Online Program

Future competencies needed for the direct care service workforce

Monday, November 4, 2013

William Spears, PhD, Department of Community Health, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Kettering, OH
Carla M. Clasen, MPH, BSN, Center for Healthy Communities, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH
Katherine L. Cauley, PhD, Center for Healthy Communities, Wright State University, Dayton, OH
Purpose: To learn what new skills and competencies will be required of DCSW in the near future.

Background: Increases in the elderly population are putting pressure on long term care (LTC) providers to modify and adapt their services and the care provided to patients. While direct care service workers (DCSWs) are typically the lowest paid caregivers for elderly patients in LTC. They have the most direct contact with LTC patients and are often referred to as the eyes and ears of the health care system.

Methods: The Ohio Direct Service Worker Future Competencies Survey was conducted in 2012, 166 LTC administrators responded to the survey.

Results: Ohio LTC administrators (87%) anticipate that policy changes will increase home care use. As the number of home care jobs grows the need to train DCSW will intensify. Nearly all types of LTC providers in Ohio require DCSWs to learn to provide dementia care; 98% of assisted living facilities require dementia care giving knowledge. Half of LTC organizations currently ask DCSWs to use technology in their jobs; 95% anticipate DCSWs using technology more in the near future. Fewer than 50% of administrators require DCSWs to learn supervisory skills; of those who don't, 43% foresee DCSWs learning supervisory skills in the near future.

Conclusion: Some Ohio LTC organizations are already training their workers in skills they will need in the near future, while many others anticipate the need for workers to learn these skills. These skills are not currently being offered by DCSW training programs.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify two or more skills that direct care service works will need in the near future. Describe why the direct care service workforce needs caregivers with advanced skills. Discuss the need for training programs to teach new skills.

Keyword(s): Long-Term Care, Workforce

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principal investigator on the project. I have published related work and have conducted several public health surveys.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.