Caregiver-Centric Learning: How CareAcademy's 5 Content Principles Enable Better Training for Better Care

By Tracy Huckabee, VP of Content & Quality, CareAcademy

Caregivers are truly extraordinary. They deliver compassionate care to those in need, all while juggling shifting schedules, tailoring care for multiple clients, adopting new technologies and systems, recording documentation, commuting to and from work, and managing their home lives and self-care.

These duties are essential, along with another key component of any caregiver’s life: professional development.

I have the privilege of leading CareAcademy’s Content and Quality team, and it’s our mandate to make sure that the training content we create considers the many hats the caregiver wears while also satisfying the caregiver’s curiosity, competency requirements, compliance needs, and career goals.

We created the C.A.R.E.S. framework to serve as the compass for all of the learning solutions we develop. We recognize that training content that adheres to these guiding principles means more class completions, extended job retention, and better care for patients. 

C.A.R.E.S. Content Framework

CareAcademy learning solutions are:

  1. Competency-based
  2. Advancement-focused
  3. Relevant
  4. Engaging
  5. Supportive 

In this article, I’ll explain how each of these principles shows up across the CareAcademy curriculum.

Competency-based: Empowering extraordinary care

Our classes are so much more than a presentation of information. CareAcademy’s Instructional Designers carefully construct each class from the ground up to build the skills that help caregivers feel more prepared and confident on the job, whether the learner is new to the industry or a veteran with years of experience.

Throughout our classes, you’ll notice that we break complex tasks into bite-sized steps and include videos that demonstrate correct and incorrect behaviors. We also incorporate realistic interactive scenarios that let caregivers practice decision-making in a safe environment. 

Guided by leading experts in the field, our evidence-based content is designed as a learning journey. Following the initial learning event, CareAcademy keeps the learning fresh with bite-sized, targeted videos that help learners focus on specific gaps in their knowledge and skills.

Advancement-focused: Providing upskilling pathways

Agencies that offer support for ongoing education will have a competitive advantage in the industry.

Many of our learners are eager to work with agencies that help them move forward in their careers. How many? Eighty-five percent of the 1,500 caregivers surveyed in the 2021 “Education Pathways for Caregivers: An Untapped Opportunity for Employers” research report indicated they would be more likely to stay with an agency that offered this support.

And further, 94% of caregivers say access to further education is an important consideration in accepting a job offer. 

CareAcademy provides learning opportunities that empower learners to expand their knowledge beyond their current job roles. Learners can engage in recommended pathways and continue their learning journey with an ever-expanding library of individual classes, certifications, and college-accredited courses. 

Did you know that caregivers can earn college credit toward a degree at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) as they complete professional training within the CareAcademy platform for no additional charge? This signature higher-education partnership program entices more people into the profession and enhances the professionalism of the field.

Relevant: Centering on the learner

Learners want more than just information—they want to know that what they’re learning is immediately relevant to the work they do. CareAcademy content depicts skills (hard and soft), procedures, and activities in real-world settings so learners can see how what they’re learning is applicable to their job. 

We take time to interview learners frequently and conduct user tests to validate that we’re on target with any new features and approaches. 

Innovation is key at CareAcademy. Care workers are individuals with different needs, so we’re adopting new technologies that will enable us to customize the learning experience learner by learner.

For example, we strive to provide content in languages that caregivers prefer. We’re also working on classes that let the learner make choices in the module that takes them down a personalized path. 

Engaging: Captivating and delighting

Even mandatory classes should be entertaining and enjoyable! We certainly have fun designing and developing them!

CareAcademy content draws learners in with a variety of instructional formats including animated and live-action videos with relatable characters and stories, bite-sized activities, and knowledge checks that support different learning preferences and needs.

Our team is always looking for creative ways to earn and maintain the learner’s attention. 

We often hear from agencies that their caregivers are delighted by the classes we offer and are eager to take even more than is mandated. Quite a few agencies include CareAcademy top-tier classes in their recruitment toolbox. 

Supportive: Learning with others

Learners are empowered when they can learn with and from their peers and experts.

CareAcademy learning solutions are modular in design (from brief skills videos to in-depth certification programs) and can be used by organizations in creative ways to foster a sense of community amongst the team.

For example, after initial onboarding training, a caregiver cohort can meet to discuss their application of the content and share examples and real-world challenges. For more experienced caregivers, agencies and facilities can leverage CareAcademy content in live master class sessions or targeted meetups.

For annual training, administrators can group content into monthly themes and provide periodic access to an expert and/or live discussion sessions on that month’s theme. These types of learning experiences are reciprocal and foster a social network in an industry that can feel isolating.

Helping you deliver better care

The C.A.R.E.S. framework focuses our work on high-quality learning solutions that move the needle. We currently offer over 400 hours of caregiving content, and we have much more on our roadmap—more certifications, innovative training formats, updates, and features that will help you deliver better care to your clients at the end of the day. We look forward to serving your needs!

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