Sometimes, all you have to do to be a good caregiver is to be there for someone. (And here’s where all the caregivers in the room say “yes, but there’s a little more than that.”)
That’s because, at its most basic level, caregivers help people with their needs, whether they’re physical, mental, or emotional. There are times when all you do is have good conversations and maybe watch TV together, and there might be times when more effort is needed in any of these areas, everything from helping with mobility to running errands.
The team at Accredited Home Care has all had varying degrees of training in caregiving, from basic credentials to advanced certifications. Plus, many of us have years of experience which also can help.
We’re always happy to share the good and the more challenging parts of caregiving, since it’s something that many people will have to consider learning more about, such as if a family member ever declines in health and would prefer not to go to an assisted living or care facility.
Sometimes, we work with clients whose family provides basic caregiving, which is great for family unity. Sometimes they don’t have a lot of formal skills, but they do have good intentions and want to learn as much as they can.
In these situations, we are able to provide additional skilled caregiving services to complement the basic care they may be getting, such as advanced wound care, physical therapy, or massage therapy.
We’re always happy to give pointers and suggestions for caregivers who may not know how to deal with certain procedures or situations, since all of us what’s the best for the client.
At the same time, we enjoy working with our employees who are just starting, especially home health care aides in non-skilled caregiver roles. These types of positions are great ways to learn about the home health care industry, how you work with others, and your own skills and interests.
Possible career pursuits
Whether someone is providing caregiving duties to help a family member or loved one or for a new job, there’s plenty of potential to continue to do so in the future or take on other roles and responsibilities in the caregiver or health care arena.
If it turns out to be the kind of work you like, and others in the industry give encouraging or constructive feedback, caregiving could be something you can consider doing more of.
Even better, you’ll have this experience under your belt, which could be an asset when applying for future jobs or future training or courses of study in various caregiving disciplines. Some people may be interested in these lines of study but not everyone may have on-the-job or real-world experience as a foundation.
Some of the possible career options can include:
- This field provides all sorts of opportunities to work with patients of all ages and conditions. Sometimes you’ll work alongside a physician or a similar health care provider, sometimes you’ll be solo or with other nurses or aides. Nurses can work in hospitals, offices, or clinical situations or have health care roles where they visit patients where they live. They can be ready for anything, from measuring vital signs to having a good conversation to help put someone at ease who might be scared, nervous, in pain, or in another situation where they aren’t at their best.
- To gain certain nursing credentials, such as a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse, requires demonstrating certain skills and knowledge, which can come from a combination of an academic program (like an associate’s or bachelor’s degree) from an accredited school, along with hands-on experience and abilities. Many nursing programs work closely with nearby medical centers and medical center staff to offer these types of training opportunities. For instance, many student nurses at schools around the country have been asked to help with COVID immunization efforts. The number of registered nurses is expected to jump as high as 16 percent by 2026, based on projected care needs for the population.
- Along with nurses, there are some other interesting career paths for people who have their start are caregivers. Instead of trying to get into nursing schools, which are becoming competitive, consider going to fields such as massage therapy, occupational therapist or physical therapist. These career positions provide even more useful services for clients. All of them work with clients to reduce pain, promote relaxation, and help their health improve, especially if they have experienced medical conditions like a stroke, heart attack, or general trauma that have affected their quality of life.
- Supervisors/educators. Beyond providing day-to-day caregiving service, people are also needed to make sure caregivers of the present and future are doing what they’re supposed to and following current best practices. So people who have experience working directly with clients, as well as academic knowledge, can be useful instructors. Plus, being able to coordinate schedules, keep track of client needs and make sure everyone is helped can be an asset to an organization.