Tackling the Demand for Quality Home Healthcare Professionals
Assured Quality Homecare, LLC (ASQ) and Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board (EWIB) are excited to announce the creation of a new, intensive training program for Personal Care Aide Certification that will address the severe shortage of professional home caregivers in the State of Connecticut.
For the past 3 years, Assured Quality Homecare, LLC has been preparing local men and women for new careers in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries: quality home health care. Initially, they developed their Personal Care Aide Certification Program (PCA) to up-train caregivers who applied to their home care agency but did not have experience in home care nor formal training as a certified nurse’s aide (CNA) or home health aide (HHA). Quickly, ASQ established a reputation for providing professional, highly-trained home care workers for their clients.
With the statewide shortage of trained home care workers, EWIB and ASQ saw an opportunity to expand the PCA program and begin training new senior care job candidates to make a career change into the rapidly growing healthcare profession. Changing careers require extensive training before a candidate is qualified to accept a position in the new career. This poses a significant challenge for people who need to begin earning better wages as soon as possible.
EWIB’s new pilot program, in collaboration with ASQ, shortens and intensives the training so job candidates are job-ready in the quickest time possible. ASQ’s pilot PCA program is perfect for local moms, returning veterans, and workers currently out-of-work due to Covid-19’s devastating impact on local small businesses, casinos, hospitality, and the food industry. Demand for home care workers is already very high, driving wages up, and the demand is only expected to increase over the next decade.
Huge Demand for Home Caregivers as Boomers Age
Each day, 10,000 Americans turn 65 as the Baby Boomers become seniors. That trend will continue for the next 20 years as our aging population doubles and crests to over 88 million. More startling is that 75% of those 65 and older live with multiple chronic health problems like diabetes and dementia. (Woods, “America’s $103 Billion Home Health Care System is in crisis as worker shortage worsens”)
The problem is compounded because our struggling health care system relies more and more on home care solutions for chronic health problems. However, there is a severe shortage of trained home caregivers who can provide 24-hour care for elderly patients. Over the next 8 years, 8 million new jobs will need to be created to fill the gap. PHI, a New York-based direct care workforce advocacy organization, released a report last year projecting that “the direct care industry will create the most jobs out of any sector in the United States economy.” (Donlan, “Demand for Home Caregiver Jobs Continues to Surge”)
Five years ago, when ASQ founders, Samanta and Caleb Roseme, opened their agency in Norwich, Connecticut, they saw that finding and hiring adequate staff to meet their client demands and quality standards was going to be their greatest challenge. But instead of sitting back and hoping to find talented, trained caregivers, Samanta and Caleb partnered with Kelly Roy, RN to develop their own Personal Care Aide Certification Program and begin training new staff members immediately. Since 2017, they have trained fifty-three new home caregivers to provide gold-star care to their growing client base. But what has been so impressive about their PCA Certification Program is that they are able to train career changers (who have never worked in healthcare before) so they earn their official certification within weeks instead of within months or even years.
Over the past year, the speed and effectiveness of their program has caught the attention of EWIB as Covid-19 wiped out entire sectors of the economy. Since April, Connecticut has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs, with Leisure and Hospitality losing the most — nearly 80,000 jobs. This is why this new pilot program is such a HUGE opportunity for our Connecticut communities. EWIB has successfully partnered with other employers to create similar job-creating programs and we are excited to collaborate with them now to expand our PCA Certification Program.
EWIB Creates Demand-Driven Model for Workforce Training
Following the Great Recession of 2007-2008, Connecticut lost thousands of manufacturing jobs and, along with those jobs, thousands of skilled workers necessary to rebuild the state’s manufacturing sector. Technical schools that teach the critical skills leveraged by manufacturing companies could not quickly generate the number of workers needed to rebuild the sector. Their training programs lasted months or years. But when Electric Boat was awarded major contracts by the U.S. Navy to build a new class of nuclear submarines, the lack of skilled workers became a potential disaster not only for Electric Boat, but also for the entire state of Connecticut.
EWIB, therefore, helped create a demand-driven workforce program that focused on the direct needs of the employer. Instead of creating a long, broad training program that taught a wide range of skills, EWIB in collaboration with Electric Boat and members of the Eastern Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (EAMA) created a series of shorter, intensive training programs that focused on the specific skills needed to perform particular jobs needed by Electric Boat and EAMA members to support their growing needs.
A demand-driven workforce training program is designed to fulfill the employer’s hiring needs as closely as possible. The ultimate goal is to train people so they are ready to work on day 1 in specific, critical roles. EWIB developed a streamlined 5 stage process so they could quickly and effectively train large numbers of candidates and enter them into the workforce.
The results are hard to argue with:
- 95% Job Placement Rate
- 80% of Candidates Had ZERO Previous Experience
- Reduced New Hire Training Time by 50%
- Reduced Attrition Rate by 50%
- Generated Nearly $140 Million in Annual Wages
The collaboration between EWIB and employers like Electric Boat — and now Assured Quality Homecare — quickly transformed the workforce in Eastern Connecticut, helping people prepare for careers in high-demand industries, helping people to change careers, helping people to provide for their families. Needless to say, we at Assured Quality Homecare are super excited to begin transforming the Home Healthcare Sector in the upcoming months with the rollout of our pilot program with EWIB.
Our Signature PCA Program — Delivering Quality Home Health Care Across Connecticut
The #1 objective of our signature PCA program is to prepare personal care aides to deliver gold-star 24-hour care for elderly patients, disabled or dependent patients, or temporarily injured patients as part of a home health care team that also includes registered nurses (RNs) and Home Health Aides (HHA), and Certified Nurses Aides (CNA).
Kelly Roy, RN helped us develop this program back in 2018 and continues to serve as Program Administrator, leveraging her years of experience and expertise as a nurse supervisor and trainer. She has held leadership positions at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Shoreline Allergy and Asthma Associates in Mystic, and LTC (Long-Term Care) Nursing, Inc. in New Hampshire to name a few. She has over 30 years experience in screening, hiring, and training medical personnel, including registered nurses (RNs), certified nurse’s aides (CNAs), PCAs, and medical assistants.
Annette Dolan, LPN is our Program Instructor. With over 25 years as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and nearly a decade of experience teaching and training CNAs, Annette guides our PCA candidates through the rigors of our program, helping them learn and master skills so they can perform their duties confidently and expertly. Annette has successfully coached dozens of women through their certification exams, helping them to start new careers and begin helping people.
“Kelly is very approachable,” said a recent graduate in her course evaluation (all course evaluations are submitted anonymously to ensure complete honesty.) “She was always so energetic and she was very helpful with anything we needed, even after class hours.”
Together, Kelly and Annette have helped Assured Quality Home Care, LLC design a training program that provides our students with the entry-level skills and knowledge needed to perform Personal Care Aide (PCA) duties. PCAs are members of the health care team who provide personal care and related assistance to patients in their homes who are sick, disabled, or dependent.
Our PCA Program is an intensive, 36-40 hour training program broken down into four modules and completed within a few weeks.
“I couldn’t have imagined a better course that could have taught me better,” said another recent graduate, in her anonymous course evaluation. “I literally knew nothing about medical anything and I was nervous. I would recommend this course to anyone and everyone that is capable of being a PCA.”
Here are the four modules in the ASQ Personal Care Aide Certification Program:
Module #1: An Introduction to PCA
This module covers a broad spectrum of introductory knowledge and skills, such as roles and responsibilities, first aid and emergency basics, handling stress, principles of good body mechanics, etc.
Module #2: Food Nutrition and Meal Preparation
This module covers the major nutrients, meal planning, food preparation and serving, diet modification, and equipment usage.
Module #3: On Death and Dying
This module covers the five emotional stages related to dying, knowing when to call in a specialist, symptoms of grief, treatment of grief, as well as other resources on death and dying.
Module #4: PCA Clinical Skills
This module covers daily hands-on skills, such as how to change an occupied bed, how to dress a client with a weak arm, how to measure and record a client’s radial pulse, etc.
Upon completion of the PCA Program, successful candidates will receive an official Certificate of Completion.
Through our collaboration with EWIB, graduates of the program will be placed with potential employers for immediate hire.
Would You Like to Learn More?
Whether you already have experience in the healthcare profession or you are a career changer interested in helping people, you can now participate in our Personal Care Aide Certification Program thanks to Assured Quality Homecare’s new collaboration with Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board. With a 95% job placement record, EWIB is ready to actively help you find a new career in this rapidly growing, deeply rewarding profession.
Plus, we are currently working with Three Rivers College to add new module offerings and expand our training program further. This will open up new avenues of training for you in the upcoming months. Also, we have just secured a new 800 sq/ft space in Foundry 66 in Norwich to build a brand new PCA Training Center.
The need for quality home healthcare workers is only growing. As Baby Boomers age, they will need more care in the comfort of their own homes. Well-trained, certified PCAs are in high demand and will be for the next decade and longer.
If you are thinking of a career change, ASQ’s collaborative pilot program with EWIB is an excellent opportunity for you right now. If you have these four qualities, you would make an excellent candidate for our program:
If you’d like to enroll now or learn more about our PCA Certification Program, please visit us at https://asqhomecare.com/caregiving-team.
About Assured Quality Homecare
Assured Quality Homecare provides clients and families with in-home care services that create relief and peace of mind and is Connecticut’s leading home care agency. Assured Quality Homecare’s in-house caregiver training, empowerment, and employment program is the only of its kind and is setting the gold standard in home care. Assured Quality Homecare is a nationally recognized Best of Homecare® Company, a three-time recipient of the Employer of Choice award, and a recipient of the 2019 Best of Readers Choice Top 3 Homecare Agency award.
To find out more about Assured Quality Homecare’s commitment to being the Gold Standard in homecare, please visit www.asqhomecare.com or call (860) 373-0428.