Quote from rancelumsden
What clinical skills do you really need to have to become a PCA?
All of them! You need to be aware of standard procedures for gowning and gloving, how to transfer so that you and the patient are safe, feeding, diapering, bed baths and peri care, making beds (especially occupied bed which takes some practice), charting.
Of course, you can be trained in this at the hospital as we were in CNA class. After those basic skills, then you learn all the specific procedures in the facility --- admits, discharge, computer charting, labs, tests, possibly EKG's, scd's, heart monitor, setup/breakdown of suctioning/02, glucometer, etc.
It's simply a lot to learn all at once. But, they may have a good training program --- hopefully, they do...
PCA and CNA positions, at least here..do not include sterile
gowning..perhaps gowning for isolation patients, or dealing with negative pressure, but beyond that, I could see some difference between the UK and US. I took a CNA course, and became certified prior to nursing, but most technical procedures involving more than bed and bath were not ok'd for CNAs. Certainly not EKGs right out of the gate.
I would not worry too much about the prospect of failing, or else they wouldn't have given you a shot at it. If you have some anatomy and such behind you that will come in handy, but the more advanced care practices will have to be learned.
Many of the things mentioned would not fall into the practice of a CNA
certificate from our state, but would, possibly in some facilities.
Some hospitals might 'cross-train' a CNA to do EKGs and similar procedures, but even taking vital signs is more or less considered the advanced end of the CNA scope of practice, of course, I am a little picky, as well as the docs are also..
To me, there is more to taking vital signs than sticking a probe into an orifice, and writing the numbers down off of a machine, as well as taking a reliable EKG.
If it was me, I would stay humble, keep notes when you can, and pick out a good mentor to learn from.