Interested in caregiving but not sure where to start? Caregiving is a rewarding career that makes a huge difference in people’s lives. It’s great for social people and teaches transferable skills that can be applied to both your personal and professional life in the future.
Did you know that there are many different types of caregivers? Each type has different job responsibilities and may mean working with different types of people with unique needs.
If you’re wondering how to become a caregiver, this post will give you all the answers you need to get started with your caregiving career.
Choosing a Career Path: Is Caregiving Right for You?
Being a caregiver requires certain characteristics and interpersonal skills, and it’s not for everyone. If you have good communication skills and are compassionate, patient, and positive, you’re more likely to succeed and enjoy your career. It also requires flexibility and problem-solving skills as the needs of your clients may change often, so you need to be able to think on your feet.
Day-to-Day responsibilities of the job can vary widely depending on the types of clients you’re working with. For example, a child will have very different needs from an elderly person.
So what does a caregiver do? Caregivers are there to support clients with any needs they may have. This could be simple things like acting as a companion, running errands, and preparing meals. Depending on your skills and experience, it may mean managing and dispensing medication and treatments.
How to Become a Caregiver: What Training is Required?
There are 3 main types of caregivers — PCAs, HHAs, CNAs. Requirements can vary by state, so be sure to take your state’s laws into consideration when planning your caregiving career.
PCA stands for Personal Care Assistant, and these jobs don’t require any education or training. PCAs provide support to people who need help with their daily activities but don’t need significant medical care. Day-to-day responsibilities typically involve routine tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and companionship.
CNAs or Certified Nursing assistants are state-licensed and have both formal exams and hands-on training. CNAs are qualified to monitor medical conditions and provide treatments to clients. This may involve working in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities.
Home Health Aids are state-licensed as well, however, they have less healthcare training than CNAs. You can study to become a HHA in many community colleges and vocational schools, and HHAs typically earn more than PCAs.
Finding Caregiving Jobs: How to Find them and Apply
Ready to find out how to become a caregiver? Caregiver jobs are easy to find because caregivers are always in demand.
If you are new to the healthcare industry, make a CV that shows your interpersonal skills, organization, and flexibility, as these are the important skills for new caregivers. It’s important to show the type of person you are and why you want to pursue a career as a caregiver.
Caregiving jobs can be found on standard job boards like Indeed, Monster, and even Linkedin. There are caregiver-specific job boards as well like My CNA Jobs and Caregiver Jobs Now. Alternatively, you can also reach out to your local care homes and hospitals to find out if they are recruiting.
Ready to Become a Caregiver?
Caregivers are always needed, and if you have the right skills you can apply for entry-level opportunities with no formal qualifications.
If you’re feeling unsure how to choose a career path, take some time to assess the different types of caregivers and different types of clients you could support. You could also speak to existing caregivers to get an idea about their responsibilities and feelings about their role.
We hope this post helped you to learn how to become a caregiver. You can find more career and lifestyle tips on our blog.