SHOW LOW — If you are providing assistance with daily living activities to older adults or individuals with disabilities, completing a new eight-week Direct Care Worker course at Northland Pioneer College’s Show Low campus qualifies you to receive financial compensation when providing services to clients under the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).
The Direct Care Worker (DCW) course was designed specifically for in-home caregivers, with an emphasis on skills development in performing personal care tasks and home management. Course topics include bathing and grooming, nutrition, meal planning and food preparation, medication safety, infection control, fire, safety and emergency procedures, legal and ethical issues and housekeeping duties.
“As our population ages, more and more family members are putting aside their careers to provide assistance with daily living activities for older family members,” noted Peg Erdman, dean of NPC’s Nursing and Allied Health Division. “Receiving DCW certification makes the caregiver eligible for compensation from AHCCCS, if the person receiving care is eligible for coverage, helping to reduce the financial burden on the family. Certified DCWs are also employed by home care and Medicare agencies.”
The Institute of Medicine describes direct care workers as “the linchpin of the formal health care delivery system for older adults.” More than 13 million Americans need daily care, services and support to maintain treatment or rehabilitation programs and to live in a setting of their choice with a dignified, high quality of life. That number is expected to grow to 27 million by 2050. By 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the direct care workforce to be the largest occupational group in the country.
Caregivers may qualify for free or reduced-cost training through Arizona Workforce Connection, available online or through local Department of Economic Security offices, or the Navajo and Apache Counties Workforce Investment Board.
“It is important to check with these agencies BEFORE registering for the Direct Care Worker course,” stressed Erdman. “Once you register, it is harder for these agencies to assist with the cost of tuition, fees and textbooks.”
Registration is currently underway during regular business hours for the first of two eight-week courses, Aug. 18 through Oct. 10 (reference HES 199-94256), and Oct. 13 through Dec. 5 (reference HES 199-94257). Classes meet in the Ponderosa Center, room 103, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a hands-on lab section meeting on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 until 6:45 p.m. For the first two weeks, attendance is not required on the lab days.
Prior to registering, students must take a placement test ($10) to determine reading level. Check with the academic adviser at your local NPC campus or center for placement testing schedules. Students must also have a current CPR card.
Tuition for the four-credit-hour course is $264, plus a $40 course fee for supplies and certification testing, and $40 media fee. Required textbooks are an additional $76, plus shipping. Students are encouraged to register early to allow two weeks for delivery of textbooks from NPC’s online bookstore, or from other vendors.
For additional information about the Direct Care Worker course, or other Allied Health training programs in phlebotomy, pharmacy technician, nursing or medical assistant, call the NPC Nursing and Allied Health Division, (800) 266-7845, ext. 6136, or visit an NPC academic adviser.
Northland Pioneer College serves the residents of Navajo and Apache counties through four regional campuses and five centers with a variety of educational options for academic, career and technical and personal enrichment. NPC supports each student’s educational goals through affordable tuition, small class sizes and caring, professional instructors. For more information about NPC programs and services, call (800) 266-7845.
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