RIO GRANDE — In-home health care is among the fastest growing sectors in the country, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the ranks of home health and personal care aides to grow by more than 1.3 million by 2020.
To meet the job force demands that come with an expected industry growth of 70 percent from 2010, the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College has developed a Direct Service Worker (DSW) certificate program to train personal care aides.
The four-week program consists of 80 contact hours comprised of both classroom and clinical components taught by Rio Grande nursing faculty. Students will learn skills ranging from patient personal care to safety, transfer, good body mechanics, hand washing, care of choking and the proper application of each.
“The demand for in-home personal care aides in southeastern Ohio grows each day with the aging Baby Boomers,” said Teri Pearson, administrator at Family Senior Care of Gallipolis and Jackson. “Rio Grande’s Direct Service Worker program will help in-home health care providers maintain the highest quality of service for our customers, while also allowing us to better focus our resources.”
The DSW program launch includes two spring sessions available for immediate enrollment, with tuition ($707.98) for the spring semester only covered through a grant from the Ohio Direct Service Workforce Project. The grant will not cover lab fees, books or parking.
Spring enrollment is limited to 70 students, 35 per session. Classes are two to three days per week from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the first session beginning Feb. 24 and concluding March 27. The second session runs from March 31 to April 24.
Following completion of the program, DSW students are required to take a pilot test that does not affect graduation.
“This program is designed to meet the needs of a growing industry with direct employment opportunities,” said Donna Mitchell, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Rio Grande. “Graduates of the Direct Service Worker program will position themselves for immediate employment, but also gain an extensive introduction to the medical field.”
For more information, contact the Rio Grande Admissions Office at 1 (800) 282-7201.