What to Expect During Caregiver Training

As a future caregiver, you’ve chosen a fulfilling career that can make a visible difference in people’s lives. However, you’ll need to complete a certified caregiver training program before you can get to work.

First off, you will want to know as much as possible about the caregiver training program before you sign up. It’s important to make sure the classes work with your schedule and adequately prepare you to become a certified Home Care Aide (HCA).

Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about caregiver training.

Can anyone become a caregiver?

Anyone over the age of 18 can be a paid caregiver in Washington. Workers are required to pass a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) background check and must meet caregiver training requirements within 120 days of being hired. Caregivers in Washington are also often referred to as ‘Home Care Aides’ (HCAs).
What is the required training to become a certified caregiver?

New caregivers must complete 75 hours of basic training and pass a State certification exam to become Home Care Aide Certified, or HCA-C. You can apply for comprehensive, practical training that meets State requirements at Sunrise.

Do I need a high school diploma or GED to take the Caregiver training program?

No, you do not need a high school diploma or GED to take the caregiver training program. A written entrance exam may be required in lieu of the diploma or GED.

Caregiver responsibilities include caring and nurturing a person with basic day-to-day tasks that do not make a high school diploma necessary. You only need a passionate and caring personality!

How long will it take me to complete the home care aide training courses?

The caregiver training consists of 3 sections which can be done in any order for added flexibility around busy schedules.

One section, the 5-day 40-hour basic training course, must be done in person at one of our caregiver training centers. This is where you get hands-on skills practice and become fully prepared for the State exam.

The remaining 35 hours can be completed online at any time of day or night. This includes 5 hours on Orientation & Safety training and 30 hours of Population Specific training. Some students prefer to do everything on-site, which would change the course length from 5 days with an additional 35 hours of online work to 9 days total.

Trainer working in class with students

If I purchase the home care aide online training, how long will it take to receive the classes I enroll in?

Training courses are automatically loaded to your account as soon as they are purchased online. There is no wait to begin classes, and certificates are automatically ready in the account once completed!

How often is the in-person home care training offered? And where is the training held?

Caregiver Training Classes are offered monthly at our Everett, Mt. Vernon, and Bellingham locations. See our schedule and locations.

Can I complete the caregiver training through online training alone? Can I meet Washington State’s certified caregiver training requirements through online-only education?

No, you cannot complete the basic home care aide training course through online training alone. Students are required to have some hands-on skills practice. Most caregiver training centers will give students at most 1 day of skills practice, which results in lower passing rates for the State exam. At Sunrise, we offer 2 full days of skills practice so you are fully prepared and confident for the State exam.

How much will I need to study for the home care training courses outside of the training hours?

We recommend students practice their skills at home with family and friends as much as possible. Additionally, coming in for one of our open skills labs to do more independent skills practice is a great idea.

Will I be a Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) once I take the basic home care aide training course?

No. The CNA is a separate healthcare credential. However, students who complete their Home Care Aide training and become HCA-Cs are eligible to do our NAC Bridge program, which is 3 more days of training.

Does the basic home care aide training course meet the training requirements for caregivers in every state?

Every state has its own certified caregiver training requirements, so it would vary from state to state. Check with your local licensing entity in your new State moved to for full list of requirements needed to transfer your credential.

How much does the 75-hour basic home care aide training course cost?

The cost of training is $595, which includes all required books and course material. Students can choose to break up payments by the 3 sessions by enrolling for those as they go, or take care of all enrollments at once.

Do I pay, or does my employer pay for the caregiver training program?

There is no Washington law requiring employers to pay for caregiver training, so this varies based on each company policy. Some employers will require students to become certified before they will consider them for employment, while others pay for all training.

Sunrise, for example, not only pays for the cost of the employee’s training but also pays them an hourly wage to complete it.

How will an employer know I have completed the basic home care aide training?

Students will need to communicate to their employer that training has been completed and show their proof to their employers.

Senior man and woman with their caregivers

Will I receive a certificate after completing the caregiver training program? If so, how will I receive the certificate?

Yes, you will receive a certificate after completing the basic home care aide training. Students receive a certificate after each course they take toward their training completion, as well as one 75-hour certificate of completion once all training has been finished. Certificates are mailed unless requested to be held for pick-up.

What if I do not pass the basic home care aide training course successfully?

As long as you are attending all classes and actively participating in skills practice, you will pass your training.

Other than taking this course, is there anything else I need to do to become a caregiver in Washington State?

Yes. Once students complete their training, they still need to pass their State exam to get certified. This is done by first applying for their new credential with the Dept. of Health (DOH). Once the DOH has all the information needed, they will communicate this to Prometric, the company contracted to do the State exam, and a test date will be scheduled for the student.

An added advantage to choosing classes through Sunrise is that we are a regional test site for the State exam. This means that students can choose to test at the same location they have already practiced at and become familiar with! It certainly helps students feel more confident going into their exams.

What else should I know about caregiver training?

Sunrise has been a quality caregiver training provider in our communities for more than 20 years now. Our instructors are skilled and compassionate. We have a team of friendly office staff here to answer questions and assist you at every point along the way. You’re going to love our classes!

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