How to Become a Certified Caregiver

The aging of America has created a growing demand for senior care services. This is great news for those who feel called to become caregivers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for home health and personal care aides is expected to grow 41 percent (much faster than average) from 2016 to 2026, creating 1,208,800 new caregiver jobs. In the state of Washington, home care employment levels have been projected to increase by 28 percent between 2014 and 2024.

What does a Home Care Aide do?

Home care aides help people – of any age or disability – who face challenges in performing the activities of daily living. Aides typically perform their work through a caregiver agency in the client’s home. Here are just some of the duties a home care aide may perform:

  • Housekeeping, such as dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes and laundry
  • Assist clients with their personal hygiene including bathing, grooming, toileting and dressing
  • Shop for groceries and prepare meals to meet a client’s dietary specifications
  • Drive clients to medical appointments and other errands or arrange for other transportation
  • Provide companionship and keep clients engaged in their social networks and communities
  • Assist clients with walking and help ensure the house is free of clutter in order to prevent falls

Home Care Aide Certification Steps

To become a certified home care aide in the state of Washington, you need to:

  • Complete a home care aide application, including the Employment Verification form.
  • Undergo a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) criminal background check.
  • Complete a 75-hour basic training course approved by DSHS.
  • Pass the home care aide knowledge and skills certification examinations.

You are eligible to provide care without certification as long as you submit your completed application and fees within 14 days of your date of hire and you complete all training within 120 days of your hire date. The deadline to become certified as a home care aide is 200 days from date of hire. If you fail to meet these deadlines, you are no longer eligible to provide care and must stop working until you receive home care aide certification.

The 75-hour basic training course to become a Certified Caregiver consists of the following:

Caregiver Orientation Training

Orientation training consists of two hours of training regarding the caregiver’s role and responsibilities, the care plan and care team, client rights, documentation and reporting, and basic communication methods and techniques.

Safety Training

Caregiver Safety TrainingSafety training is three hours long and consists of basic safety precautions, emergency procedures and preparedness, infection control, body mechanics, worker safety, accident prevention, hand washing, fire safety, and fall prevention.

Core Basic Training

Core basic training consists of 40 hours of long-term care core competencies training, which you’ll need in able to perform your duties effectively. This course is a combination of instructor lecture, activities, and hands-on skills practice. Students also receive information on the state certification testing process during this course.

Population-specific Training

This 30-hour training addresses the unique care needs of specific populations a caregiver may work with including those with dementia, vision loss, diabetes, heart disease and a number of other conditions.

For those interested in learning more about becoming a certified home caregiver, we offer an outstanding caregiver training program. Please contact us today to learn more!

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