How to Become a Personal Care Coordinator
Research the requirements to become a personal care coordinator. Learn about the job description and duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career as a personal care coordinator.
Do I Want to Be a Personal Care Coordinator?
Personal care coordinators, also known as home health aide or personal care supervisors, oversee aides in the care of home patients. They are responsible for coordinating in-home services and training staff. These coordinators may also help ensure that clients' emotional, physical and transportation needs are met. A personal care coordinator may also assist other health care professionals at various hospitals in order to develop an efficient health care plan for patients. Travel to various work sites is typically required.
Although not always required, a certificate or associate's degree in nursing or home health care can be beneficial, along with related work experience. State licensing or certification may be required, and optional certifications are also available.
The skills and other requirements to work as a personal care coordinator are included in the below chart:
|Degree Level||High school diploma*; formal training may be required for some positions**|
|Degree Field||Related field, such as nursing or home health care*|
|Experience||Varies; at least one year of related experience may be required* and on-the job training is usually provided**|
|Certification||State certification may be required for some positions**; voluntary professional certification is available***|
|Key Skills||Time-management and interpersonal skills, as well as attention to detail and physical stamina**; verbal communication, written communication and leadership skills*|
|Technical Skills||Ability to use related tools, such as blood pressure cuffs, shower chairs and wheelchairs****|
Sources: *Job listings from employers (December 2012), **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ***National Association for Home Care and Hospice, ****O*Net Online
Step 1: Obtain Relevant Training
Most personal care coordinators complete on-the-job training, but postsecondary training, such as a certificate or an associate's degree program, can be beneficial. Related programs, like the Associate of Science in Nursing, Associate of Applied Science in Home Health Care or direct support professional certificate, are available. Within these programs, prospective coordinators can learn basic personal care skills, such as bathing and nutrition. Students can also study topics related to computers and nursing. This type of knowledge may prove beneficial when performing the job duties normally required of a personal care coordinator.
- Research state certification requirements. In some states, agencies or facilities that are licensed by the state require personal care workers to become certified. If this is required, individuals may need to complete formal training and pass a competency exam.
Step 2: Gain Work Experience
Employers, such as those at medical facilities or home health care agencies, may look for prospective coordinators who have some experience in the field. On-the-job training in an aide position can help individuals develop the necessary skills, including how to communicate with clients or monitor vital signs. Individuals can also gain experience by working with nursing staff and supervisors. Typical duties may include carrying out personal care goals, as well as coordinating with other staff.
- Consider obtaining professional credentials. Organizations like the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) offer professional certification. The Certified Home/Hospice Care Executive (CHHE) credential, which is offered by the NAHC, requires a degree and experience.
Step 3: Find Work as a Personal Care Coordinator
Personal care coordinators can look for further work at medical facilities or find a position within a health care service provider. They may also choose to complete additional formal education to become a nurse or related medical professional. Additionally, personal care coordinators may choose to become self-employed and open their own home health agency. In addition to overseeing personal care, coordinators also perform administrative functions, such as scheduling appointments for caregivers to provide clients with care and keeping records of types and amounts of care provided.
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