OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Being a healthcare worker takes just the right type of person. Caregiver Lillian Worden says it was especially important during the pandemic when they could not visit with their families.
"I just love making them laugh and making their day. Sometimes they don't get to see their families as much as they like to, just having someone there to hang out with and talk to," said Worden.
Worden started working for Hillcrest during the height of the pandemic.
"My other job had previously closed down," Worden said. "I got an email through my advisor and she said there was a bunch of places hiring and this is what I am going to school for. That is how I ended up getting this job."
"There is potentially some fear out there to enter the healthcare space. But we are constantly looking at programming and things that attract individuals into our industry so that we can maximize our position in regards to employment because regardless of a pandemic or an economic change we have customers that need care," said Dan Conaway, director of team member development at Hillcrest Health Services.
Worden adds, "I actually had a lot of anxiety with it. Am I sick? Do I have a fever? Is this just anxiety and me freaking out over nothing? I don't want to get them sick. My main concern was making sure they were safe."
An added bonus to working at Hillcrest is they offer free training and help staff members get various medical certifications and licenses.
"The number one thing we look for is a heart for serving the senior population. You can train the skills, you can train someone to use a Hoyer lift, but you can't train the heart and that is primarily what we are looking for. The challenge is how do you find those individuals in the workforce," said Tim Martens, an administrator at Hillcrest Caring Companions.
To help recruit employees, they've turned to social media, and are offering hiring bonuses and referral bonuses.
"We have everything from long-term care skilled nursing, post-acute rehab services, assisted living memory support. We have a variety of home and community-based services to include skilled, home health, private duty, home care, hospice services, and a variety of therapy services we provide as well," adds Conaway.
Hillcrest has a medical side as well as a non-medical side. Non-medical is helping with the activities of daily living.
The greatest need they have right now is for more home and community caregivers.
"Some of the things we take for granted that are easy for us to do are not easy to do for the aging population," adds Martens.
Hillcrest Health Services has monthly hiring events. You can attend one of those or give them a call at (402) 682-4800 or reach out to them via their website.