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FAQ no.5: “Are Your Caregivers Certified Nurse Aids (CNAs)?”

FAQ no.5: “Are Your Caregivers Certified Nurse Aids (CNAs)?”

Here at Homewatch CareGivers in Boise and Twin Falls, Idaho, we focus more on thorough screening and training than just certification.

Are all our caregivers certified nurse aids (CNAs)? The answer would be no. Not all our caregivers at Homewatch CareGivers are CNAs, but each caregiver undergoes meticulous screening, comprehensive training, and testing covering the Big-56 Skills to ensure safe delivery of hands-on care plus specialized Alzheimer's/Dementia care.

**The Big-56 Skills Training is a training plan composed of courses such as assisting with transfers, helping with bathing, and providing dressing assistance. This training teaches 56 basic caregiver skills, hence the name**

We used to hire only CNAs, thinking it was the best way. However, we learned some important things along the way that changed our approach:

  • Idaho didn't have enough CNAs to keep up with the demand.
  • We found amazing caregivers with and without state certification.
  • Surprisingly, some CNAs did not have the skills we really needed to support our person-directed approach to care.

So, we decided to change some things. Instead of hiring only CNAs, we implemented a new approach to screening our caregivers and providing them with proper training that includes validation of skillset.

For Screening:

  • We require applicants to undergo a clean, pre-employment drug screen as well as random, quarterly drug testing during employment.
  • Each of our employees goes through a comprehensive background check, and applicants with past offenses, specifically felonies and those related to theft, abuse, neglect, or crimes against others are automatically out.

For Training:

  • It is a requirement for our caregivers to complete our “Big-56 Skills Training”, and then undergo our “Big-56 Skills On-Site Skills Validation Testing”.
  • All our caregivers should be CPR and First Aid Certified.
  • We've just incorporated UCLA's professionally developed Alzheimer's Training Modules into our mandatory learning.
  • We also offer over 2700 classes in our online learning management system called “Homewatch CareGivers University".

Even though not all our caregivers are CNAs, they all receive professionally developed training and we assure you that you and your loved ones are in good hands.

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If you have any questions, feel free to contact Homewatch CareGivers of Idaho, at 208-350-7269. We would be more than happy to answer them!
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