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A habilitation technician is one of several direct-patient care occupations in the industry of personal care. Similar job titles include care worker, health aide, health care technician and home-health worker. A habilitation technician’s role is set apart from other occupations in the industry because he works exclusively with adults and children who have physical or developmental disabilities. A habilitation technician’s job duties include personal care, household care, following treatment plans and continuing education.
A habilitation technician helps the disabled perform routine personal care tasks. This includes bathing, changing clothes, brushing teeth and other grooming activities. Since extensive assistance is required by the patient, a habilitation technician is only legally qualified to aide one person at a time. This means that additional household or family members in need of personal care assistance should retain their own technicians.
A habitation technician may assist in the preparation of snacks and meals for patients. This includes grocery shopping and following any documented dietary guidelines, depending on the patient’s individual needs and goals. The technician may also launder a patient’s bedding, clothing and towels, and ensure that dishes are done and living areas meet cleanliness standards set forth in the patient’s treatment plan.
Following a Treatment Plan
Oftentimes, the individuals requiring assistance from a habitation technician are also under the care of family doctors, specialists or family members. When a disabled patient is unable to fully care for himself in any capacity, this group of people creates a treatment plan to establish the direction of care the patient should receive. A habitation technician may or may not be involved in the creation of the plan, but he is required to follow it appropriately and document necessary events, such as medication administration or mealtime frequency.
The federally funded Medicare/Medicaid program pays for qualified patients to receive habitation technician services. The requirements to become a technician are enforced differently by each state, but most necessitate that providers be at least 18 years old, with a high school diploma or GED. This is the bare minimum. Continuing education for habitation technicians is crucial, since they work so intimately with patients of varying types and degrees of disabilities. Additional training can be obtained through college coursework, classes offered by local hospitals, or within an agency dedicated to serving a specific disability, such as the Autism Society.
Increasing Quality of Life
Although the responsibilities of a habitation technician vary greatly from patient to patient, a qualified caregiver aims to make life easier, more fun, more meaningful and more stable for the patient than it was before she arrived. The quality of life increases dramatically for the disabled with caring and nurturing habilitation technicians.
Kelly Waterman has been a professional Web producer and copywriter since 2006. She has written for hundreds of websites, including BodyBuilding, StudyAbroad, EarnMyDegree and SearchMarketing. Waterman has a Bachelor of Arts in English from DePaul University.
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