What You Need to Know about Choosing Caregiving as a Career
A career in caregiving can be extremely rewarding for the right individual. As the baby boomer generation reaches old age, there is a high demand for senior caregivers. If you’re anything like me, you value the health and happiness of our seniors and take pride in providing them with the care, respect, and compassion that they deserve. I’ve put together a quick overview of what characteristics a caregiver should possess to be successful in this career path. If you’re considering becoming a caregiver, or are already enrolled in a caregiving training program, read on! This will give you a general overview of what it takes to become a caregiver and what to expect when you’re in the field!
What Does it Take To Become A Caregiver
The training process varies by state, so you will have to research what requirements are needed to obtain a caregiver certification. I’m originally from Maryland but moved to New Jersey for employment opportunities, so I fell under NJ jurisdiction. I enrolled in the Certified Home Health Aide Training Program through the New Jersey Caregiver Academy which adheres to the guidelines under the New Jersey Board of Nursing. Upon completing your training, you will have to sit for an exam and then apply to the New Jersey Board of Nursing for your certification. Once certified, you will be able to apply at caregiving agencies within your state!
What Makes a Great Caregiver
Here is a small description of what kind of characteristics are in some of the best caregivers that I’ve been lucky enough to know. If these sound like you, you could be perfect for the job:
● Like working one-on-one rather than in a typical group work environment
● Enjoy performing daily housekeeping tasks
● Effective time management skills
● Interpersonal Skills
● Flexibility in work schedule
● Patience, Patience, Patience
● A positive attitude
● Attention to detail
What You Can Expect
In the caregiving world, no two days will ever be exactly the same. Being flexible is a must as you will be faced with different challenges and opportunities every day of work. Although every day is different, you will generally be expected to do at most of these tasks:
● Cook or prepare meals with specific dietary regulations
● Assistance with dressing, bathing, using the bathroom
● Cleaning the house or doing laundry
● Administering medication
● Talk with doctors and other medical professionals
● Transportation assistance
● Running errands
● Being a companion
Choosing caregiving as a career is advantageous due to all of the employment opportunities. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s professor, Paul Osterman, has examined the rising demand for caregivers along with the current labor statistics of Certified nursing assistants and home health aides. His research shows that by 2030 there will be a national shortage of 151,000 paid direct care workers and 3.8 million unpaid family caregivers. By 2040, the shortfall will be much larger: 355,000 paid workers, and the family and friends shortfall will be a shocking 11 million. The labor force is in need of caregivers, and that need is not going to slow down anytime soon. With a career in caregiving, you won’t have to worry about job scarcity which is a growing problem for many other professions.
If you are interested in jump starting your caregiving career and diving into a sea of opportunity, contact the New Jersey Caregiver Academy at 609-416-2442 to speak to a representative today! We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about our programs offered as well as general information questions. We look forward to hearing from you!