FCS Graduates New Class of Home Health Aides

Trainees to Enter one of the Country’s Fastest Growing Professions

FCS Graduates New Class of Home Health AidesLONG BRANCH, NJ, March 10, 2011 – Family Children’s Service (FCS), Monmouth County’s oldest non-profit agency, this week formally recognized nine individuals who successfully completed the agency’s 76-hour Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA) training program, making them eligible for official certification by the New Jersey Board of Nursing and preparing them for entry into one of the fastest growing occupations in the country.

According to the latest US Department of Labor report, there are now more than three million homecare aides working in the United States. As the population ages, and more seniors and people with disabilities opt to live at home rather than in residential care facilities, demand for aides is expected to rise. In fact, home health aides and personal care aides will continue to be the third and fourth fastest-growing occupation in the country from now until 2018.

The promise of meaningful work was one of the reasons 28-year-old Meaghan Faulkner decided to enroll in the two-week CHHA training course. The former esthetician became interested in health care after helping to care for a client’s mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s. She realized she enjoyed the work and the training course would get her off to the right start.

“I want to make a difference in the lives of people,” Meaghan said.“This is a stepping stone for me. I eventually hope to go back to school and become a nurse.

Like Meaghan, many of the CHHA trainees are also making career changes. The class includes a former ballet teacher from the Ukraine, an army private returning to civilian life, a native of Ghana, a single mom returning to the workforce and a former Certified Nursing Assistant returning to the profession after a hiatus. Before they could enroll in the rigorous, two-week program, each of the nine trainees were required to undergo an interview, a personal background check and pass a language proficiency exam. Their training included hands-on training and written materials, covering everything from how to bathe, change and move a non-ambulatory person, to performing light housekeeping and helping with the grocery shopping.

“It’s critical that our trainees understand the important, and sometimes demanding role they will play in the lives of our clients,” says FCS human resources coordinator Sandra Gross. “Their service enables our clients to maintain their independence and retain their dignity. Caring for them requires a tremendous amount of empathy and compassion. Not everyone is cut out for the task.”

The next CHHA training course is scheduled to begin April 4 at the agency’s headquarters in Long Branch. Open to anyone 17-years and older, the course is taught by a registered professional nurse and meets all the requirements of the state mandated curriculum, including classroom and clinical instruction. Total cost for the program is $450 dollars. Class size is limited to ten students. Interested applicants are advised to contact FCS’s at 732-222-9111 extension 115 as soon as possible to schedule an interview.