Personal Care Assistant

Degree offered

Certificate of Recognition in Personal Care Assistant (PCA)

Credits required 6

Dean

Patricia Dent 

Program Contact

TBA 

Program Code: PA

Program Goal Statement

This credit program provides the student with theory, skills, and ethical guide lines to begin a career as a personal care assistant (PCA).  Students learn about the type of assistance that a PCA provides.  Topics include: PCA employer employee contractual relationship and safety; infection control; communication skills; activities of daily living, how to provide physical assistance, the safe use of adaptive equipment, how to provide healthy skin care and comfort measures, while ensuring the privacy and dignity of the client.  These competencies will be mastered in the laboratory setting.  A brief overview of body systems will provide the knowledge needed for supportive care. 

Program Information

  • This program provides the entry level skills needed for the personal care assistant and provides a career pathway to the certified nursing assistant (CNA) certificate.
  • Students who successfully complete this certificate will be eligible for advanced standing in the CNA certificate. 

Program Requirements

Program Courses

HLT 111Personal Care Assistant (PCA)

5 credits

Total Credit Hours:5

Recommended Course Sequence - Semester 1

HLT 111

 Essential Functions 

  • The Personal Care Assistant Certificate program essential functions include certain cognitive, physical and behavioral abilities which are necessary to perform the duties of a personal care assistant.  In order to meet the course requirements, students must possess the following basic abilities.
  • Cognitive ability sufficient to learn and use the body of knowledge necessary to meet the program curriculum requirements and attain career entry status in the profession.
  • Physical ability, sufficient mobility, and motor coordination to safely perform all activities associated with the requirements of a personal care assistant.
  • Visual acuity sufficient to read all appropriate employer related instructions and varied tasks.
  • Hearing ability sufficient to respond to messages and requests from employer, physicians, staff and to respond to equipment signals.
  • Communication skills sufficient to allow for communication with employer.
  • Emotional stability sufficient to interact professionally with employer, respect confidentiality, use reasonable judgment and accept responsibility for their actions.

Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or a state-approved high school equivalency credential required. 

Requirements Upon Admission

  • Accepted applicants must have a physical examination, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, and varicella (chicken pox) immunizations, or titre (blood tests to prove immunity).  A TB test is required.  Health insurance and professional liability insurance are required.  Additional laboratory tests, including drug screening and CORI/SORI checks are required by clinical agencies.
  • Upon admission to the program, all students must undergo a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check and a Sex Offender Registry Information (SORI) check.  These checks are required due to potential unsupervised contact with children, the disabled, or the elderly during a clinical experience.  Students found to have certain criminal convictions or pending criminal actions will be presumed ineligible for clinical placement.  The College is authorized by the Commonwealth's Department of Criminal Justice to access CORI records.  Sex Offender checks shall be performed pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 6, Sections 178C-178P.

  • For more information regarding the College's CORI/SORI check process, please contact the Human Resource Department at (508) 678-2811, ext. 2194.

  • Students must have current CPR Certification from the American Heart Association (Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers).

Grade Requirements

  • A "C" or better is required in HLT 111.

Additional Costs

  • Students accepted into the program are responsible for associated costs such as liability insurance and practicum costs including travel.  Transportation to the practicum sites is the students responsibility.  Students should be prepared to travel an hour or more from campus.

After BCC

  • Graduates may continue to become a certified nursing assistant. 
Link to the main site.