Nine train to be home health aides

SARANAC LAKE — A class of nine students began the four-week process of becoming New York state certified home health care workers on Sept. 8 at North Country Home Services’ Saranac Lake office.

Serving clients across Franklin, Essex, Clinton, Warren and St. Lawrence counties, these trainees will be trained in accordance to the New York State Department of Health-approved Personal Care Aide Training Program and will be taught the skill set needed to provide home health care to those in need.

Meegan Shaw, of the newest class, states that, “The course offers easy-to-follow material that is given at a good pace.”

NCHS staff has further advanced infection-control protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of its clients, trainees and staff as the demand for home health care grows.

“NCHS has put up desk shields so we can socially distance ourselves to sit at our desk and has provided face masks for our protection,” Shaw said. “It’s nice we have been given separate masks to wear in the building so we don’t have to worry about other germs from the outside.”

“It’s been an exciting time to have the opportunity to recruit for North Country Home Services, during a time of high unemployment; we’ve been able to offer thoughtful work to so many people within these four counties,” said Fiscal and Business Assistant Dane DeGrace.

North Country Home Services Inc. employs more than 230 people and is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to supplying home health care and supportive services to clients, enabling them to remain as independent as possible at home when undergoing stress and/or hardships due to illness, disabilities, injury or limitations due to age.

Shaw said she wants to be a PCA to “have the ability to work independently, doing the best you can, while traveling to different homes instead of working at a single place.”

“Training during a global pandemic has been challenging,” said Director of Training Carole Mosher, RN; “however, it has been rewarding to work with a team of professionals that have assisted in implementing safety procedures that have enabled us to continue the training while providing a safe learning environment. As the only New York state-approved HHA-PCA training program in the counties we serve, it is more important than ever to make sure we take the measures necessary to continue training. The HHAs and PCAs are the foundation of home care, and without them more families would be faced with the decisions of placing loved ones in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”


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