Direct Care Workforce Curricula

California has more than 150,000 certified nursing assistants (CNA) and home health aides (HHA), who are providing paid care and support for a growing number of older adults and persons with a disability.  This direct care workforce provides the bulk of care for those living at home and for residents of long-term care facilities. 

The SCAN Foundation, through its 2009 themed request for proposals, supported five grantees to develop a series of continuing education curricula (in-services) for this direct care workforce.  The geriatric-focused curricula, which are based on adult learning principles, will support California’s direct care workforce by enhancing and developing knowledge and skills to provide care. 

 The curricula are available at no cost for employers of direct care workers to use as part of their training.

Care at the End of Life

Produced by San Diego Hospice and the Institute for Palliative Care, "Care at the End of Life" is a series of three modules that are specifically designed for use in a long-term care setting and can be delivered in 15-20 minute sessions for a total of one CEU.

Pills and Spills (Medication and Falls)

Produced by the University of Southern California (USC) Davis School of Gerontology and the USC School of Pharmacy, this curricula provides an interactive, in-service learning platform directed toward certified nursing assistants and home health aides.  It combines the experience and expertise of both organizations and seeks to reduce the risk of falls in nursing homes as well as home environments

Dementia: Understanding and Responding to Behaviors

Produced by Aging Services of California, these curricula consist of three one-hour in-service training sessions for Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides.

Strengthening Communication and Problem-Solving Competencies for CNAs

Produced by the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), this curriculum consists of six one-hour in-service training sessions for facility-based Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in California.

Managing Pain in Older Adults

Produced by Aging Services of California, these two one-hour training modules describe what pain is and how to know when a resident is in pain. Studies have shown that 60% to 70% of nursing home residents have significant pain and it is often not identified or adequately relieved.

Strengthening Communication and Building Partnerships with Family Caregivers

Produced by the University of Californa at Irvine Program in Geriatrics, this training series hopes to enhance the communication skills of DCWs with family members by developing skills, tools, tips and practice time.