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Caregiving 101: What You Need to Know on Your First Day of Work

First day as a caregiver advice

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


March 20, 2020

Are you looking for some first day of work advice for your new job as a caregiver? Here’s a complete guide on what you need to know.

Being a caregiver is an admirable and rewarding job. Here is some first day of work advice for caregivers who are new to the industry.


Information for Caregivers: First Day of Work Advice

Caregivers can be people with a professional background and years of schooling—nurse aids, nursing students, personal care aides. Or, they can be people without formal training, but a strong passion for heartfelt work—family members, neighbors, etc.

Are you about to embark on this wonderful career path as a caregiver? Looking for some insight on what to expect?

Let’s review some caregiver tips that will make sure you’re ready to do the best job ever. Keep reading to become an “in the know” caregiver, ready to face your first day.


What is The Role of a Caregiver?

The more you know about the duties that surround this job, the more prepared you can be to excel at them.

A caregiver provides support for an aging client that can no longer perform some fundamental duties on their own. The client is likely stable enough to stay at home but needs support to come to their home and assist them.


Caregiver Duties

Caregiver duties include a wide range of activities, like providing companionship, assisting with housework and daily living, or providing medical and/or physical care. Caregivers offer emotional, mental, and physical support, enriching the lives of seniors. 

In fact, emotional support is a significant part of caregiving. Almost 70% of unpaid caregivers – adult children caring for their parents – say they offer emotional support regularly.

If you work for a home care agency, like Commonwise Home Care, you will travel to a client’s home and offer personal assistance. As a companion, here are some caregiving activities you will engage in:

  • Cooking and meal preparation
  • Light housework
  • Companionship and company (i.e., reading, talking, games)
  • Appointment and medication reminders
  • Transportation 
  • Hands-on care with bathing, dressing, toileting 
  • Assisting with transfers and ambulation
  • Light exercise and/or mobility practices
  • Creating and following a personal care plan for specific client needs
  • Communicating with fellow administrators, registered nurses, and other caregivers on the Care Team

Job duties may vary based on the needs of a client. You may have a client with no significant health problems, or they may be living with Alzheimer’s disease. All things considered, a caregiver’s day-to-day obligations vary.


Caregiving Training

Now that you know what you can expect to do on your first day as a caregiver, let’s highlight some of the training involved beforehand.

As we mentioned, some caregivers come into this position with little-to-no experience while others have years of experience. If you get hired to work for a caregiving agency with no formal experience, they will provide training to ensure everyone offers first-class care.

Additionally, many companies offer continued CNA, or certified nursing assistant, training. Continuing education gives caregivers an opportunity to hone their skill sets.

The more training under your belt, the more people you can potentially care for. Many agencies use a comprehensive client-matching system to pair a caregiver with a client that’s at their skill level. The more extensive your certifications, the broader your options are for helping others.

Additionally, the more well-rounded your education, the better you can be at your job. We always encourage extra certifications regardless if you currently need them. 


A Day in the Life of a Caregiver

Working with a home care agency usually means you can choose a flexible schedule. Commonwise Home Care offers both part- and full-time positions for their caregivers. 

You would likely meet a client at their home at a designated hour. From there, you’ll stay for a certain amount of time. Some patients require 24 hour care while others need general companionship services.

Depending on your client’s needs, you may just stay at home preparing meals and helping them around the house or get dressed. Other times, you may drive the client to an appointment or go for a walk.

Additionally, you’ll interact with other caregivers on the team, perhaps offer reprise to a fellow caregiver on duty, and communicate with the office. You may also speak with the client’s doctors or nurses and relay information to the client or their family members. 


Finals Words of Advice for Caregivers

How to prepare for your first day of work as a caregiver is less tactical and more personal.

  • Be yourself. If you are exploring the calling of caregiving, you are likely a compassionate, caring, and dedicated individual. There is only one you, so bring your unique personality to the team and elderly patients.
  • Be compassionate. Compassion is the number one trait of a caregiver that we look for in our caregivers at Commonwise. Caregivers truly make a difference in the lives of older adults and it starts with compassionate people.
  • Be patient. Be patient with yourself and let that flow into your interactions with others. Every job provides it’s own unique challenges and caregiving is no different. If anything, it requires an extra dose of patience.
  • Be teachable. New caregivers may need time to catch on to the nuances of home care. Every patient requires varying levels of care, so be aware of the learning curve. Ask other team members how to be a good caregiver for the elderly to help you grow in this vocation.

Prepare for both difficulties and successes, and your first day as a caregiver should offer no surprises. Learn more about the qualities of a caregiver that we look for in our Care Team members at Commonwise Home Care.


Caregiving at Commonwise Home Care

At Commonwise Home Care, we aim to empower exceptional care—that means, we always encourage a personalized approach to home care. Do you have any creative suggestions that you think may make life better for the client? If so, we want to work with you to be able to provide that.

Maybe you are just looking into this career path, but don’t know how to become a caregiver. Think deeply about this vocation. We believe caregiving is a calling, not just a career.

  • Why do you want to be a caregiver?
  • Why would you make a good caregiver?
  • What sets you apart from other caregivers?
  • Are you a compassionate, patient person?
  • Do you enjoy caring for older adults specifically?

At Commonwise Home Care, we’re always looking for talented, high-performing individuals to add to the team. We are proud to provide higher than average compensation to reward the amazing work caregivers do every day.

Apply for caregiving positions in Charlottesville, VA, Richmond, VA, or Charleston, SC. We look forward to caring with you.