I received basic training as a health care assistant in England and worked in Nursing homes, assisted community living as well as apartment complexes for seniors to name a few. I have also done one on one care for individuals with disabilities, elderly patients with dementia, individuals with personality disorders and a variety of other mental illnesses including those with florid psychotic states such as acute schizophrenics.
My basic training included initial and annual refresher programs on topics such as care for the elderly and the prevention of elder abuse, advanced life support, food preparation, health and hygiene. The training also included management of fire and the prevention of fire hazards. The training focused on identifying and reporting elder abuse which could be physical, emotional, sexual or financial.
The care of patients consisted of assisting them with their activities of daily living such as assisting them with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and assisting with their personal hygiene. This included incontinence care and the management of colostomies. Personal hygiene management included paying attention to nails, helping with brushing their teeth and other aspects of oral hygiene, washing and grooming of their hair. This also included helping them take their medications, assist with using the telephone, shopping, preparing food, cleaning their apartments doing laundry, getting from place to place and managing their money.
Lifting and handling consisted of a big part of the day to day care of some patients with mobility problems and this was done with the help of stand aids or lifting aids or without the support of aids using various techniques depending on the given situation.
I also received training in crisis management of patients presenting in secure psychiatric units with acute mental conditions before they were stabilized.
I also had assignments on closely observing individuals who were at risk of self harm or suicide as a way of preventing those incidents in individuals considered at high risk such as those with major depression.