new homehealth care DON/ any one have advice about hiring STNAs

  1. Long story short. I'm a new DON for a home healthcare agency. I started working for them at day 1, with the offer of the DON upon JACHO accreditation. 6 months later JCAHO accreditation happened as of Thursday. Anyway, next they're going to hire me a profession nurse consultant, and pay for me to go to some medical/clinical leadership seminars, but until then I remain working with the administrator, but now I'm her boss. She said she could no longer tell me what to do, and I was responsible for MEDICAL issues, she's only their now to advise, and teach me about the regulations/legal requirements,and get me to remember what medical issues to stay on top of.

    So first issue: Hiring AIDES. We need to hire an aide ASAP, we don't have one and we have patients that get AIDE care. We currently need very few hours. All the aides we ever hire seem to work no longer than a few weeks at a time, just stop showing up, and then it takes us at least a week to get a new one. This is no longer acceptable. I HAVE to stop aide missed visits. The administrator and myself are doing several interviews on monday for an immediate hire.
    She wants me to focus on everything MEDICAL concerning the interviews, and this is going to be one of the only times she's going interview aides with me. I need to become independent.

    Anyone have any tips on hiring aides? Any good medical questions to ask staff? Any way you've gotten aides to stick around? Any tips are getting them to respect you? I've never been a manager.

    Anyone have advice on a way to monitor aides performance, and if they are even going to their visits. I need to think of ways to really prevent missed visits, and these aides are going to be a night mare.

    Anything would be much appreciated!

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    About ea.bednar

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 5


  3. by   caliotter3
    Require references, check the references before hiring someone. Look at the employment history and pay attention to a job history that looks like the person is a "job hopper". Even a nursing assistant should be able to stay at one job for at least four months. If they do not, it is as much a statement about the worker, as a statement about the employer. And you might consider offering a dollar or two more than the the going rate in your area, contingent upon longevity. For example, $10 an hour at hire, with a raise to $11 an hour at six months, provided the employee shows good attendance. Good luck.
  4. by   Kyasi
    There are, of course, all the obvious things... you check backgrounds, references etc. but most employers aren't allowed to give more than the dates of hire so references are usually not all that helpful.

    My company offers a $150.00 bonus after the HHA has worked 250 hours for us. That is a huge incentive.

    Still, you will always have the ones who quit without notice, no matter how well you interview. You can ask all the right questions, hire HHA's who seem wonderful, and often these will be the ones who turn out the worst and are no call, no shows. And frequently the HHA's that I had reservations about and almost didn't hire turn out to be the best. After hiring for several years, I think it's really just a crap shoot. I often just go by my gut feelings. If something rubs me wrong, if I sense an attitude problem, like if they treat me politely (they have to!) but treat my office staff rudely during the hiring process, they are out. I won't hire someone who is late for an interview with me and doesn't call to tell me they are running late or having a problem getting there on time. (if they can't make it to an interview on time, they won't make it to a clients on time) I steer clear of job hoppers and I won't hire someone who didn't give a 2 week notice before leaving a past job. I have had many people tell me during a job interview how awful their boss/supervisor/past agency was and how they just had to quit because it was so terrible. When I question them about this, what I often find patient abandonment clear and simple, which shouldn't be tolerated no matter what the reason. Heck, I might just tick them off too!

    Just today, we called a doctor's office to question something he had written on a potential employees mandatory physical exam that we misunderstood. Based on what we thought it said, we had told the HHA she didn't qualify for hire. It turned out that we had read it incorrectly. The HHA got very nasty with the doctors office when she called them after we told her we couldn't hire her. The doctor's nurse very apologetically called to clear up what was written and told us the HHA had gotten angry and hung up on her. I didn't hire her because of that. There was no need for her to be rude.

    Unfortunately, there is no magic answer. I wish there was! I hope some of these tips help. Good luck!

    Last edit by Kyasi on Feb 14, '11 : Reason: typo
  5. by   Kyasi
    Oh, and P.S. Remember above all that it is much easier to hire then it is to fire. So don't lower your standards because you are desperate for employees.