Jan 30, 2018

What Can Be Done To Train Better Quality Aged Care Workers? | HelloCare

Caring for the elderly is a huge responsibility, and as many aged care workers will tell you – a great honour.

It’s about giving back to people who have given so much to our society.

Aged care residents have worked hard to raise their families or build careers – they have each in their own way shaped Australia to what it is today.

As people age, they may start to require support that extends beyond what families can assist with on a long term basis.

This is where aged care facilities can provide real benefit to their communities.

Facilities face the challenge of supporting people in a safe and comfortable environment, while providing quality care for residents.

Setting the standard of care is essential to the success of facilities, however the delivery of these standards can often be difficult to ensure.

One of the most significant challenges aged care operators face is ensuring that the quality of care is consistently up to the standard that they set out to achieve.

The delivery of this service is in the hands of the staff, so having a quality team which includes experienced, competent and well-trained employees ensures better care outcomes for the elderly.

Feedback from aged care operators, along with the residents and their families, often report that the skills of newly qualified PCAs (and other staff) are below the expectations of delivering quality care.

They have the knowledge required; including showering and bathing residents, helping with mobility, moving them to prevent pressure sores and infection control. However they may lack the experience in applying these practical skills.

A key improvement needed in the quality of care is better training, mentoring and transition into the workplace. Traineeships provide the solution.

Traineeships vs Work Experience: What’s better?

Essentially there are two different ways of becoming a qualified aged care worker.

The more traditional route is applying directly with a registered training organisation (RTO) and completing a Certificate III in Aged Care.

Afterwards, a student would most likely have to do volunteer work in order to gain “work place experience” – generally this ends up being a little more than two weeks of full time work.

This normally happens at the end of a course, and it doesn’t guarantee the student a job where they are volunteering.

The other options is traineeships – which is what MAS National offers.

MAS National students work with an employer from the start, where once a week the student devotes a couple of hours to do their study while they work.

This allows the student to learn new skills and gain knowledge as they complete their study,  which they are then able to practice in following shifts with an employer.

This ends up being more than six and half times more work experience and more application of the skills that the student is learning throughout their studies.

And the benefit for the student is that they are being paid and employed for that time.

The key difference, and benefit, is that students are working with an employer while they are doing their studies and getting their qualification over a period of time.

MAS National advocates on the behalf of the student and the aged care provider to make sure quality care is delivered and future aged care workers enter the workforce with the right skills and practice.

MAS National works with each business to find out what kind of traineeship program would suit their business the best, and what their needs are in terms of staff and skills.

Different RTOs offer different solutions in terms of training structures for students. MAS National works with the aged care provider to find the right training organisation that is most appropriate and that meets their needs.

What’s the Cost?

MAS National are contracted by the Federal Department of Education and Training to deliver Australian Apprenticeship Support Services at no cost to businesses.

From an employer’s perspective, if a student is learning alongside working with an employer, they are implementing a skill and productive in their business.

Not only does this drive the quality, it influences the culture of the organisation and makes sure that the service is at the forefront of the industry.

What do you have to say? Comment, share and like below.

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  1. As an Assistant in Nursing with over 10 years experience in Aged Care, I’ve trained and mentored a lot of trainees, what I’ve noticed is a lot of the theory based work is not consistent with the practical work, a lot of the trainees are completely overwhelmed by the time constraints and the ratios of carer to resident. I also do not understand why there is no register for qualified carers, I’ve witnessed a lot in my time from sexual abuse to physical abuse and there is nothing stopping those people from gaining employment elsewhere. The government bought out the check for children card that all employees must have to work with children and yet there is no such thing for the aged care sector…our elder generation is just as vulnerable if not more so than children do they not have the right to be protected by those caring for them. It’s time to tighten the AgedCare course with stricter guidelines and longer practical hours so that only those that have a passion to look after our elderly population will qualify. At the moment I feel it’s to easy and quick to gain the qualification because there will always be employment out there. I would rather work short staffed with efficient carers than working with full staff that have no idea what they are doing and I’m having to constantly check that the residents are safe

    1. Hi Tracey,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts – it’s great to see that we share the same passion for having well trained & highly experienced carers for the industry!
      The example you have given, is exactly why MAS encourages the use of traineeships (as opposed to the more traditional ‘on-campus’ study methods), as they provide a higher level of exposure to all the practical components – which in turn leads to a better outcome for everyone involved: patients, staff, employers & students.
      Regards,
      Justin

  2. Tracey Gibson’s

    I think you nailed the issue very clear. I preferre work with short of staff that with carers that work for their oun needs.

    I suggest that Carers must have their qualifications with a warrant for 2 years only. This must be extended through an appraisals reports and if they fail after 3 reports the warrant will be taken.

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