Interested in becoming a Certified Nursing Aide, Certified Home Health Aide or Personal Care Assistant? All states in the U.S.A. provide certification for nursing aides and some states provide additional job categories and certification for caregivers who will be working in homes instead of in nursing homes, hospitals or assisted living communities and these caregivers can be certified as Home Health Aides or Personal Care Assistants.
Certification usually required completing a classroom program along with clinical field work in a job setting at a hospital or nursing home. Then the caregiver must pass the state's certification exam and follow other requirements to remain certified (pass background check and maintain proper immunizations).
What are some questions you may be asked on a certification exam?
- What temperature should the water be for a bath?
- What are normal respirations?
- How does a colostomy work?
- What information should you share with your supervisor?
You may take a free sample nursing aide test on Caregiverlist or a complete practice nursing aide test and refresh or improve your caregiving skills. You may also apply for a caregiving position in your area and work part-time or as a companion caregiver while obtaining nursing aide certification.
Caregiverlist's "Ask the Expert" section allows you to submit your senior care questions to industry experts, including Alexis Martin Neely, an attorney specializing in family law. Alexis was a guest on Good Morning America today, discussing her recent book "Wear Clean Underwear", along with estate planning.
She also talks about 5 legal documents every family should have on Good Morning America today.
seniorcare, estateplanning, caregiving
Senior caregiver positions continue to be available for both companion caregivers (no formal professional experience needed) and certified nursing aides and home health aides. As turnover in positions will always be present in caregiving (as client's conditions improve or when client's pass away), ongoing openings for caregivers will continue. In addition, there is an increased need for caregivers to assist senior's with memory loss as ongoing care is often needed as the memory loss progresses.
How can you properly prepare for an interview to be hired by a leading senior care company?
1) Be professional in all your interaction with the company. What is your e-mail address? If your current e-mail is silly or could be misleading (or perhaps a bit sexual - you wouldn't believe the e-mail addresses we have seen, from "yourhotmamma" and well, we could go on and on, but you get the idea), go to "gmail" or another free e-mail service and create a professional e-mail address that just contains your name and use this for your caregiver job search. If your name is not available, piggy-back your name with numbers to come up with something professional.
2) Communicate clearly you previous experience. Don't be shy - share information about your caregiving skills from both personal experiences and professional experiences. This allows the hiring company to see beyond the basic information and will help your application stand out from the crowd. Be sure to proof anything you write to make sure there are no spelling errors and your sentences read well as hiring companies do look at your communication abilities as this is also important when caring for a senior.
3) Refresh your caregiving skills. Are you a certified nursing aide or home health aide? If so, revisit your school training manual, take a nursing aide Sample Test or nursing aide Practice Test. This will allow you to talk about specifics and toss out correct answers to questions you may be asked in the interview. Read information about communicating with a senior with memory loss or hearing loss and learn about other age-related diseases. This way you will be able to provide specific examples of ways you apply your caregiving skills on the job.
4) Don't be on time - be early for your interview. Dependability is very important in caregiving. When working as a senior caregiver, it is very important you are always on time for your shifts. This is because a senior will worry if you are not there on time and this not only will cause problems for your employer but potentially negatively impact the senior's entire day. Consider being "on-time" as late and always be 5-minutes early for interviews and assignments and tell your employer this is your policy, the 5-minute rule: 5-minutes early is on-time.
5) Secure references. Show you are prepared by having names and phone numbers of at least 3 business references (former managers or co-workers who can verify you worked at a company previously) and 3 personal references (friends or neighbors who can provide a character reference). If you have to collect this information later, you will slow down the hiring process so bring this information with you to the interview. This also shows your future employer you are organized and prepared.
6) Follow-up with a thank-you note. Go the extra mile and send a follow-up note to your interviewer to tell them you enjoyed meeting them and learning about the company. Mention that you look forward to working with them as you see yourself as a good fit with their team. Feel free to share some specific reasons why you see yourself as a good fit based on something you learned in the interview.
Submit a caregiving application to reach senior care companies in your area and be sure to communicate accurately your availability and share a story about your caregiving experiences to make your application more standout.
caregiverjob, caregiverinterview, nursingaidetest
Are you a family caregiver or professional caregiving looking to learn more caregiving skills to better provide care?
Anyone who has completed a caregiver training program knows the difference it can make to know how to safely transfer a patient or speak to someone with Alzheimer's Disease (use their name often, give them eye contact and don't ask too many open-ended questions).
Caregiverlist's Sample Nursing Aide Test is provided by the company who officially administers the nursing aide tests for the department of health in many states nationwide (for final certification, nursing aides must pass the state exam).
Test your caregiving skills or find out what types of questions would be on the nursing aide exam by taking our sample test (just scroll to the bottom of our Career Center) and if you really want to test your skills, take the nursing aide Practice test.
You can also read about senior care training and learn about caregiving for specific age-related illnesses in our training center and print out our senior care briefs.
Certified Nursing Aides have the ability to earn a couple dollars more per hour than caregivers without formal certification and you may also find nursing aide schools and programs on Caregiverlist, including costs and admission requirements.
seniorcare, caregiving, nursingaidetest
How do you become a Certified Nursing Aide? The first step is to find nursing aide training programs in your area. Community colleges, vocational schools and medical centers offer the programs and in some areas, nursing homes and senior home care agencies offer these certification classes.
What is required for entrance into a nursing aide training program? You must meet all the qualification requirements for entrance into the programs, which include reading and math competency and passing a background check and drug test. Usually a high school diploma or G.E.D. is required and the minimum age is 18
How much do nursing aide programs cost? The cost for certification programs is usually between $500 and $2,000. Many times you can obtain a grant or scholarship or tuition reimbursement from an employer to for the nursing aide training. The best way to learn about financing your nursing aide certification is to speak to the school admissions office.
How do you obtain your certificate? The final certification for nursing aides is issued by the department of health by each state, after passing the state certification exam. You must then update your certification every 2 years. You may want to take a nursing aide practice test prior to pursuing certification to understand all of the skills which will be necessary to become certified.
What pay rate can you expect as a certified nursing aide? The pay rate depends on the area of the country you live in but usually you can expect pay of between $10 and $15 per hour and as you have more experience, you will receive higher pay and can advance to become a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse as both L.P.N.'s and R.N.'s receive C.N.A. training as part of their training. You may also work as a companion caregiver while obtaining your certification training and you may apply for a caregiving job in your area on Caregiverlist. You may also read our Insider's Guide to Becoming a Nursing Aide to find out what school admissions officers and directors say about the certification process.
Senior caregivers often enter the profession after having personal experience as a caregiver for a relative or friend. Sometimes the best skill a caregiver can bring to their work is compassion for the senior's daily care needs as they cope with the aging process.
What positions are available for senior caregivers?
Part-time caregiving positions will involve assisting a senior for 2 hours or more, usually starting with a minimum shift of 3 hours, to assist the senior with personal care, meal preparation, housekeeping and errands. Many times seniors who are experiencing memory loss or may be recovering from a stroke or hip replacement will require just part-time care to keep their physical therapy on track and to assist with their activities of daily living. Sometimes, a short bathing visit from 1 to 2 hours, will be scheduled, with a higher pay rate for the hourly shifts because it is a short visit.
Full-time caregiving positions involve continuous care for seniors who have difficulty with ambulation or may be suffering from memory loss or another age-related disease, such as Parkinson's disease. Assignments may be for 8 or 12 hour shifts or may be 24-hour live-in care where 2 caregivers are rotated throughout the week, with down-time in the evening and the ability to sleep at night.
Senior home care agencies provide for caregiver benefits, as required by law for employees, including contribution to social security tax so the caregiver can collect social security benefits upon retirement and worker's compensation insurance. Additional benefits such as medical, dental and vision health care and performance bonuses are often also provided, with a requirement for a minimum number of weekly hours in order to quality.
Before interviewing for a caregiving position, a caregiver may learn about job descriptions, policies and take a nursing aide practice test to be better prepared for the interview. Training will involve learning about the proper care techniques for seniors with age-related diseases in addition to learning the hands-on skills required for personal care and transfers.
Companion caregiving positions may not require formal training while nursing aide positions will require certification or the equivalent skill level. You may apply for caregiving positions in your area through our Caregiverlist job application as there is an ongoing need for quality senior caregivers.
seniorcare, caregivertraining, caregiverpositions
President Obama and his team of leaders in the Democratic party are pushing for healthcare reform. Plenty of folks are complaining about all the problems with the proposed healthcare legislation. Let's not forget the problems we currently have with healthcare and that many caregivers, the people providing care for seniors, the largest segment of our population, do not have healthcare benefits.
That doesn't seem right, does it?
It seems we need to make some changes and certainly nothing is ever perfect when you first launch it. That is the beauty of the creative process. Remember the first cell phone? You can still have a laugh when you see one in movies from the 1980's, as large as a lady's evening purse. By beginning to offer some type of health program that will allow small business owners, the self-employed and the unemployed to have health insurance and to begin conversations about preventive health care (yes, we need to start talking about how to lose weight, eat right and live a balanced life because those of us in senior care see firsthand what happens when you don't take good care of yourself) we will all benefit. Sadly, the majority of the folks barking about the problems with the proposed changes don't know the realities of health insurance costs - they have never owned their own business, never been unemployed, never worked a minimum wage job - they have always been able to rely on an employer to pay for their insurance and they just don't get what the real costs and challenges are for everyone else.
On Friday, legislation was approved that would keep the healthcare reform moving forward to cover uninsured Americans. Take a moment to learn about what is being proposed and let your local Congresswoman or Congressman know your thoughts. All seniors receive healthcare when they are 65 and extremely low-income seniors receive Medicaid benefits. But when someone has not had healthcare their entire life, the amount of doctor's visits, medications and care ends up costing a lot once they are covered - so many medical conditions can be lessened with proper attention early on and with proper diet and exercise. How much money could we save if everyone who is insured at 65 was actually receiving preventive care their entire life?
seniorcare, caregiver, healthcarebenefit