You serve a variety of clientele, and your seasoned caregivers are fully prepared to handle the broad range of needs. But what about your new hires? Effective orientation is key to empowering your caregivers and reducing their dependency, allowing you and your office staff to keep up with the many other operational demands on your time. Here are a few suggestions of topics to review in orientation with new caregivers to make sure they have a strong start with your company:
Not all caregivers read the packets you provide when you hire them. Reviewing company policies will not only educate new caregivers but will give them the opportunity to ask questions as well. This also sets proper expectations so you’re able to hold caregivers accountable when they step over the lines.
Through the Home Care Pulse Satisfaction Management Program, we’ve found that many caregivers do not understand the documentation process. Caregivers often receive smaller paychecks than expected due to improperly logging their hours. Doctors, family members, and insurance agencies may request updates on client behavior, which should be well documented by the caregiver.
The Basics of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Many caregivers will, at one point or another, deal with an Alzheimer’s or Dementia client. Such clients may become agitated if their caregiver doesn’t have the proper training to work with them. Since this is just an orientation and not an in-depth training, it is acceptable to touch on these topics generally and provide further, more in-depth training later.
Dealing with Hostile Clients
Many clients struggle with the idea of needing a caregiver, and sometimes aggression from these clients can’t be avoided. In such situations, caregivers need to have the intuition to deflect the anger and turn the situation around. How a caregiver handles hostility not only reflects on them, but your agency as a whole.
Caregivers need to know what to do if their client falls, seizes up, or if another medical emergency occurs. There are times to handle the situation, and times to call in outside professionals. Teach them to understand the difference.
Coping with Death
When a client passes, family members and close friends may need consolation from the caregiver to move past the initial stages of their loss. However, caregivers often develop deep emotional attachments to their clients and will feel the sting and sadness themselves. Preparing caregivers in advance and providing bereavement when necessary is crucial in keeping caregivers happy and emotionally stable.
Pay, Benefits, and Incentives
Caregivers want to know the perks of working for your agency versus another and talking about pay is just the beginning. According to the Private Duty Benchmarking Study, the caregiver turnover rate is 9.6% higher on average for those companies who do not offer caregiver benefits. Providing extras such as paid vacation time, sick leave, or 401K matching is a great way to show obvious benefits of working for your agency.
The climb to the top begins with hiring quality caregivers but its progression comes through effective orientation. Start your caregivers off right by setting expectations and help them develop new skill sets. Properly trained caregivers have higher job satisfaction, and provide better care to your clients day to day.