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3 Reasons Why Home Care Agencies Should Add A CNA Program

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By: Portia Wofford

As the need for senior care rises, many are choosing home care as an alternative to long term care facilities. The lessening of financial burdens paired with the security of being in one’s own home makes homecare an attractive choice. Many families are seeking home care agencies to take on the care of their loved ones and allow them to age in place. As the demand rises with America’s aging population, the need for competent caregivers is also increasing. While most agencies use home health aides (HHA) to fill their needs, using certified nursing assistants (CNA) is an attractive choice that home care agencies should consider. Some states do not require that HHA complete school-based training; while all require that CNAs complete a certification program and pass an exam for certification. Most HHA have limited medical training, while CNAs are equipped with skills such as taking vital signs, safe transferring and assistance with activities of daily living, incontinence care, and proper positioning and repositioning of patients. Additionally, many CNAs have been trained to notice changes in condition and to seek help from nurses, physicians, or emergency services. While many agencies seek CNAs from CNA training programs or schools, owning and operating a CNA school is an option that home care agency owners should consider.

Training Gaps

Many CNAs are not trained in home care processes and will need additional training to transition into the home. The skills taught in most CNA programs don’t transfer to the nonmedical side of home care. Owning a CNA training program will give home care agency owners the ability to educate competent caregivers while simultaneously teaching their students on home care services and the role he or she will play, as a caregiver, in the home.

Available Caregivers

One challenge the home care industry faces is recruiting and retaining qualified caregivers. Estimates put the turnover rate somewhere between 40% and 67%. According to research firm Home Care Pulse, the projected cost of hiring and training a new caregiver is estimated at $2,600. A Forbes article states that by 2026 an additional million workers will be needed in the home care industry. Adding a CNA program to your existing business will allow you to not only train students according to federal and state guidelines but will also afford you the luxury of being able to employ students, once they have completed training. You will have the first choice, and your students can consider it an internship of sorts.

Become an Industry Leader

In 2018, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a change to allow non-skilled, home care services as a supplemental benefit for Medicare Advantage plans in 2019. As Medicare Advantage insurers begin to get on board with the new changes they–along with patients and their families–will be searching for agencies who offer the best caregivers. Employing CNAs, as caregivers, allows your potential clients to feel secure in the skills and abilities of your staff while allowing your agency to stand out. An addition of a CNA certification program is a great marketing tool.

Ready to start a CNA program, but unsure how to start? We’re here to help.

About the author:

Portia Wofford is a nurse, millennial strategist, healthcare writer, entrepreneur, and micro-influencer. Chosen as a brand ambassador or collaborative partner for various organizations, Wofford strives to empower nurses by offering nurses resources for career development–while providing organizations with tools to close generational gaps within their nursing staff. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for her latest.