A Paid Feeding Assistant (PFA) supplements the services of a Certified Nursing Assistant in a nursing home setting by helping with resident feeding activities. A PFA does not feed those residents who have difficulty swallowing, recurrent lung aspirations or have a complicated feeding problem such as a tube or IV. PFAs must successfully complete an eight-hour state approved feeding assistant training program and work under the supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
The requirements of a Paid Feeding Assistants program are as follows:
- PFAs must have a minimum of eight hours of training.
- The program must be approved by SCDHHS.
- The nursing facility must maintain a record of all individuals used as feeding assistants who have successfully completed the training program for PFAs. The nursing facility must also have on file evidence that the individual has successfully completed a state-approved program and has the necessary competency to feed a resident.
- The program must be coordinated and performed under the general supervision of a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.
- PFAs must work under the supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse who is readily available.
- The nursing facility must ensure that PFAs feed only residents who do not have complicated feeding problems. Complicated feeding problems include but are not limited to difficulty swallowing, recurrent lung aspirations, and tube or parenteral/IV feedings.
- PFAs must be based on the charge nurse’s assessment and the resident’s latest assessment and plan of care.
For more information on the Paid Feeding Assistant program view the Nursing Facility Services provider manual.
- Paid Feeding Assistant FAQs
What is a Paid Feeding Assistant?
A PFA supplements the services of a CNA in a nursing home setting by helping with resident feeding activities. A PFA does not feed those residents who have difficulty swallowing, recurrent lung aspirations or have a complicated feeding problem such as a tube or IV.
How long does certification last?
Certification lasts 2 years.
How is re-certification conducted?
A desk review of materials using the PFA audit tool is conducted and/or a site visit will be scheduled with each PFA agency to view their training.
What is the minimum training qualifications for a PFA program?
A PFA program must have an 8-hour training for all of their feeding assistants.
Do I need to notify DHHS of any upcoming PFA training held by my agency?
Yes, you must send training information and a log of training attendees by fax at (803) 255-8209.
Can I use non-medical staff?
Yes, the paid feeding assistants can be non-medical however, a RN or LPN must supervise the program.
Where can I find more information about the PFA program?
Refer to the Nursing Facility Services provider manual.
How do I request a PFA packet to start enrollment?
Call (864) 660-4166.