At some point for many, a job morphs into a career step and a path forms for further advancement. Determining if that pathway is the right one is one of life’s big decisions. Take a career in healthcare for example. There are many career pathways in healthcare, many of which require a significant investment in education before that first job begins. With such great demand for entry-level healthcare workers, we’re pleased that a new option now exists to quickly move people into critical roles.
Try before you buy for employees and employers
Earlier this year, a great “try before you buy model” became a way to get a job in the field. – The Temporary Health Partner Program (THP) position has been created via Executive Order at the state and national level as a means of assuring that there is adequate staffing for quality care for nursing home residents during this time of increased need.
Free training for THPs
THPs do eight hours of online training and there currently are two free approved training options for them. One is through the American Health Care Association’s temporary nurse aid training and the second is a New Hampshire option through CAN Now and their online temporary health partner training. Both trainings include a post-test prior to issuance of a certificate of completion.
We’re very pleased that the Edgewood Center recently had five people go through eight hours of free training, join our team as temporary health workers and complete employer-sponsored LNA training in three weeks. They tested the waters, decided that healthcare was a good fit for them and have been drawn to the LNA pathway.
One of our new LNAs is Zoe Collazo. She worked as a substance misuse counselor before approaching Edgewood about potentially becoming an LNA. Zoe knew from a young age that she wanted to do something that involved helping or caring for others, but wanted to move on from her current position and into a different caregiving role. We were ready to bring her on and then COVID hit, requiring us to cease all onsite training. In the meantime, her partner was laid off, again due to COVID. When the THP option opened up, Zoe jumped on it, did her eight hours of training and became a fulltime employee in June.
Once we could begin an in-house training program, Zoe was on board with it and appreciated the fact that it was onsite and that she was doing the training with people she knew, worked with and trusted. They would also do their online theory class together during the evenings from Monday through Thursday and Zoe said she loved the hands-on component of learning and then gaining more context of what they were learning through the class. She passed, earned her license and reports that she is very happy in her new role.
“I always tell people that working in healthcare is safer in many ways than working in a grocery store due to safety precautions. I love being able to build the relationships with residents, especially now because they cannot see their families and we want to be as much of a family as we can right now,” Zoe said. Now she has a tight group of peers to work with given their shared experiences over the past several months.
Having the THP option enabled the Edgewood Center to have five people start working after the eight hours of training and begin earning a paycheck immediately. Filling five roles this quickly in a nursing home and during a pandemic was a huge shot in the arm for our team in our efforts to provide the best possible care for our residents.
The THP to LNA pathway
Healthcare workers continue to be in great demand. This trend pre-dates COVID-19 by many years but has been exacerbated by it. A common entry point for healthcare is the LNA role. It does not require a college degree and training is often completed in three to seven weeks. At Edgewood, we were able to have our THPs do the required 60 hours clinical work onsite and we paid them for this work. They did their theory coursework online on their off-hours, which enabled them to complete their training so quickly.
The training also helps them prepare for the licensing exam, which they all passed. At Edgewood, we determined that these individuals were committed to launching a healthcare career. In turn, we committed to providing this paid onsite training, covering the cost of the off-site coursework and the licensing exam.
As a result, our new LNAs saw their pay increase, have full-time jobs with benefits that are recession-proof and know they are helping enhance the quality of life for people every day they walk through the door. In short, the THP led to a healthcare career in a matter of weeks. Learn more about joining our team and taking advantage of the THP, as the “T” does stand for temporary and we do expect this opportunity to eventually go away.