How did you become a Personal Care Assistant?
I was looking for jobs in the health care industry because I’m interested in that field.
What does your job entail?
There are a lot of things, actually. With the little boys I work with now, I help them become more independent and learn how to do things on their own. I help them with chores, trying to keep their attention spans—they don’t have long attention spans, so we try to focus on one thing at a time. Since they’re young we work with writing, spelling, tying shoes, reading, using proper toilet, shower, and hygiene methods.
With one of them, I work with using words, correct pronunciation and speaking instead of just pointing at words. With the other one who doesn’t do any activities, I just try to get him engaged and active in life—to do more things instead of just sitting in his room and rocking. We work on proper eating, because he will burrow or throw his food. I keep him from eating grass, sticks, things like that. I try to keep him from fighting, hitting, and learning right from wrong.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part with one is actually getting him to engage in activities. With one being bipolar, the hardest job is to not react when he hits you or comes after you. It’s hard not to react back because you can’t show any kind of reaction when they hit you. Also, I don’t know this from experience yet, but once they get older and you’re attached but you have to let go of them, it’s like losing someone out of your life in a way. I feel sad—it makes me feel glad because I help, but it also makes me hurt—because one can’t say a single word at all. It’s hard to know what’s going on in his head.
What is the most rewarding part of this job?
Knowing that, from being with them all this time, that they’re progressing and seeing that I’m making a difference in their lives. One boy knows how to tie his shoes now after another girl and I’ve worked with him—that will be with him for the rest of his life and he will always use what I’ve taught him. Another thing is building relationships with them and getting to know them. I enjoy that.
*Names have been changed to ensure privacy.