What Does a Caregiver Do?
Caregivers work in a variety of fields, but one thing is for sure: They must love working with others and creating meaningful relationships. This job can be overwhelming at times, but for the right person, it’s fulfilling work that truly makes a difference.
They use their expertise to assist people with daily tasks and help them be as independent as they are able. As a caregiver, you can work with a wide range of people from children to the elderly, able or disabled. They serve an important role in someone’s life, whether it be in working on the development of a child or aiding someone with a disability. Caregivers also maintain a comfortable lifestyle for our ever-important elderly population.
Caregivers have a wide range of facilities in which to work. Whether it be in a clinic, group home, assisted living setting, or in the client’s private dwelling, it’s a role that gives an opportunity for flexibility and variety.
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National Average Salary
Caregiver salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Caregiver is:
Caregiver Job Descriptions
The first step when hiring a great caregiver is a well-crafted job description. Below are real-world examples to help give you the best chance of success on your recruiting journey.
Caregivers play an intricate role in enhancing the lives of individuals in need. Caregivers will exercise their expertise in assisting individuals by caring for their everyday living environment. Caregivers will be responsible for making the client’s home safe and livable, as well as driving the client to appointments and care tasks; such as grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, and social engagements. The person [Your Company Name] hires will need a valid driver’s license as well as basic needs skills. Some positions may require further knowledge in nursing and occupational therapy skills.
Typical duties and responsibilities
- Light housekeeping and sanitation
- Preparing meals and making food easily accessible
- Scheduling appointments and picking up prescriptions
- Chauffeuring clients to appointments and social engagements
- Assisting in care tasks, including but not limited to: bathing, grooming, toileting, and incontinence
- Reminding clients of appointments, events, and clients personal days of importance
- Assisting in preparation and administration of medications
Education and experience
- High school diploma or equivalent
- 3 years experience in a relatable field
Required skills and qualifications
- Exceptional verbal communication skills
- Impeccable attention to detail
- Ability to provide unbiased care
- A valid driver’s license and experience with driving
- Excellent multitasking and organization skills
- A minimum of one year of experience in the field
- Experience in prioritizing the needs of a client or individual
- Experience in a nursing home setting
- CNA certification
- A bachelor’s degree in nursing or a relatable field
Must haves to be a caregiver:
- Passionate about working with the elderly
- Punctuality and Professionalism are important factors
- Interest in pursuing a career in Healthcare setting (ie, CNA, Nursing, Geriatrics)
What your day to day looks like as a caregiver:
- You provide compassionate and competent care for residents by performing the following services
- Bathing, showering, and grooming/dressing assistance
- Assist residents with dining
- Wheelchair and walking escorts
- Meal, activity, and medication reminder assistance
- Answers resident call signals
- Participate in ABC Company activities
This position entails standing for long periods of time. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to communicate effectively with others, sit, stand, walk, and use hands to handle keyboard, telephone, paper, files, and other equipment and objects. The employee is occasionally required to reach with hands and arms. This position requires the ability to review detailed documents and read computer screens. The employee will occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The work environment requires appropriate interaction with others. The noise level in the work environment is moderate. Occasional travel to different locations may be required.
- Help each resident reach and maintain the highest level of performance and independence while assisting them with personal care and daily living activities
- Assist with treatments as delegated by the Registered Nurse per individualized care plan
- Take and record temperature, blood pressure, weight, pulse, and respiration as instructed. Report changes or concerns to the RN
- Assist with light housekeeping duties
- Document services performed on computerized charting system
- Assist residents with prescribed program activities
- Observe resident and report any changes in physical and emotional condition such as change in attitude, reaction, and appetite, to the supervisor
- Assist the resident with personal care which may include the following: shampooing of hair, assist with showering/ bathing, fingernail and foot care, and medication administration
- Perform additional tasks as needed.
Caregiver skills and requirements:
- Home Health Aide (HHA), Personal Care Attendant (PCA), or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) experience preferred, but not required for day or evening shifts. We will train you! Night shift must have 1+ year of experience
- A passion for geriatric care
- Strong interpersonal and social skills
- Excellent customer service skills
- Performs duties as assigned on the personal care Service Plan
- Assists the client in assisting with activities of daily living by providing approved personal care activities including, but not limited to: bathing, dressing, toileting, grooming, oral hygiene, and/or ambulation
- Provides for a clean, safe, and healthy environment for clients and family members. Provides light housekeeping tasks including laundering of client’s garments and linens and changing the bed
- Assists in meeting nutritional needs by providing meal planning, meal preparation, grocery shopping, dishes, and kitchen clean-up
- Assists the client with ambulation/transfers as specified in the Plan of Care
- Reminds client to take self-administered medications
- Observes and reports any changes in the client’s mental, physical, or emotional condition or home situation to immediate supervisor in a timely manner
- Establishes and maintains effective communication and a professional relationship with clients, family members, and co-workers
- Participates in in-service and continuing education programs, staff meetings, and client conferences as requested by immediate supervisor
- Completed required documentation of services delivered and submits to office in a timely manner according to policy
- Uses equipment and supplies safely and properly
- Maintains confidentiality regarding client information
- Other reasonable related duties as assigned
- Minimum of ninth grade education; high school diploma or GED preferred
- Must demonstrate satisfactory completions of any stated mandated training
- Applicant must be bondable and meet or exceed minimum qualifications for each of the following background checks:
- Criminal Background Investigation
- Motor Vehicle Driving Record
- Professional and Personal Reference Checks
- Submit to random drug and alcohol testing
- Must have reliable transportation and fulfill assignments with reliability and punctuality
Candidate Certifications to Look For
- Basic Certified Caregiver. Becoming a Certified Caregiver varies from state to state. A Certified Caregiver is a certification that is approved by a candidate’s state health department. The majority of the states offer a resource program to find the Caregiver certification that will fit the caregiver field they want to apply for. After completing a caregiver certification program candidates will undergo an examination.
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). If candidates want to jumpstart their career as a caregiver, obtaining a CNA certification is helpful. Becoming a CNA is sometimes required if they desire a position working with disabled and/or elderly patients. To become a Certified Nursing Assistant, candidates search online at CNAlicense.org to find a program near them. If their state does not have a Certified Nursing Assistant program, check with the state’s American Red Cross for a Nursing Assistant Training program.
- Home Health Aide (HHA). While the Home Health Aide certification resembles the Basic Caregiver Certification, candidates can obtain an HHA without a Bachelor’s Degree or High School Diploma. HHA Training can significantly boost their visibility and credibility as well as give them vital skills and knowledge in the aiding of aging individuals. Candidates can obtain an HHA through their local Red Cross or on the National Association for Home Care and Hospice’s Home Care University online. Their local community or vocational schools may offer this training as well.
Sample Interview Questions
- What interests you about becoming a caregiver for our facility (or clinic)?
- What do you know about being a caregiver?
- What measures do you take to stay current in the home health field?
- Are you first aid certified?
- Are you experienced in the personal care of a dependent individual?
- How comfortable are you with handling personal care with an individual, such as toileting and cleaning bodily fluids??
- What tools do you bring to caregiving?
- Describe a time you received negative criticism from an individual you assisted. How did you handle it?
- Describe a time you received constructive criticism from your superior. Why was it helpful?
- Tell me about a time you assisted in a medical or emergency situation.
- Describe a time you assisted an individual alone.
- Are you able to work in stressful or uncomfortable situations?
- Describe a time you went above and beyond to assist a client?