Jan 29, 2018 by Stephanie Howe - Owner, Comfort Keepers
4 Tips to Kick-Start Your Caregiver Career
Being a professional caregiver is something that almost anyone can aspire to, and many people have a great deal of experience caregiving for someone at home before they ever look into earning a paycheck doing the same relaxed home tasks for other people as well. However, the transition from amateur to professional is primarily one of the certifications.
You'll need to be able to prove to a caregiving agency and your new clients that you are reliable, safe, and know how to handle certain relevant situations. Many agencies are willing to train caregivers from zero experience, but if you want to be sure to get a valued position, it's easy to prepare yourself and your resume to be exactly what every caregiver agency is looking for.
1) Build a Good Driving Record
One of the first things you may be asked to do, as it requires no medical training, is drive your clients from place to place. Many of your clients will need caregiving primarily because their eyes are no longer safe to drive, even with corrective lenses.
For this reason, a caregiver agency will be looking for people who have good driving records with their vehicle maintenance and insurance completely up to date. While driving carefully is a great place to start, you can enhance your qualifications as a reliable driver by taking a defensive driving class and doing a full audit and update of your license, registration, tabs, and insurance.
2) Get Your Food Handler's License
Most of us learn to cook fairly early in life. We know by sight, feel, and experience when meat is fully cooked and by smell when things have gone off in the fridge.
However, when you're cooking for a client who is likely to have a weakened immune system, it helps to know exactly what you're doing when it comes to food safety. Having a food handler's license may or may not be required to become a caregiver in your region but, it is always a good sign when someone professionally knows how to cook for others safely and any caregiving organization will value someone who already has an up-to-date food handler's license.
3) Take a First Aid and CPR Class
The vast majority of your time caregiving is likely to be spent hanging out doing low-impact activities with and for your clients like working puzzles and watching movies, cooking, light cleaning, and running errands. However, part of the reason you are caregiving in the first place is the chance that there is a medical emergency.
A caregiver who can manage basic first aid can recognize a stroke, and can perform CPR is incredibly valuable as an attendant to elderly clients. By taking care of these classes and local certifications on your own, you show that you are ready to help others at any time and are already trained in vital skills for medical quality caregiving.
4) Volunteer to Build Experience
The last thing, something that all employers value, is experienced in the field. When writing your resume, be sure to highlight the experience you have at home, volunteering, or in similar work that would make you more apt and able to adapt quickly to a career as a caregiver. If you want more experience for your resume, simply volunteer at a local church, community center, or elder care facility to gain familiarity with the environment and tasks related to helping out seniors throughout the day.
Contact Us Today
Becoming a caregiver is a great way to fill a vital community niche and build a career in something you love. Whether you're just getting started or you'd simply like to strengthen your resume, these four techniques can effectively make your application much more appealing to both caregiver agencies and the clients themselves. For more information about becoming a caregiver or finding a caregiver job in your area, please contact us today at (732)-557-0100!