Let’s Talk About: The LOOMING CRISIS:Education and Training as OnBoarding Essentials: Part 4 of 7


“If you fail in the recruitment and selection of great people,
you won’t have great employees.
And without great employees,
how can you possibly have a great company?”


In the last portion of this article, Let’s Talk About Recruitment and Retention: Part 3, we surveyed and took close up shots of meaningful orientation for new hires, in an effort to keep them tethered to us longer.  Now we must take a few minutes to focus on the other two essential elements of onboarding needed to make all the rest of this retention effort worthwhile.

So, now, let’s talk about

Education, Professional Development and Training

Most states in the USA require federal and state funds receiving health care enterprises to at least provide a basic orientation session for their new hires.  Some states are extending this requirement to home care agencies, and you can be certain that the laggards will be catching up in the next few years.  Many home care and health care agencies have misunderstood the difference between orientation and education and training.

Laws are changing about that, too.

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Again, let’s clarify what the differences are between these three often misused terms.  Orientation is a glorified welcome meeting and review of company policies and a facilities tour.  Educations’ purpose is to provide information about how to think through ones responsibilities for good decision making on the fly and creative problem solving for independent action.  Training concerns instructions about how to do the hands elements of job based upon one’s previous or concurrent education. All three are important and necessary for quality staff development and retention, quality client care, and result in quality business administration and management success in the LTCSS environment.

We have previously discussed orientation in Let’s Talk About recruitment and retention: Part 3, so now we will move onto education and training.


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Complete Education is Key

This area of LTC HCSS is starting to get real attention from law makers around the country and many states in the last few years have started enacting laws and requirements for basic education of personal care staff.  This is one of those trends that will continue to shape the field for quite a while.  This is a good trend, and though most legislators have set the bar mighty low, that too will be adjusted up over time.


Meanwhile, you can choose to be the sort of service provider that is proud of simply satisfying state minimums or you can be the guy you would choose to hire for yourself, and do better than state minimum requirements for your care staff and clients.

Believe it or not, personal care of the frail elderly and those with chronic conditions or disabilities require THOUGHTFUL attention and stimulating actions performed with and on behalf of the cared or  person.

Caring for a elder is NOT like caring for a child.  Just because your physically weak does not mean your empty headed or stupid. Older people want the companionship of someone who instinctively knows how or has learned how to keep them engaged with life and looking forward to the rest of the day, let alone tomorrow.  Babying them is not the way to achieve that goal.  It offends their well deserved dignity, and rightfully so.

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Education is an area where penny pinching will cost you much more in the long term that you will ever save upfront.  You do not have to break the bank, but you do usually get what you pay for, and in this area you can be sure there is a difference.

If you are the type who enjoys squeezing a nickel until it cries then recruit and hire only those care aides who already have been educated and certified by CertifiedCare.org. Otherwise, get your funds in order and get your staff educated and certified by CertifiedCare.org.

Why?  Because, there, you will easily and efficiently get your staff both educated and continuously professionally developed and routinely certified, re-certified and registered, and you do not have to spend time on all that planning, creating, and implementing. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Some of you are saying, quite correctly, “You are the Head Cheese there, so you are biased about CertifiedCare”. Well, true and yes, of course, I am biased, …but for good reason

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You can easily verify any claims to certifications by checking their 24/7 free public credentials registry.  Their reasonably priced accredited education is total coverage from theory and best practices to advice and proactive caregiving to career orientation.  They cover person centered, wholistic, basic client ADLs to caregiver self-care to Chronic disease management to death and funeral planning and tons more.  IT’S ALL THERE all together, for one flat fee.  Plus, they provide continuing education and professional development and annual re-certification through their professional care aide membership organization.

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And there is another reason I recommend CertifiedCare for all your personal care and nursing staff members. CertifiedCare teaches even the licensed care professionals, through every chapter, about the special soft skills needed for responsible and dignified care for the frail elderly.  That stuff is not often taught in traditional curriculum.

But, best of all, if you choose CertifiedCare  for your care aide education and certifications you don’t gotta do nuthin’- the student can even register themselves.

Show me a better or equal alternative and I will huckster for them, too.  

BIG TIP:  Do not skip or scrimp on employee education.  It is the number one key to reducing employee turnover.

8 Intelligent Reasons for Care Aide Education

Quality, accredited,complete, ongoing, professional level Care Aide education WILL result in:

  1. Reduced staff and supervisor stress
  2. Improved client services
  3. Stretched marketing dollars (with those all important customer referrals)
  4. Expanded client services
  5. Being respected by your industry peers
  6. Diminished chances of being sued by disgruntled clients
  7. Avoided chances of being stuck with workers’ compensation claims, and generally
  8. Limited headaches traded around the office

It simply comes down to complete and ongoing education of all care staff.

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The Value of Professional Development

  • Up-to-date skills are necessary in today’s workplace environment.
  • It is vital to give employees opportunities for continued learning and skills application.

You might be surprised to know that even care aides care about their professional development.  Most care aides and entry level nurses hope to elevate themselves over time to more illustrious (seeming) positions and more challenging work. Most will tell you that opportunities for professional development and growth are a major factor in their desire to remain with a current employer.  Can you blame them for wanting that option?

Professional Development in Action

Continual learning means ensuring that the proper, most current tools are in place.  Being creative with your budget to provide training is crucial to the level of care you can provide.

Employees are our greatest asset. When you invest in your employees, you invest in the community.  By providing them opportunities for continued learning throughout their careers, we demonstrate our commitment to them.

I am not just talking about continuing education as required by law.  That’s minimal competency stuff.  I am talking about wholistic personal and professional ongoing education / information access.  The sort of information that makes the entire person better so they can perform their basic competencies at a high level.  Such attainment will help you make money and keep the clients you already have won, so you can spend energy getting the rest of them.

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You Have to Spend to Save

Can you afford to lose well-trained staff? Probably not.  Here’s why:

  • Continuing education is a crucial cost of doing business
  • Training opportunities enhance staff performance, morale and retention
  • The cost of replacing professional employees is more than twice their annual salaries, so money spent on training will save many times the amount in turnover costs

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Make education  and training part of your regular overhead budget.

Here’s how to do that…

  • Plan your budget to include staff training and stick to it
  • Set aside a portion of your budget and give your staff a dollar amount that is available for training
  • Build up a funding cushion and use prior-year monies to eliminate crunches
  • Staff members need to maintain their licensure and keep
    up with their professions

Education goes a long way. Let them learn while they earn.


  • The more your employees learn, they better they’ll perform.
  • Better patient care will encourage clients to stay and refer others to you.


CertifiedCare.org Ranked #1 five years in a row as BEST VALUE…where all types of caregivers benefit from complete elder care education and ongoing career development.

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Hands on training, you would think, would be a no brainer for all new care hires to receive.  Yet, well … it is not.  Personal care is hands on care, and trust me when I tell you there is a right way and a wrong way to administer it.

Most care staff from RNs to Personal Care Aides get injured on the job because they do not know how to protect themselves while transferring clients from chairs to beds to toilets, or when clients lose their balance, etc.  Most care agencies get sued because clients do not know how to properly handle a frail elders’ thin skin, connective tissue and fragile bones.

Add hands on training to your overhead, if you have not already included it.  If you cannot afford to do so, learn how to teach it yourself and take on the extra responsibility of training your care staff before you unleash them on your clients.

Making sure your staff is well prepared for the enormous range of duties they must undertake in the field is a must do if your organization is to survive, let alone thrive.  You will reap the benefits of a well-trained staff.

While all this educating and training is happening do not forget to…

Focus on the Mission!

Describe to your new hire care staff the unique clinical and cultural opportunities that comprise home based caregiving.

  • Talk about the unique opportunity to serve an appreciative and deserving patient population and the types of clients who your agency / facility typically serves.
  • Explain the emphasis on providing patient-centered care while working among an interdisciplinary team of clinicians. You cannot reinforce enough the importance of clear communication channels and content.
  • Explain what to expect from a typical day on the job (hours, patients, tasks, resources).

©Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved

Make sure your caregiver is educated, tested, certified and registered by CertifiedCare prior to hire or as a condition of continued employment.  

Keep reading

To continue on to Part 5, where read more about the Looming Crisis: Care Aide Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Solutions, and let’s talk about how to mentoring will make these valuable people want to stay with you for the long haul, click here

CertifiedCare.org …where all types of caregivers benefit from complete elder care education.  Let’s Talk About  is a CertifiedCare.org sponsored series of full length articles about cutting edge topics and trends impacting the Long Term Care industry service providers and the people that industry is meant to serve.  The articles are authored by carrcathleen.jpg (180×252)Rev. Dr. Cathleen V. Carr JD MA MscD,  a down to earth ordained minister, a dozen times over experienced caregiver, Executive Director of CertifiedCare.org, and author of the CertifiedCare multiple award winning Family Caregiver, Professional Personal Care Aide, Alzheimer’s-Dementia, Special Needs, and Senior Care Auditor education and certification programs, and “Grand Poobah” of the CertifiedCare Professional Care Aide Membership organization. (Beware of imitators)

 Professional Care Aides certified by CertifiedCare are in demand!

Get started today to get prepared to be in our registry of CertifiedCare Certified Caregivers http://certifiedcare.org 





About Elder Care Advice blog

Get professional elder care giving advice, advocacy, education and tips for those who care for and about the frail elderly at the ElderCareAdvice blog. We are generously sponsored by CertifiedCare.org. Most posts are written by Cathleen V. Carr, unless attributed otherwise. We welcome relevant submissions. Submit your article and by-line for publishing consideration (no promises!) to Havi at zvardit@yahoo.com, our own editor who will ensure submissions are given the best possible treatment and polish before publication, ensuring a professional level of publication. There is a nominal service fee involved ($45). Allow up to 30 days for publishing.
This entry was posted in Advocacy, Aging at home, Alzheimer's Caregiving, Caring for a Veteran, Certified Caregiver, Certified Caregiving, Dementia Caregiving, Elder Abuse and Neglect, Elder Care, Holistic Eldercare, Home and Health Care Agency, Professional Eldercare, Special Needs, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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