The first step to become a certified caregiver is getting trained. As demand for in-home care and assistance grows, there are more options for people seeking a caregiver certification. Depending on the training required in your state, you might even be able to complete a caregiver course online that prepares you to enter the home health care industry.
What does a professional caregiver do?
A professional caregiver helps others with daily activities that they cannot do by themselves. As a caregiver, you may work with clients who are aging, living with a disability, or recovering from an injury, surgery, or illness. Your assistance will help them remain in their homes, where they are most comfortable.
Professional caregivers assist with many non-medical tasks, such as:
- Helping with toileting and hygiene (bathing, brushing teeth, doing hair, etc.)
- Helping with dressing
- Preparing meals and feeding
- Light housework (changing bed linens, washing clothes, dishwashing, etc.)
- Providing medication reminders and checking the correct dosage is taken (as prescribed by a doctor)
- Shopping or running other errands
- Transporting clients to and from appointments
Depending on the amount of assistance necessary, you may work with a single client for several months or years or spend each day with a different client. When you work as a professional caregiver, no two days are exactly alike!
Why should I become a certified caregiver?
The process of becoming a non-medical caregiver varies from state to state. Many states will require you to complete a caregiver training program online or through an agency that employs you. You may also need to pass a background check and drug test. However, some states have no licensing requirements to become a non-medical caregiver.
Even if licensing is not required, you may still want to complete a caregiver certification. Caregiver training programs could give you more job opportunities. Agencies and patients may be more likely to hire you if they see that you have been formally trained.
Completing a caregiver training program can also provide you with valuable knowledge you can use at work. This can help you become better at your job and provide the best care possible to your clients.
How to Get a Caregiver Certification Online*?
You may be able to complete a non-medical caregiver course online. This will depend on the state where you live and will work. Online caregiver training may not be available, or it may only cover part of the required material. You may need to do some in-person training or testing to complete your caregiver certification.
Online caregiver training can help you learn or strengthen your basic caregiving skills. Your caregiver certification may include instruction in:
- Cleaning and sanitizing items such as dishes and linens
- Dealing with patients with special needs (i.e., cognitive issues or a disability)
- Effective communication
- Handling your own stress and mental health
Finding a caregiver course online is as simple as doing an internet search for ones in your area. Course materials and prices may vary, but you are likely to find several options that meet your state’s requirements and your budget.
In some instances, you may even be able to get a free caregiver certificate online. If you plan to work for an agency, they might pay for your training or reimburse you for it. You will probably be required to work for them for a set number of years in exchange.
Choosing an Online Caregiver Certification
There are many things you may think about when choosing a caregiver training program. You will likely need to consider if the course meets the licensing requirements in your state and if you can complete the entire program online. Cost may also be a factor.
Other things to consider may include:
- Who is running the program – Your state and/or employer will only accept an approved caregiver certification. Programs run by a technical school, community college, reputable training company, or employer are most likely to be legitimate.
- The program’s accreditation – If you’re unsure if a program is reputable or not, you may be able to search for them through the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or look for reviews from previous students.
- Opinions from others in the industry – Current caregivers may be able to recommend a program or help you evaluate caregiver courses online.
Protecting Yourself at Work
Once you become a certified caregiver, you may want to consider protecting yourself while at work. Caregiver insurance** (policies designed for the needs of professional caregivers) is one way you might do this.
- Client injuries – If you are working with the elderly or patients with a disability, injuries could be common. You may be held liable for their medical bills if your actions caused the injury.
- Third-party property damage – Accidents happen, even when you’re being careful. If you damage a client’s belongings, even unintentionally, you might need to pay to fix the situation.
- Negligence – Accusations of negligence can be serious. Even if you are not a fault, you could face thousands of dollars in legal fees defending your professional reputation.
These are just a few of the risks that caregivers may face on the job. You might consider getting insurance to protect against these and other potential hazards, so you can better focus on caring for others.
Caregiver training programs can help you begin an exciting career, create new employment opportunities, or strengthen your current skills. Look for online caregiver training in your area to get started.
Compare caregiver insurance with BizInsure and get covered online in minutes. Start today!