For an overwhelming majority of caregivers, access to continuing education is a determining factor in whether they will accept a job offer in a home care agency. In addition, the likelihood that caregivers will stay in their current agency increases when they are offered resources to continue their education.
That’s according to a new survey conducted by CareAcademy, a Boston-based training platform for home care professionals. The survey, which included comments from 1,500 home care professionals, explored caregivers’ interest in furthering their education, the barriers they face and the role their employers play in their career development.
The CareAcademy survey found that for 94% of caregivers, access to continuing education is an important factor when deciding to join a home care agency. As home care providers continue to face workforce challenges, education can be a mechanism to attract new caregivers to the field while retaining existing ones.
“Education is not just a way for people to feel more connected to their work and more connected to their employers,” Helen Adeosun, founder and CEO of CareAcademy, told Home Health Care News. “But at the end of the day, we can really turn this upside down [workforce] scarcity and the climate we find ourselves in by providing a way for people to enter and stay by leveraging tools like education.
The survey also found that 85% of caregivers are more likely to stay in their current agency if given the resources to continue their education. This means financial support, flexible working hours and overall support from their employer.
Caregivers also clarified their areas of interest when it came to furthering their education. About 24% of caregivers identified nursing as an area of interest, with 17% of respondents wanting to get a license from CNA and 13% of respondents wanting to move into healthcare administration.
Even the 20% of respondents who were unable to specify a role expressed an interest in the health care sector.
Yet caregivers face obstacles. About 27% of respondents said the cost of continuing their education was a challenge. About 26% of respondents said their work schedule was an inconvenience; 24% emphasized their responsibilities for caring for the household.
Things make matters worse: 75% of respondents said their employers had never offered them the option of further training or education.
“The simple act of asking a caregiver, ‘What do you want to do with your life? “,” Adeosun said. “What do you want to grow into and how can we help you? This is what these caregivers reported regarding the fact that they never told their employer about the educational opportunities.
One of the main takeaways from the survey is that home care agencies should provide access to education, learning and training programs in a way that addresses the barriers that caregivers face. are often faced.
To do this, employers should offer help with tuition fees, talk to caregivers about their goals, create flexible working hours, provide a variety of opportunities, and promote these programs when trying to recruit workers.
Additionally, home care agencies can form partnerships with universities, community colleges, training programs, or organizations like CareAcademy.
“Organizations like Amazon and Walmart provide training as a benefit for employees,” Adeosun said. “We believe home care is no different. That’s really what drives the research and the results here. ”
For eligible employees, for example, Amazon will pay up to 100% of the tuition and fees (up to an annual maximum) for a certificate or diploma in qualified fields of study leading to in-demand jobs.
Meanwhile, through a partnership with Guild Education, Walmart associates can earn degrees in commerce, supply chain, technology, and healthcare.