Written by Dawn Sheldon, MSN, RN and Qualified Professional
Your friend or a family member has recently been approved for Personal Care Assistant (PCA) services and needs a caregiver. They’ve approached you about being that person. Would you be their PCA? How does one become a PCA?
This is a good question that has an easy answer!
Overview of Requirements
Each state has its own PCA programs with their own requirements. For simplicity’s sake, we will discuss Minnesota’s requirements to become a PCA.
While there are many different programs, today’s blog will just cover the requirements to become a PCA in Minnesota. Information on requirements for other in-state services can be found on Minnesota’s Department of Human Services website.
To become qualified to work as a PCA in Minnesota, you must be at least 16 years old and have PCA certification. You then need to become an employee of a PCA agency.
The Department of Human Services oversees the PCA program in Minnesota and therefore supervises the training of the PCAs. The training required to become a PCA is accessible online and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.
If accessing the internet or a computer pose a problem, visit your local library to use a computer to complete your training, or borrow a friend or family member’s computer.
The required training for PCA in Minnesota can be found here. Once you have completed the training,
you can move on to the next step - taking the test.
Completing an exam is the final requirement to get your PCA certification in Minnesota. The exam can be found on here. Make sure to take your time to complete the test; it is not a race.
Some tips for completing the exam:
- Complete the whole training module
- Allow yourself time to take the exam
- Take the exam in a quiet area
- Request no distractions or interruptions from those around you
Get Hired as a PCA
You’ve passed the exam! You now have PCA certification. This is excellent news, but the process is not complete. You still need a job. That is the reason you’ve done this, right? You want to make money
while doing something you love - helping others.
Connect with someone who is looking for a PCA. If you know someone who needs help, reach out to
them and let them know you’re ready to start. Best Care would be happy to connect you with someone
if you need assistance.
You can also apply directly to an agency to work as a PCA. However, if you have someone you know you
are going to work with, make sure you apply to the agency the person is already with or would like to
Simply applying to an agency does not guarantee that you can work as a PCA. There are a couple of
crucial steps to complete before you get the all-clear and can start working.
PCA Background Check
The agency you choose, like Best Care, will require you to fill out an application and other forms. You will also complete a background check and fingerprinting to ensure you are eligible to work as a PCA. If all that clears, you will be able to start providing services. If your background check does not clear, you will not be allowed to work as a PCA.
Start Working as a PCA
After all of the above steps have been completed and the background check is clear, you will be notified by the agency that you can start working as a PCA.
Best Care is available to assist anyone through this process. Give us a call! Anyone who answers the phone will be able to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Welcome to the world of caregiving. We are so glad to have you and know you will be so happy with your choice to join Best Care in helping others live independently.