Characteristics of Long-Term Care Registered Apprenticeship Programs: Implications for Evaluation Design. 4.1. Program Goals

09/13/2011

As shown in Table 4, the primary goal for each of the LTC RAPs visited is to improve the skills of its long-term care workforce. Apprenticeship is recognized by the sites as a model that reinforces technical skills and fosters the interpersonal skills that are essential to the industry.Air Force Villages staff considered attentiveness and person-centered care for clients to be an important element in the overall care model and established the LTC RAP to strengthen workers in these areas. Similarly, Agape staff indicated that the instruction in communicating with and caring for dementia patients and communicating with client families to be one of the most important components of the LTC RAP. In addition, staff at four of the five sites (Good Samaritan, Home Care Associates, Air Force Villages, and Agape) reported that the LTC RAPs were designed to improve self-sufficiency and career opportunities and reduce worker turnover. Each of the staff at these sites noted that apprenticeship is used to better train and enrich the jobs of the long-term care staff and, making them more attractive and, thus, reducing staff turnover.

Finally, medical errors in the long-term industry can be very expensive, and well-trained staff may help reduce these errors, saving the sponsors money. However, Developmental Services is the only site that specifically connected the apprenticeship program to the goal of reduced costs through reduced medical errors. Staff at both Developmental Services and Home Care Associates identified that meeting state certification requirements was a goal of their apprenticeship training. Good Samaritan and Home Care Associates staff also said that a goal of the program was to improve the self-sufficiency of its staff by providing good jobs in the long-term care industry, contrary to the typical employment opportunities in these occupations.

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