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Join Us Each Thursday Morning in June!
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assisted living jobs

Can and Can’t Dos: Scope of Practice for CNAs, HHAs, and PCAs

In the heart of Reston, and across the nation, the need for compassionate caregivers in assisted living is expanding. 

Our aging population and increased need for personalized care have converged like never before to create robust job prospects for those with a heart for service. 

The Kensington Reston is responding to this call by seeking empathetic individuals for roles in assisted living that offer more than a paycheck: the chance to touch lives daily.

Our promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own.

What’s the difference between CNA, HHA, and PCA professions?

The roles of Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs), and Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) are distinct yet interconnected. 

CNAs provide basic nursing-related services, HHAs offer care in the client’s home, and PCAs assist with daily activities and personal care. 

Understanding these differences is essential for prospective caregivers in deciding where to best apply their skills and compassion.

Why your role matters in the healthcare world

Caregivers are the unsung heroes of healthcare, providing the frontline support that sustains patient care. 

At The Kensington Reston, we believe that the impact of CNAs, HHAs, and PCAs extends beyond tasks to the heart of patient wellness and dignity. 

Your role is crucial in ensuring a continuum of care that is not only competent but also comforting and life-affirming.

The educational path for assisted living jobs

Each and every caregiving role within a senior living community requires a specific educational pathway, reflecting the nature of care and the setting in which it is provided. 

Comparing CNA, HHA, and PCA training programs

  • CNA programs, often offered at community colleges and vocational schools, include clinical and theoretical components and require state certification upon completion. 
  • HHA training, regulated by federal and sometimes state laws, provides instruction on home care essentials and typically culminates in a competency evaluation. 
  • PCA training may be less formal, focusing on non-medical services and often requiring the completion of a series of classes or on-the-job training.

Investment in training

Investing time in training results in preparedness and ample employment opportunities. 

At The Kensington Reston, we recognize the value of well-rounded education and actively support our team in achieving and maintaining their certifications, understanding that the extent of training directly affects the quality of care provided to our residents.

Practice with purpose: the scope of caregiver work

While there is overlap in the compassionate care provided by CNAs, HHAs, and PCAs, each has a unique role. 

Shared responsibilities and unique contributions

CNAs might take vital signs or assist with mobility, HHAs may help with daily living activities such as bathing and dressing, and PCAs focus on comfort and companionship that bolsters resident morale. 

Together, these roles form a cohesive fabric of care that supports the health and happiness of our residents.

The art of communication in patient care

Effective communication is an art that ensures the success of a caregiving team. It requires clarity, empathy, and a responsive approach that respects the individual needs of residents. 

We stress the importance of these skills as a core part of our training programs and daily practice, ensuring that every team member can provide not just care but also connection and understanding.

Certifications: stepping stones to a successful career

The journey to certification begins with choosing the right program that aligns with your career goals. 

Requirements for certification for aspiring professionals

  • CNA: State-approved education programs, and passing a state-sanctioned competency exam are mandatory, as well as the minimum required amount of classroom and clinical hours. 
  • HHAs: Must meet the minimum amount of classroom and clinical hours required according to your state mandate. This amount can vary from 75 to 120+ combined hours.
  • PCA: Varied paths are available, sometimes without formal licensure. Certification is available through the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.  

Dual certifications as a competitive edge

The competitive healthcare environment of today means dual certifications can set you apart. It demonstrates versatility and a commitment to professional development—key attributes in the highly competitive assisted living sector. 

Possessing multiple certifications can open doors to a wider range of roles within The Kensington Reston, granting our employees the flexibility to cross-train and transition between specialties.

Career advancement at The Kensington Reston

Career advancement is not just a possibility at The Kensington Reston; it’s an expectation we have for our team. We pride ourselves on offering continued education, hands-on experience, and motivation to our dedicated team.  

Opportunities for growth and advancement

We offer a wide variety of advancement opportunities, from leadership roles in care coordination to positions in administrative and support services. 

Our community’s growth fuels a constant need for diverse skills and leadership qualities, all of which are nurtured within our ranks.

Continuing education: enhancing skills and knowledge

We believe that ongoing education is crucial to personal and professional growth. 

The Kensington Reston supports this belief by offering access to continuous learning opportunities, including workshops, seminars, and tuition reimbursement programs. 

These resources ensure our team remains at the forefront of industry standards and best practices, all while advancing their careers.

Making your mark in an assisted living career

To truly make your mark, it’s essential to evaluate your strengths and align them with your career objectives. 

Evaluating personal strengths and career goals

Whether you excel in direct patient care, possess leadership abilities, or have a knack for administrative work, understanding your unique talents will help position you for success in the diverse field of assisted living.

Training and roles: finding the right fit

The Kensington Reston encourages prospective caregivers to explore various roles within our community by considering how each position’s training and daily responsibilities match their interests.

If you’re unsure which role you’d work the best in, try volunteering for a hands-on look at the day-to-day of each position.  

By facilitating a better understanding of what each role entails, we help caregivers choose the training program that best fits their career aspirations.

Vision for the future: long-term career planning

We assist our team members in long-term career planning, offering counsel and resources to envision a clear path forward. 

This forward-thinking approach not only benefits our caregivers’ aspirations but also ensures the long-term sustainability and quality of care within our community.

Joining The Kensington Reston team

The Kensington Reston offers a host of opportunities for those passionate about senior care. 

With the growing demand for healthcare professionals, there has never been a better time to join an industry that promises both personal fulfillment and professional advancement.

Take your next step toward a fulfilling senior living career with us. 

At The Kensington Reston, you’ll find not just a job but a pathway to a rewarding future, making a difference in the lives of our residents every day.

Browse our current openings at The Kensington Reston. 

Together, let’s build a brighter future together, anchored in the principles of care, compassion, and continual learning.

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