Job satisfaction is key to getting a caregiver job and sticking with it. Job satisfaction means that when you come home from a shift, you feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose. It’s what makes you keep chugging along when the going gets tough.
Working as a caregiver naturally comes with a pretty high level of job satisfaction. Every day, your work improves the life of another person – what could bring more purpose or meaning?! Being a caregiver is like being someone’s hero – HUGE job satisfaction booster.
But even for caregivers, it’s extremely important to keep satisfaction in mind when you’re job hunting. Does this company provide sufficient opportunities for me to grow and get better at my job? Do people seem to like working here? Do they provide the caregiver training I need to succeed? Is this CNA job going to encourage me to do my best work everyday? These are important things to ask yourself in order to test the caregiver job satisfaction waters.
What does caregiver job satisfaction mean for you? What makes you stick around even when things get challenging? Comment and share with us!
Often times, we hear family caregivers talking about grief and how to cope with the loss of a loved one. However, a lesser discussed subject is professional grief – when those working paid caregiver jobs experience loss.
Though a professional caregiver’s grief is often times more subtle, distant and hidden, it is still very real on an emotional and internal level. Caregivers often spend hours and hours with the same person for months, if not years, on end. Naturally, many caregivers get to know their clients quite well and form strong bonds with them. When a client dies, the caregiver enters a potentially unexpected grieving process.
Since the relationship was a professional one, she may feel awkward for feeling sad and upset, causing her to be hesitant to express her feelings. Professional caregiver grief often is suppressed or hidden, and when that grief is not dealt with in a healthy manner, it can cause larger issues for a caregiver in the long-run. Those who work for years in a caregiver or CNA job are susceptible to experiencing multiple deaths in a short period of time, putting them at risk for “bereavement overload,” with no time to grieve properly.
Grieving is an unavoidable part of life, and caregivers who experience loss are not exempt from the process. It’s important that even those with professional caregiver jobs get the outlets and help they need to grieve when they lose a client. Oftentimes agencies have support groups in place, where caregivers can talk about their deceased client and express what they liked about them. For other people, grieving may mean journaling about the person, attending the funeral, or seeking support outside of work (there are online resources and support groups available).
Whatever the method, it’s extremely important that professional caregivers first acknowledge their feelings of loss and then find a healthy way to cope and recover.
Recently, The New York Times ran an article in the Opinion section entitled Labor Rights for Home Care Workers. The article addresses laws and labor regulations that directly affect people with home care jobs- people just like you. The story goes like this . . .
Back in 2011, the Labor Department, under the guidance of President Obama, began to change regulations for home care workers, entitling them to minimum wage as well as time and a half for overtime. In the past, home care workers were mistakenly labeled as “companions” rather than employees, allowing some companies to underpay home health workers and pocket extra money from Medicaid. The changes were set to be put into effect January 1, 2015.
These policy changes would eradicate such problems by mandating that all states guarantee anyone with a caregiver job at least minimum wage. Though the policies were written and completed in 2013, a few states (AZ, KS, TN, and OR) have written letters into the Labor Department, asking to delay the new laws, claiming that they need more time to investigate how the new policies will affect their Medicaid programs. Other states are ready to put laws into action come Jan. 1, 2015.
What do you think about these policy changes? Do you empathize with the states who are requesting a delay? Comment and tell us what you think! After all, you are the ones working caregiver jobs and you are the ones directly affected by these changes. Let’s hear what you have to say!
Recently, the Huffington Post ran an article called What I Learned About Love As A Caregiver To An Alzheimer’s Patient. Marie Marley tells her story of how a 30 year friendship with a man named Ed slowly became not just a friendship, but also a caregiver job.
Marley describes the difficulty of watching her friend change before her eyes. She recounts the confusion the resulted from his mood swings and stubborn behavior. She willingly and openly acknowledges the sheer difficulty of her work, but never renounces that fact that every moment was profoundly worth it.
Marley concludes that even though Ed is now gone, she would do it all over again, out of love for her friend. For Marley, love trumps the difficulty and pain of disease.
This is the nature of any family caregiver job – love powers you through the challenges and struggles of being a caregiver. Love is the reason true caregivers exist.
South Carolina – the 8th state to join the Union and home of the beautiful Myrtle Beach.
This week, we’re covering South Carolina Caregiver Training, highlighting all the mandates and requirements for caregivers and other direct care workers in the state. It’s essential to know what caregiver training is required of you BEFORE applying for a caregiver job. If you come to a job interview prepared with the proper training and certifications, you’re much more likely to land the job!
So let’s start with Personal Care Aides in South Carolina. PCAs must complete topics specific training (based on the job setting and clientele), followed up with 10 hours of CEUs (continuing education units) each year.
Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) must attend and complete a CNA school program which has been state-approved and pass the SC nurse aide exam. Once certified, CNAs must always do 12 hours of CEUs annually, in order to remain certified and legal to work in the state.
South Carolina Caregiver Training prepares and arms caregivers to provide the best care possible. Those with more training will be more confident in their work and ready to take on the caregiving world!
As we’re in the the throws of holiday season, it’s time to take a breather from the craziness that is life and meditate on what we’re truly thankful for. Caregivers, I believe that as a group, you’re especially good at this. People who work caregiver jobs often times have a robust sense of thankfulness welling up inside of them.
Because when a person understands the incredible gifts given to us by those who are now elderly, they cannot help but be thankful. And sometimes they become a caregiver. Caregivers are people who care for their senior clients out of an appreciation and gratefulness for their contribution to society. They understand that these elderly men and women have lived lives that impacted history, worked jobs that bettered the world, brought forth new life and raised families – and have done a lifetime of work worthy of admiration and respect. That’s why people who can be thankful, who can appreciate these gifts, are the best people for caregiver jobs.
Take a moment to be thankful for the gifts the previous generation has given to us. It will really motivate you to be the best caregiver you can be!
What NOT to Wear To Your CNA Job
You probably read that title and thought to yourself, “But we all wear scrubs to work, so how could you wear the wrong thing?”
Fair question, but the reality is that some folks can even mess scrubs up, and it affects how clients, staff, and nurses perceive them. Dress well for your Certified Nursing Assistant job and communicate to those around you that you care about your work.
Every Certified Nursing Assistant wears some kind of scrubs to work, but some come into their CNA jobs with wrinkled and stained scrubs. Frankly, it just looks unprofessional and it communicates apathy for your job to both residents and supervising nurses. Do yourself and your career a favor by folding your scrubs after they come out of the laundry – they’ll be wrinkle free. Being a CNA can be kind of chaotic, so if you’re like me and you forget every now and them to fold clothes immediately after they’re dried, throw wrinkled scrubs back in the dryer with a wet towel and it’ll steam the wrinkles out! Takes 10 minutes max!
Wear shoes that are comfortable, but don’t look incredibly beat-up. Also keep in mind that old shoes are prone to odors that others can smell – and that’s not fun for anyone. When you get new shoes, spray them with Febreze regularly, and you’ll avoid them picking up odors for a long time.
Finally, keep your hair neat and clean. Nobody likes to look at a greasy head and your patients certainly don’t want your hair hanging over them as you provide personal care assistance.
Working as a CNA isn’t all about appearances . . . but that’s part of it! Make yourself look presentable everyday and watch your CNA career take off!
You’ve no doubt heard of the uber-successful book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.” Well I’ve decided to create a similar list for people with caregiver jobs. I call it, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in Caregiver Jobs.”
The highly effective caregiver . . .
1. Is motivated for the right reasons. Only people whose hearts are in the right place truly thrive in a caregiver job. This means your goal is to help others live better, fuller lives, even when it’s difficult.
2. Is well-trained. Caregivers who have some form of caregiver training under their belt are more likely to succeed in their careers. They know what they’re doing, how to do it, and are less likely to experience caregiver burnout.
3. Is a good communicator. This means being able not only to communicate your own feelings and thoughts, but to listen well and understand the perspective of your client. Additionally, caregivers need to communicate well with co-workers, staff, and supervising nurses.
4. Does not need to be in CONTROL at all times. Great caregivers understand that it’s important to allow clients to maintain as much control as possible. Many caregivers are often far too overbearing without even realizing it.
5. Collaborates with clients. Caregivers who can work with their clients to overcome conflict and reach a solution are far more successful than those who are stubborn and hard. Understand that you too make mistakes and be willing to admit your shortcomings to your client.
6. Has good time management skills. There can be a lot to get done in one day with just one client, let alone many! Great caregivers know how to handle their time at work to maximize their efficiency and get the most done.
7. Knows when to take a step back. Highly effective caregivers know when they’re approaching caregiver burnout, and they know to step back and allow themselves time to recuperate.
Looking for more tips for being the best possible caregiver you can be? Check out our Caregiver Resource Center and find all kinds of helpful materials!
Difficult Residents. Every single Certified Nursing Assistant working any type of CNA job has to deal with this problem some time. They are stubborn, they hit, they shout – it seems like their ultimate goal is to break you.
The reality is that these are people whose lives have become hard. If they were their normal selves, in an unaffected state of mind, they’d probably be embarrassed about their behaviour. But as a CNA, you have to deal with it, no matter what the cause. Caregiver training may give you some strategies to cope, but another strategy is to have a sense of humor about it! Presenting “The Five Most Difficult Residents at Your CNA Job!”
1. The Button Pusher
“Yes, Mr. C? What can I help you with now that I couldn’t have helped you with when you pushed your call button less than a minute ago?”
2. The Unattached Resident
No matter how hard you try to bond with him/her, it seems he/she will do nothing but ignore/actively resist your efforts.
3. The Unashamed Flirt
It was cute the first time . . . not as much the next 100.
4. The Stubborn Resident
Doesn’t matter what you ask them to do – they’re guaranteed to not want to do it. Bed, shower, dinner . . . you name it. You have a CNA job, and it seems they have an anti-CNA job.
5. The Trickster
They pretend they’re going to cooperate, but then BAM, they blindside you with a practical joke.
For more CNA job gifs, check out our blog, Why Become a CNA?
We all know that working the night-shift at your CNA job comes with certain challenges. The struggle to sleep during daylight, feeling tired when you are awake, and insomnia when you’re supposed to be asleep. In fact, studies have shown that people who work abnormal shifts are likely to suffer from Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD) which can include symptoms such as insomnia and excessive sleepiness, irritability, lack of concentration, and more. Needless to say, none of these effects aide a person in doing his best at a caregiver job.
Locking into a overnight shift rhythm isn’t always easy, but there is good news. There are steps you can take to ease the ill-effects of the night-shift and even make it enjoyable. Here are five tips for working the night shift:
1. Change your schedule slowly, when possible. It’s easiest for you body to adjust if you take a few days to ease into your new sleep cycle. Studies show that it takes at least two days, and up to a week to shift your schedule.
2. Avoid caffeine. Even though it gives you a momentarily satisfying burst of energy, caffeine users have a harder time falling asleep than those who refrain.
3. Know your sleep habits. It helps if you’re in touch with how you sleep and can provide yourself with the conditions necessary for good rest. Be sure you know when to start winding down, and have a dark, comfortable room ready to go.
4. Schedule your life carefully. Some people miss out on valuable sleep because they need to pay the bills, clean the house, go grocery shopping, etc. If you can, schedule a time to do these tasks outside of your planned sleeping hours. This way you can enjoy peace of mind knowing your home is in order when you’re resting.
5. Notice and appreciate the benefits of the night shift. Some people prefer the night shift for the more laid-back atmosphere. Things are generally quieter and less chaotic during CNA job overnight shifts. It’s a unique environment from the day time.
Knowing the tricks of the night-shift trade are key to staying motivated and avoiding caregiver burnout. If you’re new to the night-shift, ask your co-workers with more experience for their personal tricks of the trade.
Looking for more CNA job tips? Read our blog called Helpful Tip For Your First Day At Your CNA Job.