Idaho Gold Star Caregiving:

Hands on Essential Skills for Non-Medical Caregivers

What is this class?

The goal of this class is to increase the quality of caregiving in the Treasure Valley through proper training to non-medical caregivers. This class is hands on skill practice, lecture and group activities. Understanding of material is measured by demonstrated ability to perform hands of care tasks and written test. A workbook will be available for students to use during class and then take home with them. Norco Median has graciously agreed to host and let the class borrow essential equipment to practice on and pass off skills. Throughout the class, at the end of every skill or section of information, students are taught what the actions of a “Gold Star” caregiver would be. Another way to think about it is, a “Gold Star” caregiver represents what an ideal caregiver would do or say. It’s someone you would want caring for yourself or a loved one. It came from my years working with a caregivers in the home and in facilities as a nurse. A caregiver would give me an amazing report of a client’s status or show me a bandage they did just exactly right, I would tell them “You are my gold star caregiver of the day! Awesome job”

How long is this class?

The class is maximum of half day, depending on student needs and class size

How Often is this class held?

The current agreement with Norco is that the class will not be held more than 2 times a week. If the class grows and more frequency is needed, there is a plan in place to accommodate increased need.

What is the maximum amount of people allowed in a class? Is there a minimum?

Currently the max is 10. At this time there is no minimum.

What exactly does this class cover?

The short answer is- Most of the Medicaid matrix.The long answer with more details…Communication techniques- Students will practice introducing themselves, tips for communicating with professional staff, family members and clients, when to notify the office, home health/hospice or doctor’s office of client concern.Confidentiality and participant rights- The standard expected of caregivers to maintain client’s privacy and work well within a healthcare team. Participant rights in their care and in their homeDocumentation- Subjective vs objective, essentials for proper reimbursement and legalitiesPersonal and Attendant Care- eating/feeding, toileting/incontinence care, mobility/transfers, hygiene, bathing (shower, sink and bed baths), skin care including signs and prevention of breakdown, dressing, medications dos and don’ts, Infection control- ways infections are spread, hand washing technique.Homemaker Skills-Meals, significant time and practice of planning/purchasing/preparation of food, Finances, shopping, Laundry, Housework. Includes acceptable frequency of housekeeping tasks and efficiency tips.Specific Participant Endorsements- Maintenance exercises, covers home exercise programs and do’s and dont’s for clients and exercise. Mechanical lift will be taught, practiced, and passed off by students. Includes the use of draw sheet techniques, rolling bed pads and attends for bedbound clients. Students to be taught and demonstrate- basic catheter care, bowel care, dressing, basics of ostomy care, oxygen therapy, inhalation equipment, basics of gastrostomy tube feeding, feeding complications, psychological/social disorders overview of diseases and general interventions Elder Abuse/neglect- Definitions, Signs and symptoms and actions to take. Consequences of committing abuse or neglect as a caregiver Professionalism- Speech, dress, actions, attendanceIt’s not about you- client centered care- boundaries as a caregiver, its their time, its their home, its their things, its their healthBurnout Prevention- definitions, signs and symptoms and actions to take Fall Prevention and Intervention- ways to prevent falls, How to safely get someone up off the floor for caregiver and client, different techniques to get someone up off the floor, when to call 911

What does this class not cover?

This class covers most of the requirements for the Medicaid matrix. The areas from the matrix that are not covered and expected to be done by agencies are- criminal background check, driver license check, liability insurance check, safe driving record check, safe vehicle and drug testing.

Who is the teacher?

Charity Young, RN, BSN with 14 years of nursing experience in Personal Care Service, Assisted Living, Home Health, Hospice and Rehabilitation Nursing. She also owns and operates Boise Care Connections. She has had a passion for this population of caregivers for over a decade. She understands caregivers are the backbone of great care in our community and need appropriate training to be successful. She loves Seniors and is a life-long resident of the Treasure Valley.

What are the benefits of enrolling my caregivers in this class?

Increased training by a professional nurse equals less injuries for clients/staff. Increased Client satisfaction with cares equals more referrals and an increase in your positive online reviews. It frees up office staff to obtain new clients, deal with client issues or focus on making your agency the best. It saves time and money on sending your agency nurse out to train caregivers on care tasks that can be learned in this class. Having a chance to practice skills the correct way in a learning environment creates confidence and saves time. Medicaid has confirmed that Pariticipate specific endorsements do not have to be done at the client’s home, they can be done in a classroom setting. Eventually I hope to save companies money by hiring caregivers that have already taken the course, they are set, ready to work. This class content is currently with Chris Barrott for review. Once it is approved, the credits from this class will be able to be transferred to other agencies should the caregiver leave or if you hire a caregiver who has already taken this class, just like “In the Know” training transfers. Medicaid has also confirmed that if approved, this class would only have to be taken once by caregivers. Other agencies have considered developing a caregiver share relationship with other companies if they were comfortable that caregivers at both places had been trained the same. This strategy could reduce caregiver stress from overtime and client frustration with lack of caregiver availability for sickness or vacation or general turnover. Benefits also include potential to reduce caregiver turnover from feeling inadequate for their job tasks or burnout. How much does employee turnover cost yearly? In the PCS industry, A LOT. A live class can also be tailored to the individual needs of the students present depending on experience or questions. Ability to ask questions from a live person and experienced instructor is a huge benefit. Students also have the ability to learn from each other. People in the healthcare community, overwhelming have supported a need for a class like this for caregivers in our community.

Can an agency nurse come to the class or get an outline of the class material so she knows the quality and content of the class?

Absolutely and its encouraged! There is no fee for an agency nurse or owner of an agency to attend a class provided by Boise Care Connections. If you are an owner of an agency considering sending caregivers to this class, ask your agency nurse if they feel more training would be beneficial for caregivers. Caregivers work under the agency nurses license, even though they are classified as non-medical and can walk in off the street with zero caregiving experience. From a PCS nurse perspective, that is scary and sometimes can feel dangerous because the nurse many times has little to no say in who is hired and training protocol. Show them this information and get their insight. By signing up caregivers for this class, an agency is contracting with Charity Young, RN, BSN to provide training to the caregivers and when caregivers return to their agencies and begin to work, they are then under the agency nurses license.

What are the fees for the class?

The cost is $65 per student and can be paid upon registering or there is an option to be billed. Fees are used toward supplies for the class which include student workbook that is theirs to keep, maintence and replacement of medical items that are used for hands on practice and instruction fee.

What if a student doesn’t show up or needs to reschedule?

If the fee for the student has already been paid, that agency will then receive a credit toward a future student to take the class. If the option was chosen to be billed for the class, then that student fees will not be added to total amount due. It is important for students to show up because this class does take coordinating and equipment set up with Norco Meridian. If you would like to meet me personally, I’d be happy to come to your agency and tell you more about the class.


If you have questions don’t hesitate to reach out, I’m happy to help you.
Phone: 208-917-3776 Email: charity@boisecareconnections.com

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