PLATTSBURGH — Nineteen more North Country residents join the ranks of the 40 personal care aides, who have graduated from training programs held by North Country Home Services.
They join a team of more than 200 paraprofessionals, which provide the highest level of professional home health care in Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Warren and St. Lawrence counties.
"We do the classes based on need,” Carole L Mosher BSN RN, program trainer, said.
“So, if we have a need to train more home health aides or personal care aides to put them out in the homes we do another class.
That's the third personal care aide training course we've offered this year.
Trainees have to pass a criminal background check, be fingerprinted, pass a physical exam and have three references.
"They don't have to have a high-school diploma," Mosher said.
"They would need to have the ability to read, write, take directions, be able to follow a plan of care, have empathy and compassion.”
The three-week program is broken up into 12 different modules including personal care skills, housekeeping skills, meal prep, bathing, toileting and transfers.
“We talk about disease processes like infirmities of old age, disabilities and how to work with people with a disability and illness,” Mosher said.
North Country Home Services' offices are located in Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake, Ticonderoga and Malone.
“Depending on where the need is where we hold the class,” she said.
It is a paid-training program for participants.
“We pay for that as part of our recruitment to encourage people to give it a try,” she said.
“Working in a patient's home is a difficult thing because they're working without constant supervision. It's not like working in a nursing home or hospital where your supervisors are always there right with you.”
A perk of the job is its flexibility.
“Depending on what their needs are as far as daycare goes or whatever, they can fit the schedule to what their needs are as well as the patient's,” Mosher said.
“It's really great for single moms or retired people. If they want to work full-time, they can work full-time. If they want to work part-time, that's up to them. It's a very flexible position.”
There is an ongoing need for more aides.
North Country Home Services contracts with other agencies such as Fidelis and Nascentia. to provide home health aides and personal care aides.
Besides personal care aides, instruction is offered for home health aides and nurse aide transition classes.
The home health aide class is a 75-hour program.
“What that program does is that it teaches them more in depth, “ she said.
“Where they get a little more skilled, where they can do vital signs, assist with physical therapy exercises and do more skilled care like catheter and colostomy care.”
Nurse aide transition helps certified nurses aides segue from facilities into home care.
“They would come in and take a two- to three-day training where they demonstrate their skills and take a written exam and then they would become home health aide certified,” Mosher said.
All of the courses are per New York State Department of Health guidelines.
“We pay them an hourly rate to take the course because people work alone in patients' homes so we have to make sure there are safe practices,” she said.
“We have to make sure it's safe because it's a very vulnerable population that they're with.”
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