Caregiver-training

Last week we shared tips for hiring quality caregivers, but how do you hold onto these outstanding employees once you have them? According to the Private Duty Benchmarking Study, the median caregiver turnover rate for the home care industry was 53.2% in 2013. Turnover like this communicates instability to your clients and can have a major impact on their satisfaction with your business. Home care providers are continuously trying to find new ways to decrease caregiver turnover, but sometimes it’s the obvious things we ignore that are our greatest opportunities for improvement.

Training is one of these obvious but neglected things. According to the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, 56.3% of providers offer their caregivers a total of ten hours or less of training within their first twelve months of employment.

As part of the Home Care Pulse Satisfaction Management Program, we interview thousands of caregivers each month, and one of the questions we ask is, “What additional training would you like to receive?” While some caregivers acknowledge the efforts of their employers, most report serious gaps in the training they’ve received. Common topics caregivers report wanting training on include:

  • Dealing with Falls
  • Coping with Death
  • CPR/First Aid Certification
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Medication
  • Appropriate Emergency Correspondence
  • Your Company and the Services You Offer
  • Dealing with Depression, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia
  • Transporting Clients, Especially When Using a Hoyer Lift

It’s easy to understand why training is sometimes overlooked. You’re busy and so are your caregivers. Finding a time for everyone to meet together can be difficult, but there are ways to supplement hands-on training. According to the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, 17.7% of caregivers chose to work for their employer because the working schedule met their lifestyle. Ongoing training is a great way to fit ongoing training into the everyday routine of your caregiver’s lives. Programs such as aQuire Training Solutions, Medifecta Healthcare Training, and SilverChair Learning Systems allow your caregivers to follow a training program on their own time, with minimal demand on you.

If you choose to offer online options, keep in mind there are still things you’ll need to cover face-to-face, and there are benefits to hands-on group training that can’t be replaced. Find a balance between online and hands-on training that provides your caregivers with flexibility, knowledge, and real world application.

Another interest we’ve heard from caregivers through our Satisfaction Management Program is in updating their certifications and licensing. Certification and licensing requirements vary by state; however, there are certain requirements that do not change. Consider implements classes for your caregivers to help them update their certifications. You could also consider assisting your caregivers in finding and selecting appropriate organizations that could help them do this.

In short, training provides caregivers the opportunity to grow and turn what may have started out as “just a job” into a career. You’re essentially showing them that you care about their future and you want to see them reach their potential. When they know you care, they’re more likely to be loyal to you as their employer and will provide outstanding, consistent care to your clients as a result.