For decades, we have been required to provide continuing education for the staff in our agencies. For the management and the field staff it can sometimes feel like a “burden to be bourn”. Does your education program feel like that? Do your staff say the in-service was helpful or do they just get it done so they can meet the requirements for their license or the agency? What if the continuing education was so exciting that staff looked forward to the opportunity to learn because it better prepared them to take care of the clients? So, where do you begin to create continuing education that is meaningful and meets the needs of your clients and staff??
To begin, look at your complaints. Why do you want to look at the complaints this month? You do so you know what made your clients unhappy. I once took over as COO of an agency. The first thing I did was to look at the complaints to see what I needed to fix.
- The first was the problem of too many different caregivers in the same home and therefore, no consistency of staff. That is an easy one to solve. Set the schedule and do not allow it to be changed! Not only is it frustrating to the clients, but your caregivers do not like it either. We made it a rule that once a schedule was established and the client was happy, no changes unless an emergency came up.
- The second problem was the aides did not know how to cook. One complaint by a daughter said she instructed the aide to broil a steak for her father and bake a potato to go with it. The assigned aide, who was from another country, boiled the steak and baked the potato. In her country meat had to be boiled as only older cows were eaten. So, we developed a culinary arts program to help with the issue and hired a part time dietitian. Now, if that is an area of need, we have a colleague who has done it for you. Check out Caregiver’s Kitchen to see.
- The third issue was housekeeping. One aide spilled something on an expensive oriental rug. She remedied it by cleaning the spot with Clorox. Needless to say, our insurance had to pay for it. The fix for this issue was to require all new staff spend half a day during orientation in high-end senior housing with head of housekeeping. There, the aides learned how to care for carpets and furniture and how to thoroughly clean and do it effectively.
What did we discover after all the time and money spent to upgrade the skills of the employees? Our retention rate climbed and we saw a sharp increase in applications as word spread in the caregiving community. A subsequent caregiver survey indicated the staff expressed being valued because we invested so much in them and they stayed to receive further education offerings.
Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Help:
These are just a few suggestions for continuing education that give value to both the clients and your staff. As competition becomes more acute, agencies need not only to excel in the basics, but will also need to become experts in the chronic diseases. Because we knew that this was coming, we created Chronic Disease University to prepare your staff to beat the competition and be the agency of choice. Beat the competition, retain your staff, increase staff applications, increase referral and client satisfaction, and watch your business grow. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help!