Salary and Job Opportunities
For both entrepreneurs and individuals making career choices, the numbers for the healthcare industry are impressive.
Ten-year job growth for registered nurses (RNs) is expected to be 23%, while it is pegged at 14% for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs); 19% for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics; and a staggering 51% for personal and home care aides. LPNs and LVNs make $19.28 after one year of vocational training at a technical school or community college. Physician assistants earn an average of $39.24 per hour after completing an accredited education program and passing a national exam. Registered nurses (RNs) command $31.31 upon graduating from an accredited four-year college course and passing a national licensing test.
Finding Opportunity in Personal Experience
The Harrisons got into the home care business after experiencing the difficulties of caring for aging family members. Shortly before passing away from a terminal illness, Tia Harrison’s mother was separated from an elderly cousin with whom she had been living. That cousin had Alzheimers, and caring for both of them at the same time was challenging for the family. Additionally, Richard Harrison’s grandfather was moved from the farm where he resided all his life and placed in a nursing home because he wasn’t eating and properly taking his medications. Richard Harrison watched his grandfather’s quality of life decline until he died right before his 100th birthday.
“If we had both known about companies such as Home Instead Senior Care, our families could have hired a caregiver to assist in both situations, and they could have remained in their homes, where they really wanted to be,” Tia Harrison says. “Our goal is to educate other adult children who find themselves in the same situation and provide them with solutions.”
The Washington, D.C.-based National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) estimates that more than 20,000 home care companies are operating in the U.S. today. Just under 10,000 of them are home health agencies which provide medically oriented services such as nursing and therapy, as well as non-medical home health aide care. The rest are mainly personal care service providers that often are not subject to licensure or registration requirements.
High Standards, Specific Qualifications
Businesses like the Harrisons’ personal care staffing company perform a valuable function in connecting workers who need jobs and families needing caregivers.
“Non-professionals such as personal care attendants and home health aides can not act as independent contractors under federal tax and labor laws. They would need to be an employee of either the consumer or an entity,” says William A. Dombi, the NAHC vice president for law. To legally do their work, many home health aides are employed by a company that is licensed as a business providing home health services. “In reality, we are aware that consumers will hire independent contractor aides and not treat them as employees. There has been little enforcement of the laws in this area,” adds Dombi.
In contrast, a medically oriented home health agency can take more a year to start because of essential state licenses and Medicare certification. “It is not difficult to start a home care agency that provides only personal care services,” says Dombi. “Licensure requirements should be checked, as about 20 states require licensing. The key to such a businesses success is great employees, limited turnover, and a business plan on how to get clients,” says Dombi.