We have a running debate in our office over an illustration we use frequently in presentations. The image is of two Home Depot aprons – one without any pins, and one with dozens of pins representing all the different areas of mastery a worker has achieved.
The story actually wasn’t mine originally, but rather was offered up by a person in the audience of one of my presentations. I was talking about caregiver certification pins, and the person said, “Well this makes sense to me. When I go to Home Depot I always look for the person with the most pins on his or her apron. I figure that person has to be the most knowledgeable and can probably answer my question the quickest.”
The internal debate is if this is a good representation of what a client or referral source might think if they saw a caregiver loaded down with certification pins – pins representing knowledge and competence in end of life care, post hospital care, dementia care, diabetes care and more.
From my own experience, I know that these little pins matter. They matter to families who really want to know, “What kind of training does my mom’s caregiver have? Does she know how to care for my mother’s needs?”
They matter to caregivers, who often receive precious little recognition or compensation for the back-breaking hours they devote to caring for, and about, their clients.
They matter to your referral sources who are invested in making referrals to good places for care, not just any place for care.
More than the pins, though, it’s what they represent. For many caregivers, they represent time off the clock that they invested in their own knowledge and skills, learning to caring for a person with dementia and desiring to truly be the very best caregiver they can be.
Who would you want taking care of your loved one?
How would you like to be known – as the company with the plain-shirted caregivers or “the ones with all the pins?”
Caregiver certification may not be a requirement where you live and work, but it does matter – maybe a lot more than you might have considered before!