Personal Caregiver Skills Course Details

Learn important skills and gain the confidence that can help you care for the ones you love with the Personal Caregiver Skills program. Included in the program outline are lessons on home care procedures, maintaining a safe and healthy environment, and how to care for clients of any age or ability.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to care for another individual.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Describe the healthcare system and the roles of healthcare workers within it
  • Identify ethical and legal rules and regulations for healthcare
  • Examine oral and written communication skills for speaking with clients, family, medical personnel, and other caregivers using appropriate language and terminology
  • Explain standard procedures needed to maintain clean, safe, and healthy environments
  • Recognize the standard practices used to assist clients with the activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, grooming, physical movement, and mental exercises
  • Explain how to identify and report changes in others’ physical and mental condition
  • Describe the correct way to administer prescribed treatments, therapies, and basic first aid as directed, when appropriate and allowed
  • Describe how to react appropriately to emergency situations
  • Maintain accurate records of client care, condition, progress, and change
  • Discuss unique practices and procedures involved with caring for special populations
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program. This course gives an introduction to health care, the health care industry, and the roles that health care workers play in that industry.


  • Understand how to use your Student Portal
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites
  • Compare the professional roles of health care workers within various health care agencies
  • Distinguish government (public) and private health insurance plans
  • Identify methods to communicate within the health care field
  • Explain the scope of practice as it applies to various roles in the health care field
  • Identify safe practice as it relates to the role of a health care worker
  • List methods for including others in patient care
  • Describe the proper legal and ethical behaviors of a health care worker
This course discusses the importance of human interaction, including verbal and nonverbal communication, the communication feedback loop, barriers, cultural competence, and effective communication techniques. Applying communication skills to assist in caring for others will be addressed. Therapeutic communication skills and unique practices involved with caring for special populations will be covered. This course also introduces basic medical definitions and abbreviations, including word analysis, word usage, roots, prefix and suffix, with an emphasis placed on spelling and constructing medical terms. Students will be given an introduction to the positional and directional terms used to describe the human body.


  • Identify the components of interpersonal communication
  • Explain the skills required for effective oral communication
  • List the best practices and prejudices involved in forming effective workplace communication
  • Describe the essential elements of therapeutic communication
  • Explain the ways that technology can enhance or become a barrier to communication
  • Identify skills and strategies used to communicate with clients and families
  • Discuss different ways of communicating with clients with behavioral and other disabilities
  • Summarize the history of medical terminology and how terms are formed
  • Describe the relationship between the structures of the body
  • Differentiate the positional and directional terms used to describe anatomical locations
In this course, students will learn how law affects medical practitioners, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of health-care information, and the laws regulating healthcare information collected and maintained by government agencies.


  • Describe civil and criminal law, sources of law, and the steps of litigation
  • Distinguish between liability, negligence, and malpractice in relation to health care
  • Determine medical malpractice and criminal charge defenses
  • Identify the various ethical issues that health care professionals face
  • Examine contemporary medical ethical issues
  • Analyze ethical reproductive health issues
  • Recognize ethical end of life issues
  • Analyze the court's role in health care information and litigation
  • Examine client's medical record requirements and common issues
  • Summarize the common-law basis for confidentiality
  • Apply privacy rules to client information
  • Describe OSHA's safety rules
  • Identify special types of health information
  • Recognize special rules and social-policy issues of HIV clients
  • Evaluate risk management's effect on quality and electronic medical records
This course is designed to train you in providing personal care to patients to meet their physical, psychological, and mental needs. You’ll develop homemaking and organizational skills as well as a working knowledge of IADLs. You’ll learn to apply standard practices and safety procedures. The course demonstrates how to take vital signs. You’ll learn to perform a basic health assessment with concentration on observing patients for condition changes. This course discusses basic infection control and prevention strategies, with emphasis on handwashing and bag technique. You’ll explore how to prevent spread of infection as well as special precautions. The course also demonstrates safety precautions and procedures for maintaining a clean and safe environment for the worker (aide), for patients in the home, at outside locations, and while transporting, along with proper body mechanics.


  • Explain the procedures for maintaining a safe and healthy environment for both clients and yourself
  • Identify personal care tasks, including the steps involved in bedmaking and elimination care
  • Describe specimen collection and assessment procedures and other special procedures needed for client care
Additional Course Material

Textbook: Mosby’s Textbook for the Home Care Aide

This course provides an overview of various dimensions of aging, including the aging process and how to provide competent care to the aging patient. It explores normal biological aging, attitudes toward aging, myths of aging, and how to monitor and assess for changes in psychosocial and functional status. It teaches how to develop an instructional plan for families to effectively manage physiologic and/or psychosocial changes. It also discusses end of life issues. Finally, it covers how to identify and handle emergency situations.


  • Describe human needs and considerations and the documentation required when meeting those needs for clients
  • Explain how to care for clients at any stage of life
  • Describe types of special client needs, emergency situations, and emergency procedures

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Surround Sound Support

A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Personal Caregiver Skills Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a Personal Caregiver Skills course would look like.
Penn Foster Personal Caregiver Skills Sample Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows 10® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, and an email account to complete this program.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and macOS are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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