A career as a personal caregiver can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. With passion and skill, you can excel in such a career while finding your true calling to help other people improve the quality of their lives.
To become a personal caregiver, there are several important things to consider, and steps to complete in order to ensure you are ready to fill this important role. Take a look as we outline how to start a career as a personal caregiver.
Talk to someone in the field.
First and foremost, you should speak to someone who works as a personal caregiver. They will be able to provide you with helpful insight as to what their day to day responsibilities include. They can also open your eyes to things you may not have considered, both the benefits and the challenges. In doing so, you will be able to set realistic expectations for your career as a personal caregiver.
Gain first-hand experience through volunteering.
Next, you can inquirer with your local hospitals or hospice organizations to see if they accept volunteers in any capacity. Through volunteering your time, you will gain first-hand experience in caring for others. You can also ask local home care agencies if they might allow you to job shadow one of their personal caregivers for a period of time. Again, seeing the job in action will show you things you simply cannot learn from a book or online.
Understand Pennsylvania’s and each Home Care Agency’s employment requirements for caregivers.
Once you’re certain this is the career path you wish to pursue, it’s important to understand the intricacies of Pennsylvania’s and Home Care Agency’s requirements for caregivers. Basic requirements include submitting to a criminal background check, having a valid driver’s license and your own vehicle, having certain health screenings performed, and showing competency in many of the tasks you will perform as a caregiver. You will want to speak with someone at a local home care agency who would also be able to walk you through employment requirements.
Consider additional education and training.
You may also wish to consider additional training which is beyond what the Commonwealth requires, such as your CPR certification, or even earning your Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) degree. Why? This will help you stand out in your career field as qualified and committed. Additionally, it will help you provide the best care to your patients.
Search for open positions for personal caregivers in your area.
Now you’re ready to join the job search! In addition to browsing listings on the well-known job search sites, be sure to do your own research by asking people you know about the home health agencies who have good reputations and who they might recommend. It’s important that agencies and their caregivers align with their mission to serve others, as this ensures a successful and enjoyable work environment for all.
Make a list of pros and cons for each offer, and accept the job that is the right fit for you.
Once you have narrowed down your search, conducted interviews, and have received one or more offers, you’re ready to make a final decision as to where you wish to start your career as a personal caregiver. If considering more than one option, make a list of pros and cons for each. Really think through what’s most important to you. Location? Work hours? Benefits? Starting salary? It’s expected you may need to compromise on some items on your career “wish list.” Focus on your must-haves, and be flexible with the rest.
Are you interested in becoming a personal caregiver? We would love to provide you with more information and help you take the first step on this journey. Contact us today to learn more!