Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 20, 2019 


A whistleblower complaint against President Trump sets off tug-of-war between Congress and the White House; and students around the world strike today to demand action on climate change.

2020Talks - September 20, 2019. (3 min.)  


Climate change is a big issue this election season, and global climate strikes kick off, while UAW labor strikes continue.

Daily Newscasts

WA Graduates a New Class of Skilled Caregivers

Home-care workers in Washington state can receive extra training through an apprenticeship program that prepares them to provide support for people with a variety of medical challenges. Credit: Chris Thomas
Home-care workers in Washington state can receive extra training through an apprenticeship program that prepares them to provide support for people with a variety of medical challenges. Credit: Chris Thomas
September 3, 2015

SEATTLE – On Friday, 90 home-care aides graduate from advanced caregiver training in Seattle – and it's a big milestone.

The workers, who hail from around the state, have spent 145 hours over the last year learning how to manage care for people who in past decades might have been institutionalized, but can now remain at home.

It's the first apprenticeship program of its kind in the nation.

Charissa Raynor, executive director of the SEIU Healthcare Northwest Training Partnership, says in-home care today involves much more than helping people with chores and errands.

"Supporting people with severe and persistent mental illness, chronic disease, physical disability,” she explains. “Seeing lots of post traumatic stress disorder – different, complex conditions that require a higher level of skill."

The apprenticeship program also includes on-the-job peer mentoring, which Raynor says is an important component to prevent burnout.

This is the third graduating class for what began as an experimental program.

Raynor says statewide and nationally, home-care workers are in critically short supply, in part because it's often seen as a dead end job.

An additional goal of the apprenticeship program is to change perceptions, by giving workers the high-demand skills they need to make home care a career path with a future.

"This is the job that's creating more new jobs than any other, across all industries nationwide,” Raynor says. “And yet, it's not a good job, and we have trouble attracting people to it and we have trouble keeping people in it. And training is part of the solution."

In past years, Washington voters passed two ballot measures raising the training requirements for home-care aides.

Raynor says having skilled in-home care also means fewer avoidable accidents, injuries and emergency-room visits for the clients.

The SEIU Healthcare Northwest Training Partnership has committed to advanced training for 3,000 home-care workers a year within the next few years.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA