Remember when you started that new job; you probably had some form of training, but what is workplace training? Indeed states that “workplace training is the process of developing knowledge, skills and efficiency in your job” (Indeed Editorial Team, 2020).
Is there a lack of training in home healthcare?
A survey conducted by The Guardian Social Care Network and the Department of Health illustrates that roughly 56% indicated a lack of training to be a challenge for workers in the home care industry (Burke, 2013). One of the factors that can improve the overall home healthcare system is to train its workers.
Workers providing care at home, such as caregivers, need an array of different skills to administer adequate care. Home health aides are the ones that help to provide medical care, meal preparations, or dressing and bathing.
When it comes to the home care industry, many workers have indicated that their agencies offer minimal or no training on what they should do when a problematic situation arises. Others didn't receive proper training when it came to helping their immobile patients move. Many home healthcare workers require training when it comes to preventing workplace violence or environmental awareness.
In 2014, a survey conducted by the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry illustrates that the two major health threats were depression and geriatric frailty among our seniors (Murray, 2020). The problem is many caregivers who work in the homes of their patients have very little training for determining depression in their patients. Many caregivers lack the training to deal with specific mental and physical health situations. Nurses in the home health field feel they lack the training to help evaluate frailty and depression. For personal care aides, there are no federal requirements regarding training.
Lack of consistency in training
Regulations concerning home care workers tend to differ from one state to another. For example, personal care aides need to pass the training requirement. However, one state may require 100 hours and some clinical training, while another requires zero. Some states in the US will require a license from home care workers, while others require very little training. Home health aides who work under the Medicare-certified home care agencies by law require "75 hours of training" (Drake, 2019). Some states have chosen 120 hours of training, while others follow the federal minimum requirements. While some personal care attendants and home care workers lack training, others are highly trained.
Effects of lack of training in the workplace
Lack of training in home healthcare can endanger the lives of their patients and themselves. Without the appropriate training, it can lead to severe problems, like an injury or a decline in the health of their patients. When home healthcare workers lack training, it can threaten the quality of care provided to the patients. Job satisfaction lowers when workers feel unprepared and not equipped enough with the knowledge. Inadequate training not only puts the patient at risk, but the same goes for the employee. When personal care aides do not get the appropriate training with moving and lifting their patients, it can result in musculoskeletal injuries.
Importance of training
In 2019, Linkedin’s Workplace Learning Report indicated that 94% of employees would continue to stay with their employer if they were willing to invest in them to grow and learn (Hess, 2019).
76% of employees have illustrated that additional skills training makes the company more appealing (Lorman Team, 2021).
Employees value training, and “61% of adults in the United States seek career development opportunities when considering job opportunities” (Lorman Team, 2021). Training is one component that can help decrease turnover rates in the home healthcare industry.
Home care workers, like caregivers, “can be the eyes and ears in the home … and communicate back to the health care provider” (Gorman, 2015). Training allows workers to provide compassionate, accurate, and competent care. When home healthcare workers receive adequate training, it helps reduce injuries for their patients and themselves.
Home healthcare workers need adequate training to protect themselves by identifying any signs that may result in violence. Providing employees with sufficient training can increase their motivation and job satisfaction. Highly-trained employees will help increase productivity and reduces the likelihood of making errors. Training, especially in home healthcare, saves lives (Gorman, 2015). When caregivers do not receive adequate training, they may not be able to identify a stroke or know when a 911 call needs to be made.
Research shows that patients receiving care from trained providers reduces their likelihood to make a visit to the emergency room or get admitted to the hospital, compared to those with untrained providers.
"Upskilling training and care team integration of more than 6,000 home care workers in California's In-Home Supportive Services program contributed to a 41 percent decline in the rate of repeat emergency department (ED) visits and a 43 percent decline in the rate of rehospitalization" (Drake, 2019).
When home care workers are trained, they will be more able to see signs that will help them identify worsening conditions in their patients.
How we can help
The truth is that employees that disengage with their company will displease their customers. Not only are customers unhappy, but revenue drops, and productivity falters.
In the year 2021, every company needs to take the time to assess and understand the training needs of their employees and take that information to create a solution and strategy (Lorman Team, 2021).
Surveys are a great way to deploy questions to their employees. Pulse surveys are short, frequent surveys that can be tailored to specific topics to assess their change over time. Pulse surveys allow staff members to see the impact of their modifications in real-time. The frequent nature of pulse surveys means the information management and staff member sees will always be current.
An example for a question can be:
For staff: I have the knowledge and resources to respond to patients' needs.
In this example, it's clear that staff need to be equipped with knowledge and tools to respond to patients' needs.
Retainify is an employee engagement software that offers a unified solution that allows you to track employee sentiment and measure engagement in real-time. Proactively identify issues that are preventing them from being their best at work. Improve business outcomes by improving the employee experience, and enhance company culture one feedback at a time. Turn Feedback into Action.
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Burke, C. (2013, October 30). Time, pay and lack of training are main challenges for homecare staff. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2013/oct/30/main-challenges-homecare-survey-findings
Campbell, A. (2019, August 21). Home health aides care for the elderly. Who will care for them? Retrieved July 27, 2021, from https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/8/21/20694768/home-health-aides-elder-care
Drake, A. (2019, March 04). How ‘Upskilling’ Can Maximize Home Care Workers’ Contributions And Improve Serious Illness Care. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190227.420595/full/
Gandhi, T., Bonner, A., Muething, S., Lorincz, C., & McTiernan, P. (2019, March 20). As Home Care Expands, Let’s Make It Safer For Everyone. Health Affairs. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20190313.270650/full/
Gorman, A. (2015, January 06). Lots Of Responsibility For In-Home Care Providers — But No Training Required. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://khn.org/news/lots-of-responsibility-for-in-home-care-providers-but-no-training-required/
Hess, A. J. (2019, February 27). WORK LinkedIn: 94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer for this reason—and it’s not a raise. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/27/94percent-of-employees-would-stay-at-a-company-for-this-one-reason.html
Indeed Editorial Team. (2020, November 25). What Are the Different Types of Workplace Training? Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/different-types-of-workplace-training
Kacik, A. (2019, September 26). Health systems redefine training to re-energize employees. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.modernhealthcare.com/labor/health-systems-redefine-training-re-energize-employees
Lorman Team. (2021, January 09). 39 Statistics that Prove the Value of Employee Training. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.lorman.com/blog/post/39-statistics-that-prove-the-value-of-employee-training
Lynch, J. P. (2017, August 22). Home care nurses at unique risk for workplace violence. Nurse.com Blog. https://www.nurse.com/blog/2017/08/22/home-care-nurses-at-unique-risk-for-workplace-violence/
Mattson, K. (2018, August 09). Home Health Nurses Lack Training in Geriatric Frailty, Depression. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://homehealthcarenews.com/2018/08/home-health-nurses-lack-training-in-geriatric-frailty-depression/
Murray, C. (2020, February 14). What Needs to Be Included in Home Health Care Training. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.caitlin-morgan.com/what-needs-to-be-included-in-home-health-care-training/
Sadick, B. (2019, October 07). Home health aides: Professional caregiving help at home. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2019/home-health-aides.html
Spetz, J., Stone, R. I., Chapman, S. A., & Bryant, N. (2019, June). Home And Community-Based Workforce For Patients With Serious Illness Requires Support To Meet Growing Needs. Retrieved September 23, 2021, from https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00021