Free Training Curriculum Addresses Unique Risks Faced by Home Healthcare Workers

June 27, 2016
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Stephanie Stevens (202) 245-0641

Free Training Curriculum Addresses Unique Risks Faced by Home Healthcare Workers

Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others training curriculum
A web-based training curriculum is now available from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to help home healthcare agencies and workers learn to recognize hazards commonly encountered in homecare workplaces, communicate safety concerns, and apply practical solutions to manage risks and improve safety–for their clients and for themselves.

The curriculum, Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others, is available at no cost on the NIOSH website in both English and Spanish. It comprises seven flexible modules that allow for customization to meet the individual training needs of home healthcare workers.

“There are nearly 4 million home healthcare workers who often work in isolation and without the typical protections and benefits that workers in traditional health care settings receive,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D.  “It’s important that home health care workers have the knowledge and tools to protect themselves from the serious and even life-threatening hazards they may experience while at work.”

Home healthcare workers, a workforce that is part of one of the most rapidly expanding industries in the U.S., face unique risks to their personal health and safety. Injury from lifting or transferring clients; slips, trips or falls; exposure to blood and injections; verbal abuse and other forms of violence in the client’s home or community; and stress are just some of the hazards these workers may encounter on the job.

Each training module includes a trainer’s guide, customizable PowerPoint slides, and participant handouts. The modules, which can be used together as a complete training or individually to supplement existing training, include:

  • Introduction to Homecare Health and Safety
  • Reducing Strains, Sprains and Falls
  • Reducing Risk from Environmental Exposure
  • Reducing Exposure to Bloodborne and Other Infectious Diseases
  • Staying Safe When Working With Clients With Dementia
  • Setting Healthy and Safe Boundaries to Reduce Stress; and
  • Safely Handling Threatening Behavior When Providing Homecare.

To get this training into the hands of more home healthcare trainers, employers, and organizations, NIOSH recently partneredCdc-pdf with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Since these workers typically work alone in a client’s home, they are often harder-to-reach with health and safety information. “Together, NIOSH and OSHA can raise awareness of the unique risks faced by homecare workers and ensure home care agencies and trainers have the information they need to enhance the safety and health of their workers and strengthen their workforce,” said Dr. Howard.

Caring for Yourself While Caring for Others is available on the NIOSH website at www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2015-102/default.html.

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

Page last reviewed: April 5, 2016