Are you looking for a career that gives you a purpose, helps you make a difference, and serves others? Then caregiving is a great option to consider! But before you start applying, you may want to make sure you have a great chance of getting hired. This post explains the caregiver qualifications agencies will look for on your resume.

What is a Caregiver?

When a person is recovering from an illness or injury, it’s challenging — or even impossible — for them to handle their daily tasks. Until they’re fully healthy and able to be independent again, a caregiver helps with activities of daily thriving. 

Caregiving services include:

  • Light housekeeping
  • Grocery shopping
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Errands, such as picking up prescriptions 
  • Medication reminders

You may offer even more services, depending on what type of caregiver you become.

Types of Caregivers

There are many types of caregivers because people have differing needs. Here are the types of caregivers and what makes them unique:

  • Family Caregiver. A family caregiver is a family member who provides care to their loved one. This work is usually unpaid, but there are grants to help in this situation, such as those from The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP).
  • Respite Caregiver. Respite caregivers provide temporary, short-term relief for primary caregivers. If you become a respite caregiver, you’ll often be helping unpaid family caregivers when they need a break.
  • Personal Caregiver. These professionals are long-term caregivers who help their clients with all their personal tasks, like cleaning, cooking, bathing, grooming, and running errands.
  • Home Health Professionals. These professionals have unique qualifications to provide in-home health care to their clients. They also provide services similar to a personal caregiver.
  • Hospice Caregivers. Hospice care professionals focus on improving the quality of life for people nearing the end of their lives and their loved ones. This care may include therapeutic conversations, often about death and spirituality.

Now that you understand all the different types of caregivers, here are the qualifications you’ll need to pursue a career as a caregiver.

Caregiver Qualifications Required by Type of Care 

Each type of caregiver requires different qualifications. If you know what type of caregiver you want to be, feel free to skip to that section below.

Personal Caregiver

A personal caregiver helps clients with daily tasks, such as cleaning, cooking healthy meals, bathing, safety supervision, transferring assistance, light housekeeping, companionship, medication reminders, and running errands. A personal caregiver stays with their clients to provide support if they are in a season of recovery due to illness or injury, or to provide companionship and safety supervision, to better assist seniors to remain independent and in their own home. You’ll also form a routine together. For example, you’ll know when it’s time to watch your client’s favorite TV show while they eat a snack they love.   

To become a personal caregiver, we recommend having:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Certified Nurse Aid (CNA) license
  • CPR certification

While these qualifications are helpful to land a job, you don’t necessarily need them. Many caregiving facilities offer on-the-job training for people with the right personalities or with certain intangible qualifications. If you’re compassionate, patient, attentive, reliable, and hard-working, you can be hired without formal qualifications. 

Home Health Caregiver 

A home health caregiver will provide many of the same services as a personal caregiver but also are trained to provide services, such as:

  • Taking vitals
  • Provide safety supervision
  • Document a client’s disposition
  • Helping patients recover from acute medical issues (such as surgery)
  • Reminders to participate in prescribed physical therapy exercises
  • Medication reminders and documentation

To provide in-home healthcare, you’ll need the following qualifications:

  • A high school diploma
  • Formal medical training that is certified by taking a test with your state’s nurse aide board. Requirements are generally state-specific. Expect to obtain certification through the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
  • A desire to work in this field or relevant medical experience

These qualifications are required before you’ll get hired as a home health caregiver, but you’ll also likely get on-the-job training. 

To thrive as a home health caregiver, you’ll need a personality similar to a home caregiver — compassionate, patient, attentive, reliable, and hard-working. You’ll also need to be passionate about health care and comfortable with the human body.

Hospice Caregiver 

A hospice caregiver helps clients that are nearing the end of their lives. This type of caregiver will help with personal caregiving tasks and tasks that support the family, like laundry and dishes, but their main goal is to help their clients feel comfortable as they live out their last days. 

A hospice caregiver will often focus on providing:

  • Companionship
  • Emotional support
  • Medication reminders and documentation
  • Communication with the patient’s hospice team
  • Personal care help and assistance with activities of daily living
  • Bereavement support

To become a hospice caregiver, you’ll need:

  • A high school diploma
  • CPR certification
  • CHHA certification 

Alongside qualifications, you’ll need the right personality to be a hospice caregiver. You should be compassionate with great interpersonal skills and emotional strength. You should be also able to remain calm and comforting under pressure and during different end-of-life stages

Getting Started as a Caregiver

If caregiving sounds like the right career for you, here’s how to get started:

  • Decide Which Type is the Best Fit. The first step is choosing between the different types of caregivers. For example, if you could see yourself as a healthcare professional, aim to be a home health caregiver. 
  • Pursue Training and Certification. Depending on what type of caregiver you want to be, pursue the right training and certification. Some people even chose to work as a caregiver while becoming a nurse or to seek advanced qualifications. 
  • Develop Soft Skills. While training and certifications will give you the hard skills you’ll need, you also need to develop your soft skills, which would include; empathy, compassion, kindness, and communication skills. Focus on developing these as you gain experience.
  • Find the Right Agency. When you’re ready to become a caregiver, look for a caregiving agency that will support you, and your growth throughout your career.

Providence Home Care: Grow With a Purpose

We’re looking for more hard-working, passionate caregivers to join our team at Providence Home Care. Our goal is to help you grow with a purpose as you build your dream caregiving career. Start your career in caregiving today.

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