Home care employees offer services to a variety of clients in their homes. It is expected that the field of home care will continue to grow over the next several years. The duties of a home care employee can differ depending on the client and their individual needs. As such the skills and knowledge required will also vary. Requirements for home care employees can vary based on several factors, including location, requirements of local licensing boards and state regulations, and the needs of the population being served. Luckily they are also homecare courses available all around the country. Despite the variances in requirements, there are some skills that are universally necessary for all home care employees. Many of these skills can be learned through coursework directed to home care employees.
Bloodborne Pathogens and TB
Bloodborne pathogen training is often required and always recommended. Regardless of the population one is working with, children or adults. Bloodborne pathogen training is designed to teach employees about the potential hazards of being exposed to blood or other possibly infectious materials. Working in the home of a client puts home care employees at higher risk of coming into contact with blood or other hazardous materials, making this course all the more important. This training provides important strategies to reduce the likelihood that an employee will come into contact with such materials, as well as comprehensive information about what to do if exposure occurs. Bloodborne pathogen training is invaluable for those that work with others and can significantly reduce the possibility of exposure to blood and other hazardous materials. Along the same lines, a class on Tuberculosis (TB) awareness can also be beneficial to home care employees. TB is an infectious disease that impacts the lungs and can be transferred to another person through coughing and sneezing. The potential for transmission means that home care workers are at higher risk for transmitting or coming into contact with TB. While TB screenings are fairly typical in most care industries, an additional class is often recommended. A TB awareness class can help home care employees in learning and understanding the risk of TB and the best practices for prevention exposure and transmission. Home health employees work in close proximity to their clients and often with others in the home, this proximity increases the likelihood of exposure to bloodborne pathogens and infectious diseases such as TB, appropriate classes and training can be an imperative step in prevention.
Working in-home with clients can pose safety risks to employees. The safety of clients should also be considered. A class that covers basic safety precautions for both employees and clients is highly recommended. While the risk of contact with bloodborne pathogens is well known, working in-home can include a variety of other safety risks. Unhygienic or dangerous work conditions, potentially dangerous clients, pets of clients, injuries from work, and increased risk for health concerns are just some of the safety risks facing home health employees. A practical safety class will review strategies to prevent threats to safety as well as suggestions for what to in a variety of different situations. The safety risks involved will largely depend on the client being served, more specialized training may be necessary for certain areas, such as aggression or violence in the home. Client safety is also a priority. Home health employees will benefit from a class that reviews safety procedures regarding interactions with clients and tasks that are often completed by home health employees.
Handling food safely, proper lifting strategies, awareness of allergies, fall risks, and hygiene are all important to the safety of the client and are topics discussed in a client safety class. In addition to a general safety course, it recommended that home care employees take a basic CPR and first aid course. CPR and first aid certification will ensure that the employee is able to spot signs of some medical emergencies and tend to basic wounds, as well as know when to call for medical assistance.
Ethics and Privacy
Home health employees have a unique position. Working in the home with the client, they are often privy to private information and interact with friends, family, and other service providers. Spending so much time with clients and knowing details of their lives, can create difficulties with boundaries. In addition, access to information means that it is vital for home health employees to understand their obligation to maintain ethical boundaries and respect the privacy of their clients.
A class that reviews ethics and policy should include several topics. A home care employee may be required to adhere to HIPPA (Health Information Patient Privacy Act) privacy requirements, a class should help to clarify if this is the case; and what it entails. Regardless if the employee is bound by HIPPA or not, an ethics and privacy class should explain the importance of client privacy, any circumstances when breaking privacy is permitted or required and what specifically can be considered a violation of privacy. This class should also review the boundaries and duties of the home care employee, what the expectations should be, and what duties or jobs are out of their scope of practice. Working closely with clients and their families may make it difficult to maintain boundaries, a class that discusses ethics can help ensure that home care employees maintain a professional relationship with their clients.
Home care is a vital and growing field. Requirements vary based on the location, company, and client. However, any home care employee will benefit from taking an additional class to improve their abilities and ensure quality care. Working in the home of a client presents unique challenges not faced in a residential or hospital setting. To handle these challenges effectively, taking additional classes is recommended. Classes to address safety, ethics, and health are all important in the field of home care and should be considered by all home care employees. Client care is the priority for every home care employee, completing additional classes will ensure high-quality home care employees, providing the best care.