What is a HCA?
A: HCA stands for Home Care Aide. It used to be called funamentals of caregiving, but WA State legislature changed its material and name to Home Care Aide. This certification is primarily used by caregivers in a community healthcare setting such as boarding homes, assisted living facilities, and adult family homes. This certification CAN NOT be used at hospitals or licensed nursing facilities. (see Wa State Credentialing req. in "Links" section)
What is a NAC vs CNA?
A: NAC and CNA are interchangeable. They stand for Nurse Assistant Certified and Certified Nursing Assistant. This certification is primarily used by healthcare workers working in healthcare settings such as hospitals and licensed nursing facilities, it can also be used in all of the same settings as a HCA. (see Wa State Credentialing req. in "Links" section)
What is a NAR?
A: NAR stands for Nurse Assistant Registered. It is used in conjuction with a healthcare worker who is in process of obtaining a healthcare certification (CNA or HCA). Healthcare workers will usually register prior to obtaining a NAC/ CNA license to be elligable to work in a healthcare setting, pending thier certification. Registered nursing assistants employed in a nursing home have four months (120 days) to complete an approved training program and testing for certification (see Wa State Credentialing req. in "Links" section).
What is the difference in types of CPR?
A: There are two types of CPR/ AED for instruction.
American Heart Association has a Heartsaver CPR/ AED and First Aid class for civilians and healthcare workers. This version is the basics of CPR for adult, child, and infant, the use of an AED, and First Aid. This class we offer by appointment on Fridays when we have an open classroom.
The other version American Heart Association has is the Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider (BLS HCP)level of CPR/ AED/ First Aid. This version is used in healthcare settings such as hospitals and licensed nursing facilities. This level applies more advaqnced knowledge and techniques working in a "team" setting. This class is offered once a month with our CNA class, as part of the course.
I have been taking care of elderly people for years without any formal training. So why are people telling me now that I need to get trained?
A: With training, caregiving responsibilities can be so much more effective and easier to manage. As a caregiver, tasks may not seem as formidable with the understanding and experience of how to correctly and safely perform them.
I'm providing caregiving for my parents. I grew up with them. Why do you think that I need training?
A: It is a good feeling when you can nurture those who have nurtured you during your early years. In taking care of them you receive pride in your relationships with them, not to mention the fact that you will be spending the last days caring for your relatives. However, you will be able to help them even more when you have been trained and prepared in doing it right. And the bonds shared during this time will give you memories for a lifetime after they're gone.
I have been hearing a lot about becoming a caregiver. I am a little afraid because I know that elderly people have a lot of emergencies that pop up. How can I know if this would be a good field of work for me?
A: It isn't just the elderly that has emergencies to pop up unexpectedly. Everyone has them. By being trained to handle these situations will have to become more alert to their needs. For instance, it's vitally important to know what to do in cases of emergency, such as a home fire, or if the person you're caring for has a heart attack, a stroke, a seizure, or a fall. Falls can have devastating consequences for the elderly, so you need to know what to do so that you can act quickly and calmly. Some efforts taken within the first five minutes of a serious event can save a life. Knowing what to do in emergencies will enable you to take appropriate action quickly. Through training you will become prepared and know how not to panic or make bad choices. Getting the proper training in caregiving techniques will help you to preserve the life and health of those whom you are caring for.
Why do I have to do laundry and other household chores if I am a caregiver?
A: A caregiver is an individual who assists in the prevention or treatment of an illness or disability. He or she attends to the needs of a dependent adult or a child. In taking care of a person, you must also know how to assess a person's quality of life and know how you can assist. In understanding this, you may be required to carry out the common day-to-day tasks that caring for an elderly and infirm person demands. Some of them are simple things like knowing how to do laundry efficiently, iron, clean, help with showers and general hygiene. It is also important to understand the value of good nutrition. Your needs may be completely different from an 80 or 90 yr old person. They may need calcium, low sodium, low fat, nutrient enriched supplements, just to name a few. Being able to prepare a variety of different, tasty, nutritious meals is essential to caring for another person, especially when appetites are low. It is essential that the person you are caring for eat regularly, so they can maintain a good quality of life.
Do you offer Continuing Education Units or CEUs?
A: We do offer continuing education units (CEUs) to healthcare workers needing CEUs for maintaining thier certification. Swing by our office and get the information and material.
In most cases healthcare workers need to obtain 12 hours/ CEUs annually for thier work place. Healthcare workers with a HCA certification do need to obtain 12 CEUs annually to maintain thier certification with WA State. (see WA State Credentials Requirements in "Links" section)