Kenyon HomeCare Consulting4 Steps to Reduce Your Home Care Staffing Headache - Kenyon HomeCare Consulting (206) 721-5091

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4 Steps to Reduce Your Home Care Staffing Headache

As we work with home care agencies around the country, we hear this lament all too often. With the increased aging of the population, this cry is getting louder. While different areas of the country have shortages of nurses and therapists, the largest challenge for every home care agency is hiring qualified, caring home care aides.

This class of caregiver has different titles depending on the state. There are designated Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), which is required for Medicare and organizations receiving federal or state funds, Registered Nurse Assistants, or unregistered caregivers. Since every state it’sits own set of rules, the caregiver designation varies from state to state. You’ll want to check with your state.

In addition to the growing need for home care aides, the biggest challenge is finding the right fit for your home care agency. Although CNA schools are turning out multiple graduation classes each year, many graduating CNA’s do not read or speak English sufficiently enough to work in an unsupervised situation. Additionally, many lack the basic skills to care for the very frail elderly or handicapped and do not always have sufficient knowledge to recognize when the client is having issues that need to be brought to the attention of the home care agency management staff.

With the growing staffing frustration, where do you start to find the skilled, qualified CNA to represent your home care agency? Here are four actions to take today:

  1. Assess the needs of the clients your home care agency serves, including identification of the skills and personal attributes the home care aides will need in order to properly care for them.
  2. Develop a profile of the ideal aide. Use the home care aide profile you develop to screen all home care aide applicants.
  3. Require all applicants to take a knowledge test of caregiving (A 50-question test is available through Kenyon HomeCare Consulting.) Additionally, we recommend hands-on skills testing administered on-site or through a local nursing home to establish the presence of the desired skills.
  4. Require the applicant to take an online personality test such a s the one through Steven Tweed Leading Edge to determine the presence of desired personality qualities once it is determined the applicant has the basic knowledge and skill.

If you approach hiring using this proven 4-step process, the home care aides you hire will be superior. They will be able to provide your clients with the quality care you need to protect your clients and your reputation to help your business grow. Building a workforce of knowledgeable, skilled, dedicated, loyal, and dependable home care aides is the way to the future for home care agencies.

Don’t be surprised to find that 60% to 80% of home care applications will not meet your requirements. If you have had a very lenient process for hiring, this may come as a shock to you, and a lament from your schedulers! This is only a short term issue. Over time, the stringent process outlined above produces a workforce of quality, dedicated, and loyal employees that help with your scheduling headaches.

Failure to screen and hire for excellence in home care leads to customer complaints and, in some cases, litigation. In cases where we’ve been asked to provide expert witness services, we did an analysis of the root cause of why the agency was sued. In some cases it was because of the agency’s failure to hire individuals with the knowledge and understanding needed to adequately care for such a frail population. Additionally, the language barrier added to the complexity of the situation, with bad outcomes for the agency, the client, and most of all, the home care aide.

In some situations this 4–step process can prove to be difficult because of the demand for services exceeding availability of home care aides. If this is your situation, move to plan B, which is to develop your own training school to meet your customer needs. Stay tuned next week for a discussion of building a school for training aides that meet your home care customer needs. And, in the meantime, if you need assistance with recruitment, Kenyon HomeCare Consulting is available

Category: Specialized Support, Staffing

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