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Caregivers are the Bloodline of a Homecare Agency

Caregivers in home care agencies can be divided into 5 broad categories: non-certified aides, certified aides, nurses, therapists, and social workers.  Understanding the services offered by each caregiver and the certification required for each position can help you hire the best people for our home care agency.

Non-Certified Aides

Non-certified aides provide non-medical care to the client.  Non-certified aides include personal care aides, home helpers, homemakers, chore workers, and companions.  The services they provide typically include housekeeping, meal preparation, laundry, and companionship.  Several organizations provide short courses for people interested in pursuing a career in any aspect of non-medial homecare. The National Association for Home care and Hospice also offers voluntary certification. However, certification isn’t mandatory.

Certified Aides

Certified aides include Certified Nursing Assistants (CAN) and Home Health Aides (HHA).  Certification varies from one state to another although training is similar for both professionals. A CNA typically has a wider range of healthcare training in comparison to an HHA. An HHA’s training is more specific to the home care field. CNAs and HHAs often work under the supervision of nurses and physical therapists as a part of the home care team. They generally carry out the following functions: personal care, ambulation, nutrition plans, administering medication, toileting, health monitoring, and may carry out light housekeeping.

Nurses

Nurses are generally divided into 2 broad categories: licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN). Both LPNs and RNs undergo rigorous years of training to pass a standardized national exam in order to receive their certification. LPNs must work under the supervision of an RN or physician. RNs can provide skilled nursing care and typically supervise LPNs.

Therapists

The therapist needs of your business depend on the type of therapy your clients need. The therapists who are usually hired by home care agencies include: physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Therapists assist in rehabilitation needs such as restoring: mobility, strength, dexterity, balance, and communication skills. Certification is required to practice as a therapist. Physical therapists must sit a national licensure exam.

Social Workers

There are 2 broad categories of social workers: licensed social workers (LSW) and medical social workers (MSW). The difference? LSWs are trained to evaluate psycho-social factors affecting the ill and disabled. They can then offer the appropriate counseling services to both the patient and his or her family members. MSWs, on the other hand, only assess and then direct the clients to appropriate local resources. Both positions require appropriate certification.

 

Think about the services you want offer to your clients. The services you offer will determine the type of employees you need to have.   Ensure that you verify all licenses where applicable.



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