking food, refreshment and medication, mobility and assisting with overall comfort and wellbeing.
Changing dressings, catheter management, administering medication and monitoring and recording temperature, pulse and respiration.
Meal preparation, cooking, cleaning, bed making, laundry, ironing and shopping.
Social and leisure activities
Assistance with activities such as meeting friends, attending appointments and going on holiday.
Accessing work and education
Transport to and from work or education, administrative support and communication support.
Key skills for Personal Assistants
There are not usually any specific qualifications required for PA work although it is very important that PAs have good listening skills, are willing to learn and can respond flexibly to their employer’s needs.
In particular employers look for people with the following skills and
- Flexibility and adaptability – being prepared to support the employer in the way they want and adapting to their needs and circumstances as they change. This is often called person centred support.
- Respect for boundaries and mutual trust – understanding and respecting professional and personal boundaries.
- Motivation and attention to detail – displaying a positive, friendly attitude and following training and guidance.
- Commitment to maintaining privacy and confidentiality – the ability to keep things private and respect rules about privacy.
- Open minded and non-judgemental outlook –
respecting individual lifestyles and choices and championing equality and
Finding a job
If you are interested in becoming a PA you can sign up and create a profile on our PA Pages, our online database of PAs. Alternatively you can search for current vacancies on our Vacancies & Opportunities page and use the contact details included in the advert.
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