If you would like to start or advance your career in caregiving, one of the ways to really stand out from the crowd is by taking some form of caregiver training. Caregiving classes increase your professionalism, they also give you a solid foundation and experience to provide high-quality care for aging seniors.
In this article, we highlight why you’re in more demand as a caregiver, the benefits of being trained as a caregiver, and how to find the best caregiver training programs to get started.
As the American population ages, there is a rising need for caregivers to care for that senior population. It is estimated that in 2040, the number of people aged 65 and older is expected to reach 80 million. In other words, by 2040, one in five Americans will be 65 or older.
These statistics show that caregivers will always be in demand. However, caregivers that have undergone some form of training will be preferred to those who haven’t. This is because training impacts the quality of care rendered.
As a matter of fact, in the last 3 years, lack of training has jumped to number one on the list of caregiver complaints. Training has never been more important for caregiving agencies.
as a forward-thinking caregiver superhero, now is the best time to arm yourself with the right skills to make a difference by getting trained and certified.
When you see a caregiver that has gone through some form of training, it isn’t hard to tell — It shows in the way they provide care. This builds confidence and provides a deeper sense of purpose. Trained caregivers provide a sense of reassurance to the seniors they care for and the families of the seniors.
- Builds Confidence: Caregiver training boosts caregivers’ confidence because they are better prepared to work with seniors. They understand what to do, and how to get it done.
- Quality and Consistent Care: Trained caregivers are more likely to provide high-quality care that is consistent. You’ll notice the improved quality of life for the residents, better relationships, and stronger bonds between residents and caregivers.
- Improves Long-Term Retention: Employers are more willing to retain trained caregivers than untrained ones because of the quality of care they provide. Trained caregivers are more eligible for salary raises and higher pay.
- A deeper sense of worth: Knowing that you have the right skills to care for and positively impact the life of someone can create a deep sense of worth and fulfillment.
There are different training programs for caregivers depending on what you want to do.
There are three major caregiver categories:
A PCA is a trained caregiver who provides non-medical care to seniors in their own homes, or wherever they call home. PCAs carry out responsibilities such as assistance with activities of daily living: bathing, grooming, housekeeping, transportation, and meal preparation.
Every state has its own criteria for obtaining a certificate as a PCA, but some states don’t require certification. Be sure to check online what those requirements are for your state.
In Nevada, PCAs must complete at least 16 hours of caregiver training on specific topics and put in at least 8 hours of continuing education every year.
A Home Health Aide provides basic medical care, such as checking vital signs, monitoring a senior’s physical and mental condition, and is trained to handle certain health emergencies. They also perform the functions of a personal care assistant.
HHAs are supervised by medical practitioners such as nurses and may work closely with therapists and other medical staff.
HHAs are required to obtain a certification before they can function in that role. In Nevada, HHA is similar to Certified Nursing Assistants. In some states, the criteria for certification is the same.
In Nevada, HHAs are required to obtain 75 hours of caregiver training, which must include 16 hours of practice. They are also required to complete 12 hours of continuing education annually.
A CNA works closely with nurses and doctors to provide assistance to a patient’s health needs. They usually work in hospitals, facilities, or caregiving agencies rather than in the home of a patient. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Personal care
- Gathering medical supplies
- Checking vital signs
- Assisting with minor medical procedures
- Cleaning wounds
- Administering medications
- Documenting patient information, etc.
To obtain a CNA license in Nevada, you must first complete a CNA training program approved by the state. This program includes a minimum of 75 hours of training which includes 16 hours of hands-on practice.
Once you have graduated from the program, you’re eligible to take the State CNA Certificate Examination, which you have to pass to be a licensed CNA.
These are caregiver courses that are streamlined in nature, and that deepen the knowledge of the caregiver in a specific area. Examples include:
- Behavioral Health
- Infection control
- Palliative care
- Restorative care
Alzheimer’s and dementia top the list of specialty care programs requested by caregivers because of the complexity of the condition. Over 12 million people aged 65 and older are expected to develop Alzheimer’s by the year 2050 according to the Alzheimer’s association.
Getting trained and certified in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, for instance, gives you an edge if you’re applying to work in a memory care facility, or in a care agency that has patients with Alzheimer’s.
The cost of training is dependent on the course you are applying for, the training center or school, as well as the state you are in. The cost will vary based on some of these factors.
For instance, in Nevada to get your CNA certificate, you can spend anywhere from $500 to $2000 both for the CNA graduate program and the CNA certificate examination.
The CNA certificate examination costs about $150 for both the multiple choice and clinical skills exams.
However, the PCA training and certification in Nevada is less expensive than CNA certification.
There are free caregiver training courses available. Basic caregiving courses are beneficial and are a good way to launch your journey toward certification.
There are two ways you can do this:
- Search For Free Caregiver Training Programs Online
To search online, simply type keywords such as:
- Free caregiver training programs near me
- Free caregiver certification course
- Free caregiver training program + Your City or State
This will bring up different results you can browse through and make the right selection. To pick the best free course, you can take a look at the reviews and ratings. Although, not all courses may have this.
Another good website to look at is CNAjobs.com. It provides short training on a lot of topics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide a certificate of completion.
- Get a Caregiver Job with Agencies That Offer Free Training Programs
Some caregiving agencies offer training programs to their staff, and also provide certificates of completion. This is a good way to get experience and training for free, while you still get paid for the services you offer.
Your caregiver training will shape the quality of care your clients receive, so finding the right program for you is vital.
To find the right paid program, the following steps can help:
- Choose a Caregiver Category
From a PCA to an HHA, or CNA, identify which one to get started with, then begin the research for a caregiver training institute, caregiver training university, or online caregiver courses in your city or state that offer the appropriate training.
- Preview The Curriculum
The course curriculum must contain relevant topics geared toward your certification. You can preview a couple of course curriculums from different providers to compare and contrast.
- Is the Training Program State Approved?
Check that the program you’re looking at is state-approved. As you may not be able to take the state certification exam if you graduate from a program that isn’t approved.
When comparing training institutes, look at the quality of the course curriculums first. If the quality is the same, then you can choose based on price.
Caregiving training is vital to you as a caregiver because it directly impacts the quality of care you provide to your clients. It also sets you apart from other caregivers and gives you a competitive edge.
Whether you’re just getting started with caregiving, or you’re advancing your caregiving career, you can make a difference by undergoing training in caregiver-related courses. Remember, if you are financially constrained right now, you can even get started with free courses.
Amy’s Eden is calling out to caregivers (or Superheroes as we like to call them) in Northern Nevada who would like to make a difference in the life of older adults. Check out our caregiver opportunities to see which is the best opportunity for you.
Please contact our team of caregiving professionals today if you have any questions. There are many rewarding careers in healthcare helping families and their adult loved ones. At Amy’s Eden, we support our caregivers and believe that learning is a lifelong opportunity. Call or email us to learn more!