In any type of career, the saying is true that you are never finished learning. As a caregiver, it is certainly not different. Caregivers are usually hungry for new or improved skills to either help them perform their jobs better or increase the opportunities on the horizon.
While there are numerous ways to hone in on skills or practices on your own or through some light research, it is often necessary to receive formal training to meet these goals. There is no better time to plan for additional training opportunities than the start of a new year. If you will set any resolutions for the upcoming year, consider planning to improve your capabilities as a caregiver.
What more can I do?
If you have been in a care position for long, chances are you have a good awareness of what kinds of procedures or tasks you are able to complete without assistance or further training. Lacking training in a particular area is considered a major reason for the high turnover of care positions. To prevent yourself from missing or losing opportunities, ask yourself what more you could learn. The top training opportunities desired by caregivers are as follows:
- CPR, first aid, or other medical procedures
- Hands-on or client-specific training
- Dementia/Alzheimer training
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Training
While most of these certainly require some form of official training and certification, it is worth noting that second on the list was to learn generally anything that would help. There may be training available to you that you aren’t aware of, and it would likely open new doors to take advantage of them.
Some things may not be directly related to caregiving but could improve your employment opportunities, such as getting a driver’s license, improving communication and conflict resolution skills, household skills such as cooking and cleaning, etc. If you have felt held back by lacking in any of these areas, think about how you can change that in 2021.
How do I find training opportunities?
Lots of employers offer certain training and you should always find out how many are available to you. They may be limited due to lack of certification but could be willing to cover some of the costs in order to help you get the skills you need to perform your duties.
There are also agencies that specialize in caregiver training, including both online courses and hands-on training. For skills such as first aid or CPR you will obviously need to complete an in-person course, but you might be surprised how many certifications you can achieve through online training sessions. Check out companies that specialize in these topics and find out what might be useful additions to your skill set. It is also very wise to seek a mentor who can provide first-hand knowledge and coach your progress along the way.
Give yourself time
While a little bit of training really can go a long way to expand your abilities, it is also true that, with a full work schedule and otherwise busy life, it can be hard to find the time for training. As you map out training goals for the new year, remember to allow yourself adequate time and not overload yourself and risk burnout. Employers may be willing to pay you for time spent on training, so find out if that is available. Lastly, breathe, enjoy the journey, and don’t forget to prioritize self-care.
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