As the population ages and healthcare needs become more frequent
and more complex, the ever-growing caregiver shortage
becomes more troublesome.
Does that mean you should hire just anybody? No. But it does
mean that you will likely need to hire “NOVICE” caregivers
who have little or no training or experience.
It takes a little more work
Yes, it will take longer to get novices ready to work. Yes, it’s a bigger investment in time and resources. And yes, it requires a bit of “hand-holding.” But the results are worth it!
How do you do it?
If you hire novice caregivers, it’s essential to have three support structures in place. They are:
1. Initial and ongoing training.
- Provide initial training like that found in ITK’s Caregiver Certification Series. This is an eight-hour series in basic caregiving skills that will educate, challenge, inspire, and CERTIFY every novice caregiver on your team. It covers The Role of the Caregiver, Patient Bill of Rights, HIPAA / Maintaining Confidentiality, Helping with ADLs & IADLs, Understanding Abuse & Neglect, Infection Control in Home Care, Disaster Planning, Fire Safety, Fall Risk Factors, Observing & Documenting Client Care, and Client-Centered Care.
- Provide ongoing training that meets the novice caregivers’ learning needs, fills their knowledge gaps, piques their curiosity, and allows them to succeed and even advance within the company.
2. Access to a peer mentor.
- Assigning Peer Mentors to novice caregivers helps ease the transition into a new job for which they may have little or no training. A Peer Mentor teaches by modeling problem solving, clinical skills, and handling the emotional aspects of caregiving.
- How Do You Create Peer Mentor Program? The experts at Home Care Pulse have developed a highly structured Guide Sheet for starting a Mentor Program. You can download it here.
3. Ongoing positive feedback and encouragement from leaders.
- Your caregivers (including novices) are the core of your business. Make sure you have practices in place to motivate and encourage them to be their very best every day. Download 38 Ways to Motivate Your Caregiver Team. In it you’ll learn 38 things you can do to keep your caregiver team loyal, energized, and motivated.