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How Do I Become a Personal Care Assistant?

A personal care assistant (PCA) assists another person in their day-to-day activities, such as dressing, grooming, eating, bathing, toileting and mobility, as well as light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and other health-related tasks. This page details more about how PCA services are provided at Accra and how to become a PCA.

What is PCA Choice?

Accra only offers PCA services through the PCA Choice program. Under this program, clients independently recruit, hire and train the PCAs who provide their care. The PCA Choice option gives clients a greater level of responsibility in managing their care, while Accra assists in handling the employment and management-related functions of their PCA.

A PCA Choice agency bills the state for PCA services; provides qualified professional supervision; pays and withholds taxes for personal care assistants and qualified professionals; facilitates criminal background checks of caregivers; maintains written agreements; and assures that PCAs have completed all required training.

Who Qualifies for PCA Choice Services with Accra?

PCA Choice services are available to children and adults with disabilities, chronic diseases, behavioral diagnoses and mental illnesses who need assistance with personal care in their home or community. To receive PCA Choice services through Accra, individuals must be eligible for medical assistance, MN Care, a medical assistance waiver or the Alternative Care program.

Who Can Become a Personal Care Assistant?

To become a PCA, you need to go through the online credentialing procedure outlined at the bottom of this page. Additionally, you must be at least 16 years old and pass a criminal background examination. PCAs are sometimes spouses of individuals with disabilities or the parents or guardians of children with disabilities, chronic diagnoses or behavioral diagnoses who need assistance with personal care in their home.

What is it Like to Be a Personal Care Assistant?

PCAs have a chance to give back to the community in a deep and meaningful way. Older adults and people with disabilities often require these services to live independent, fulfilling lives. As a PCA, you are making a huge difference for somebody else.

PCAs typically help maintain the client’s personal hygiene, grooming and bathing and assist in other health-related tasks, depending on the individual’s needs. We won’t lie to you: the job can be difficult. But it’s also incredibly rewarding and fundamental to another person’s well-being.

How Much Do Personal Care Assistants Get Paid?

The state of Minnesota recently instituted a 5% reimbursement rate increase for PCA services. Accra passed the increase to PCA employees, giving them a $15.25 hourly pay rate. 

How Do I Become A Certified Personal Care Assistant?

To start going through the necessary steps to become a certified personal care assistant in Minnesota, you first need to go to this link. From there, you’ll go through the online training videos necessary for Personal Care Assistant (PCA) and Community First Services and Supports (CFSS) caregivers. Follow the steps in the video below to start on the path to certification.

From there, you can go through the necessary steps and procedures and be on your way to starting a career as a PCA.

Once I Am Certified, How Do I Find Clients to Serve?

Accra Personal Care Assistants can share that they are looking for a client or family to work with via the Accra Job Board. Clients use this job board to find caregivers who can help meet their individual needs. Later this year, the state of Minnesota is planning to implement a new self-directed service called Community First Services and Supports (CFSS), which will replace PCA Choice services and the Consumer Support Grant. Once CFSS is implemented, Accra will hire and match caregivers to clients.