It’s true that robust demand for home care services like those we provide here at MediQuest Staffing & Homecare is fueling an unprecedented shortage of qualified home healthcare workers. There just are not enough nurses and certified nursing assistants to go around—and the problem is getting worse as more members of the Baby Boomer generation retire every day.
Getting into the field now is undoubtedly a smart career move, but many prospective new caregivers are often unclear of what jobs actually exist, and what education and experience requirements they will face to obtain these in-demand jobs.
Today’s blog post highlights a few of the main types of home healthcare professions you can pursue as a compassionate individual seeking a fulfilling career. And, for those considering whether home care is right for their or their loved ones’ needs, these are the types of caregivers MediQuest can help you choose.
Professional Caregivers We Hire Here at MediQuest
There are three types of caregivers we specialize in placing at Central Pennsylvania healthcare facilities, as well as in addition to private home care settings. These are RNs, LPNs, and CNAs with sufficient experience.
Registered Nurses (RN)
Becoming an RN requires a commitment to education that’s a bit more in-depth than that of an LPN, though, in the home care setting, these two different types of professionals often perform similar duties. (In clinical or hospital settings, their roles may be more varied, with RNs having expanded responsibilities.)
At MediQuest, our RNs typically perform these duties, and more:
- Medication and treatment administration as prescribed by a physician
- Diabetes monitoring and care
- Post hospitalization care to monitor the client’s medical condition
- Support to patients under Hospice care
At a minimum, RNs will have a two-year degree or three-year diploma, and many have baccalaureate degrees.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
Training to become an LPN takes about a year or two, depending on the individual’s personal career motivations. LPNs complete about a year of state-approved nursing education, after which they will receive a certificate. Some may complete more extended programs that culminate in an Associate’s Degree from a community college.
As mentioned above, in home care settings, LPNs will often perform similar duties to RNs, but they will work under the direction of RNs with a bit less autonomy—they are generally expected to report even minor changes in their client’s well-being to a higher level medical professional. Their work may be somewhat more hands-on, as well, though they have the ability to provide more healthcare-related services than CNAs.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)
A Certified Nursing Assistant—sometimes also known as a Nursing Assistant or Practice Care Assistant depending on the setting—generally acts as a liaison between patients and the RNs, LPNs, and doctors they work with.
CNAs work in a wide variety of environments that can include assisted living centers, retirement communities, patients’ private homes, and hospitals. CNAs may work with groups of patients, especially in clinical environments, or one-on-one in home care. The duties of most CNAs, especially in home care scenarios, include providing necessary healthcare assistance to patients and helping with activities of daily living (ADLs) and mobility. CNA work is very hands-on.
Before you can apply for CNA positions, you must successfully complete a state-approved education program that teaches basic principles of nursing and allows you to participate in supervised clinical work—you will find these programs available from community colleges and other technical schools.
Other Home Healthcare Jobs to Explore
While we don’t hire for the following categories of jobs here at MediQuest Staffing, if you’re just beginning to explore your caregiving and healthcare career options, these are some additional fields to explore.
Technically, these types of jobs are not significantly healthcare-centered, since you will require certifications and comprehensive training to provide most levels of care, especially through a home care employment agency. (Recall that we do not hire non-certified aides here at MediQuest, though some other types of agencies may.)
That said, homemakers, companions, and so-called HHAs (home health aides) are roles that many who eventually go on into nursing do as a start to their careers. For instance, if you are still a student, obtaining a non-certified aide position may help you pay your way through school and give you valuable experience working one-on-one with clients as you help with things like ADLs and household chores.
Therapists & Social Workers
These roles are more typically clinic-based, though they may spend a great deal of time doing house calls on clients/patients. As a home health caregiver, you may also encounter or even work closely with these types of professionals depending on your client’s individual needs: physical and occupational therapists, mental healthcare providers, and social workers.
Looking for a New Home Healthcare Job Now?
At MediQuest Staffing & Homecare, we pride ourselves on providing only the best care here in Lancaster County and throughout southcentral PA. This means we hire only the best caregivers, who are highly experienced and committed to making a difference in their clients’ or patients’ lives. If this sounds like you or someone you know, we have a variety of open positions—some facility-based and many others that involve working in the homecare setting.
Contact us today to learn more about employment opportunities, or to inquire about how we can help fulfill your or your family’s care needs.