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Do you have to be licensed to work as a Caregiver?

Posted

Has 4 years experience.

So I was planning on being a caregiver while I went to school to be a LVN. I want to do something nurse related and see retirement homes that hire caregivers. Is this any different from a CNA? I know CNA classes take about 3 months to get a license and it seems like they do the same work but I can't find any answers. Help!! I'm from california if that makes a difference. Thanks in advanced

I'm sure someone with knowledge more specific to CA will be along to help you, but in the meantime maybe I can shed some light. CNAs are certified, not licensed, in California; there are programs that take only six weeks. Nursing homes will only hire certified nursing aides as caregivers, aside from the nurses, of course (unless it's very different from other States, the Medicare rules would require this).

I suppose a private home could hire anyone they want, certified or not, as long as they aren't required for insurance purposes to do it differently. Why not just take the course for CNA?

If you haven't been trained as a caregiver (bathing, proper positioning, ADLs, etc etc) why do you think you would be hired as one?

Straight No Chaser, ASN, LPN

Specializes in Sub-Acute & Long-Term Care Nursing. Has 4 years experience.

I'm not sure about CA, but in SC you can work at a hospital as a nursing assistant without being certified. Also, you can usually sit for the exam once you have finished your first semester of nursing school.

My CNA program was 4 weeks/160 hours. Hope this helps.

vintagemother

Specializes in Med-Surg, Psych, Geri, LTC,.

In CA we do have lay "caregivers". They work in non medical home settings as well as in assisted living retirement communities.

Often it's better if you are not a certified nursing assistant if you work in these settings, because some of the things you do are out of your scope once you are an official Cna.... Like passing meds. ( this is my experience and my understanding, anyhow)

Also, not all CNAs make more than caregivers. I sure didn't when I was a CNA.

As a caregiver you will get experience caring for people, but as a CNA you'll get patient care experience as well as be able to observe nurses roles.

This is my experience as a CA resident who was a CNA and now I work as an LVN.

I'm not sure about CA, but in SC you can work at a hospital as a nursing assistant without being certified. Also, you can usually sit for the exam once you have finished your first semester of nursing school.

My CNA program was 4 weeks/160 hours. Hope this helps.

Same as where I'm from; the OP was asking about working in a "retirement home", though, not a hospital. Guess we'll see how it plays out.

Wise advice from vintagemother.