It can be challenging to find a job that you feel passionate about. You’re looking for a role that allows you to make a positive impact and feel like you’re helping others. Caregiving is a great option for anyone who wants to build a career that improves the lives of others. You might not realize there are choices when it comes to caregiving careers. This post explains your options.

3 Types of Caregiving Careers

Within the field of caregiving, there are many different specialties. You’ll need to decide which type of caregiving best fits your personality and interests. We can’t tell you what option is best for you because it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. But here’s an explanation of three types of caregiver roles.

1. Home Health Aide

Home health aides help clients who can’t perform all of their daily tasks on their own. This role’s clients often include people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic illnesses. Because of the nature of the clients, this care is often temporary. This care is not usually medical unless the aide is also a licensed nurse. But home health aides monitor their clients’ health and medication adherence.

Home health aides: 

  • Help with activities of daily living (such as bathing, dressing, eating, and grooming)
  • Provide personal care
  • Perform light housekeeping tasks (such as laundry, cooking, and light cleaning)
  • Help with activities of daily thriving (such as running errands, grocery shopping, or picking up medications)
  • Monitor the health of clients to report back to their care team
  • Remind clients to take their medication at the correct times and document it

To become a home health aide in Oklahoma, you’ll need a CPR certification. You’ll also need more advanced training and education.

2. Personal Care Provider

While home health aides provide temporary care, personal care providers offer ongoing care. Personal care providers help anyone who needs help living independently. Still, personal care providers focus less on medical care and more on activities of daily thriving. 

Personal care providers:

  • Help their clients with daily personal tasks, such as dressing and bathing
  • Grocery shop for clients and prep healthy meals
  • Assist with activities of daily thriving
  • Provide light housekeeping
  • Run errands, such as picking up prescriptions
  • Drive clients to appointments and other locations

To become a personal care provider, experience is beneficial and certifications may be required.

3. Hospice Care Provider

Hospice care providers help clients who are at the end of their lives. This caregiving specialty improves the client’s quality of life and often includes therapeutic conversations about death, the afterlife, and spirituality. 

Hospice care providers:

  • Offer companionship, emotional support, and spiritual care
  • Manage pain and symptoms
  • Coordinate services with doctors and the client’s healthcare team
  • Help with personal care needs, errands, and transportation
  • Can connect families with bereavement counseling

To become a hospice care provider, you’ll need to be a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in your state. Every state has different education and training for nurses. 

Regardless of which direction you take, caregiving careers are rewarding because of the impact you have on your community’s well-being. 

Benefits of Caregiving Careers

Working in the caregiving field offers many benefits — from practical matters, like job security and professional development, to emotional fulfillment, like meaningful work.

Positive aspects of being a caregiver include: 

  • Job Security. There are always more people who need help living independently, especially as Baby Boomers age. You’ll always be in demand as a caregiver.
  • Flexible Schedule. Caregiving is a career with flexibility and the ability to make your own hours. This flexibility is a huge benefit that draws many people into the caregiving field because this career can work around your busy life.
  • Meaningful Work. As a caregiver, you can make a huge difference in your clients’ lives, helping people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to live independently. It’s rewarding to help clients live their best lives, day in and day out. 
  • Professional Development. There is always room for professional growth within the caregiving field. Caregiving is a great starting point for future nurses, physical therapists, and anyone who needs experience helping clients.
  • Certifications Bring More Income. As you expand your certifications, you can increase your income. It’s not a career path that keeps you stagnant in terms of pay.

Challenges of Caregiving Careers

There’s no such thing as a perfect job. Any career brings challenges with it. Caregiving is no different. 

Challenges caregivers can face throughout their careers:

  • High Potential Stress. You can expect to encounter physical and emotional stressors as you help your clients. A caregiving career can be challenging for people who don’t do great with stress. 
  • Emotional Impact. Your clients’ struggles can have an emotional impact on you. For example, hospice workers, who often witness death within their field, can struggle with caregiving’s emotional effects.
  • Non-Certified Positions Offer Lower Wages. If you don’t plan to get certifications to increase your pay, the positions you can get may offer low wages.

Being in the caregiving field can be a challenge, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. The challenges of caregiving are often worth it to reap the benefits.

Choosing the Right Caregiving Career for You

The best caregiving path for you depends greatly on your individual needs and interests. You may want to start with a less specialized position, then work your way into a position requiring higher education or certifications.

Steps to determine  the right caregiving career path:

  • Determine Long-Term Goals. Think about your long-term goals to help you decide what to do now. For example, if you want to become a healthcare provider in the long term, then think about becoming a home health aide to offer services more aligned with the medical field.  
  • Review Qualifications. Do you have any certifications, training, or education that would make one career path easier than another? Considering the necessary qualifications can help you make an informed decision about where to begin your career.
  • Analyze Your Skills. What skills do you already have? Do they correlate with any of the caregiving career paths? Make a list of all the skills you have that apply, such as interpersonal skills like compassion and emotional strength. 
  • Develop an Education Path. After choosing a caregiving career, do you need to pursue an education to achieve it? Or do you want to provide caregiving services as you work toward a nursing or healthcare education? Develop an education path to guide you. 
  • Evaluate Each Potential Career Path. Finally, evaluate all your caregiving options and decide which one would make you happiest. Which one interests you most? Which one lights you up when you talk about it? Choose that one.

Caregivers in Oklahoma: Grow With a Purpose

Whichever caregiving path you choose, you need to find the right place to help you grow in your career while serving client needs. Grow with a purpose as you build your dream caregiving career at Providence Home Care. We’re looking for compassionate caregivers that want to improve the lives of others and feel great about their work. If you live in Oklahoma, start your career in caregiving today.

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