The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons that have significantly altered our lifestyle leaving us to accept the new normal.
When we talk about the home care industry alone, agencies and caregivers that have significantly faced diverse challenges are now being prepared to operate into full efficiency.
Since everyone is aware of the fact that things aren’t going to be the same as it was before the crisis, caregivers as well as home care agencies should be well-prepared to deliver an excellent level of care and maintain their operational efficiency without compromising on individuals’ health.
Caregiver training has been always an essential part of improving the overall quality of care. If this is achieved perfectly it can thrive-in business success.
While we navigate through this difficult situation and many states are thinking of reopening, it is crucial to emphasize quality care delivery through adequate training while leading to business success.
Providing consistent caregiver training is undoubtedly an essential requirement if home care agencies want to stay up & running once the state reopens.
Here are what agencies must emphasize to keep their caregivers engaged to maintain quality care and minimal turnover rates.
Before You Send Your Caregivers into the Field
It’s crucial to take sufficient time to outline your company’s expectations from your resources when they are ready to work in full capacity.
Do not hesitate to be specific in your requests as your caregivers are representing your agency’s core values and overall reputation. An excellent idea would be to offer them a checklist containing actions along with prompts that provide them a framework for engaging clients.
Areas of caregiver qualities that should not be missed when the state reopens:
Since caregivers will not only be working with existing clients but with new clients as well, you must ensure your caregivers follow best practices while they offer care to ensure quality service.
You need to establish firm guidelines that will help set client expectations and ensure your caregivers’ first impressions are welcoming & appreciated.
1. Ensure they are Well-versed with CDC’s COVID-19 Guidelines
Even though your caregivers are doing quite well by following the preventive measures provided by CDC; a quick insightful session would be very helpful in ensuring your clients’ & caregivers’ safety.
Home care agencies need to focus on COVID-19 Recommended Operational Protocols to ensure their agency operates efficiently without affecting the productivity & overall safety of clients & caregivers.
Moreover, organizing a quick overview session could be quite beneficial for the caregivers that were previously handling a limited number of clients and were practicing remote patient monitoring.
You need to focus on the areas of care that are newly added to their task sheet that would help them in scheduling their shifts more efficiently.
Here is where the focus should be:
- Appropriate use of personal protective equipment
- Encouraging clients to maintain proper hand hygiene
- Restricting outdoor activities of elders
- Monitoring their health and checking for symptoms
- Sanitizing frequently touched areas if a client is showing symptoms
- Caring for COVD-19 patients without getting infected
2. Professionalism- Learn the Ropes
You must understand that professionalism is the key to success when it comes to delivering top-notch home care services amidst the global pandemic.
A good caregiver is not just someone with the required skill set to meet all the challenges they are going to face in the course of a day, rather the person that handles every situation with professionalism to maintain the repute of the brand they’re associated with.
Ensure your caregivers are not stressed by your company policies or any other issues that can eventually hamper the quality of their services that directly impacts your agency’s image in the market.
Since the current scenario is not favorable for directly marketing your business, your caregivers undeniably depict the overall reliability of your agency.
It is your responsibility to ensure risk assessments are performed regularly so that the entire information is up to date.
If a caregiver is treating the clients with courtesy & respect regardless of their behavioral issues, you are on the right path to attaining new clients through word-of-mouth marketing.
Make sure your caregivers:
- Arrive on time
- Are friendly & respectful
- Know client preferences
- Are well trained to handle the most difficult situations
- Are following your agency’s protocols & guidelines while meeting new clients
- Are reassuring your clients that your agency is fully prepared to deal with the situation
- Aren’t facing any issues with the agency
- Are loyal to your agency for long term employment
3. Leverage Technology – Staying Ahead of the Pack
Agencies delivering personal care services shouldn’t ignore the potential of technology when it comes to training skilled caregivers while the state reopens.
A smart home care scheduling software can be a game-changer for both agencies and caregivers during these times of crisis.
Most of the caregivers squander their time in maintaining heaps of paperwork leading to stress & inefficiency. Smart Home Care Scheduling Software-CareSmartz360 helps agencies to schedule visits quickly and provides real-time notifications to the caregivers regarding upcoming shifts.
Once the entire process of care delivery is automated, you can be sure that your caregivers can focus on delivering quality care rather than spending their time in maintaining records or manual scheduling.
Apart from the scheduling feature, CareSmartz360’s “Shift Pre-Screening” quickly screens caregivers for any COVID-19 symptoms. This is conveyed to the agency via SMS & Email. Caregivers that have any of these symptoms will be unable to clock-in, hence enhancing the safety of clients.
Train your caregivers in a way that they can get maximum benefits by utilizing technology that saves time and enhances productivity.
4. Time Management- The Game Plan
While we are currently facing a pandemic, there are additional and essential tasks a caregiver needs to perform while delivering care to the elderly.
Items such as sanitizing the home or guiding seniors to maintain hand hygiene, caregivers need to walk the extra mile to ensure their services performed are on point once their agency is operating in full capacity.
Apart from this, the shortage of skilled resources was already a large matter of concern for agencies. During these times of crisis, things are getting worse.
More and more people are requiring care at their homes leading to a rise in demand for skilled in-home care professionals. The clients who have contracted COVID-19 are requiring extra care, which surely increases the total number of hours of care for a client.
We recommend that agencies emphasize the importance of time management while they are being trained for in-home care services amidst COVID-19 so that the demand is fulfilled without any hassle.
5. Caregiver Engagement
Since many caregivers do not consider training as an essential aspect of improving their skills, the agency must put every effort forward to engage their caregivers during training.
Do ensure that your training is engaging and exciting for your caregivers. This will assist in retaining information and nurturing their growth.
Ask your caregivers to share their experiences. This will assist in helping other colleagues who are dealing with similar situations.
Ensure every caregiver is attending training and gaining knowledge from it. You can reward caregivers for being a part of the training program. You can also show your appreciation for their dedication and quality work during their training time. This will in return promote learning & engagement.
In a Nutshell
You will not get another chance to make a first impression. Your caregivers must be fully trained to perform quality and reliable services from the first day your operations are in full capacity. This will ensure they deliver premium care to the seniors.
Make sure that your training program not only emphasizes technical aspects of providing quality care but also focusses on intangible skills, which are vital to the longevity of your brand and guarantees the success of the client-caregiver relationship.
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COVID-19 Checklist for Home Care Agencies