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Ohio Department of Aging Boomerang: It all comes back to you!

Boomerang: It all comes back to you!

My Community - June 2010

Make Care Your Next Career
Direct Care Jobs Are Rewarding and Plentiful

Does the current state of the economy have you looking for your next career? If you're looking for job security and stability, why not look in the fastest-growing occupational area in the state? Jobs in the health care industry account for roughly one out of every eight payroll jobs in Ohio, according to the Bureau of Labor Market Information. Many of these jobs require only a high school diploma, while others may require short-term, on-the-job training or an associate's degree.

Do you care about others and want to help people who need assistance due to a disability or health problem of some kind?Do you care about others and want to help people who need assistance due to a disability or health problem of some kind? Perhaps a job as a direct care worker is for you. Direct care is the backbone of the health care system and is exactly what the name implies. It is the face-to-face, hands-on support and care that is tailored to meet the needs of each individual consumer. Nearly 95 percent of hands-on care people receive in our health care system today comes from direct care professions such as home health aides, nurse aides, personal assistants, respite care workers, rehabilitation specialists and others.

People who need direct care are of all ages and levels of ability. They may be an otherwise healthy person who needs temporary help recovering from surgery or sudden illness, or they may need long-term support due to developmental disability or physical handicap. They may live in their own homes, a residential facility or a nursing home, or they receive the care they need in a hospital, day program or other setting. Direct care workers help meet their needs, no matter the setting.

If you are interested in breaking into the health care field, consider one of these common direct care jobs as the first step in your new career:

  • Home care aides and home health aides provide a range of basic services in the home, from help with bathing, dressing and grooming, to grocery shopping and preparing meals, to (in the case of home health aides) tube feeding and changing wound dressings.
  • Hospice workers provide terminally ill patients with services that range from companionship to personal care.
  • Nurse aides, commonly called CNAs (certified nursing assistants), provide care under the supervision of a registered nurse and are the largest category of direct care workers.
  • Personal attendants assist people with basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming and eating.
  • Respite care workers provide care and companionship to people with a disability or health condition to ease the burden of family members who usually provide those services.

These positions require varying degrees of training and certification, which are very often offered by the employer as on-the-job training. For more information about opportunities available in your area, contact your local employment One-Stop Center.

Direct care can be a challenging and rewarding second or third career. These occupations provide an excellent opportunity for compassionate and caring individuals to help others live as independently and successfully as possible.