caregiver with a senior patient

Career Development: How to Become a Better Home Care Giver

A home caregiver is an integral part of the health care system. The job title includes a variety of positions, such as certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides. These professionals work to meet the needs of patients in private residences. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 4 million home care and personal care aides were employed in 2018. This number is expected to grow by over 27 percent in the next 10 years, much faster than other occupations. Job prospects are suitable for individuals who have completed a training program and obtained certification. Read on for steps on becoming a better home caregiver.

Get trained and certified

The first step to becoming a better home caregiver is to get trained and certified. Many community colleges offer certification programs that take between six weeks to four months to complete. There are also online courses available. Upon completing a training program, individuals must pass an exam to become certified. This certification is typically valid for two years and must be renewed through continued education or re-examination.

You don’t have to worry about getting certified because you can now get an online care certificate course approved by the National Association of Health Care Assistants. The system will take you around 2-4 weeks to complete, and you will be able to get certified from the comfort of your own home.

Join a professional organization

Individuals can improve their practice by joining a professional organization, such as the National Association for Home Care & Hospice or the Home Care Association of America. These organizations offer members access to resources, educational opportunities, and networking events. Some of the advantages of joining a professional organization include the following:

  • Access to educational resources
  • Opportunities to network with other professionals
  • Ability to stay up-to-date on industry news and trends

Be physically fit

Given that some patients may require assistance with activities of daily living, caregivers must be physically fit. This includes being able to lift 50 pounds, bend, stoop, and stand for long periods. This will help you do your job more effectively and avoid injury. To stay physically fit, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.

Be patient and compassionate

Perhaps the most essential quality for any caregiver is empathy. When providing home care, you will come across patients with varying levels of need. Some days will be more challenging than others. It’s important to remember that every patient is an individual with their own unique set of circumstances. Caregivers must always maintain professionalism and provide services with compassion and patience.

Have excellent communication skills

female caregiver helping a senior woman stand up

Good communication is critical for any individual in the healthcare field. Still, it’s essential for caregivers who may not have direct supervision from a nurse or doctor. Verbal communication skills include understanding complex medical instructions and sharing them with patients in layman’s terms. Nonverbal communication skills are just as critical and have eye contact, facial expressions, and body language.

Stay up-to-date on industry developments

Home caregiving is constantly evolving with new technology and research. To be the best at your job, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on industry developments. One way to do this is by reading trade publications such as Home HealthCare Management & Practice or HCPro’s Home Care Connection. You can also attend conferences or webinars related to your profession. Staying up to date on industry news will help you be a better home caregiver and provide the best possible care for your patients.

Be detail-oriented

Because they work so closely with patients, caregivers must be detail-oriented. This means keeping track of many different things at once, such as medication schedules, intake and output records, and changes in mood or appearance.

Be organized

The organization is vital for any individual working in healthcare. From keeping track of records to managing medication schedules, caregivers must stay organized. One way to do this is by using a planner or scheduling system that works for you.

Be flexible

The nature of the job requires caregivers to be flexible. This means being able to adjust your schedule according to the needs of your patients. It also means being comfortable working evenings, weekends, or holidays if necessary.

Have strong time management skills

Time management skills are essential for any caregiver. With so many different tasks required during each shift, caregivers must know how to manage their time efficiently. This includes learning how to prioritize tasks and how to delegate when necessary.

Final thoughts

By following these steps, you can become a better home caregiver and improve your practice. Remember that being detail-oriented, organized, flexible, and excellent communication skills are vital qualities for this role. Providing home care is a demanding but rewarding career choice!

Scroll to Top