At 97%, nearly all health care providers say caregivers play an important role in patient care, according to an AARP study. Yet fewer than half of caregivers say they are prepared for the rigorous demands of caring for a family member or friend at home. The Family Caregiving Institute at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis leads an effort to bridge the divide by preparing both graduate students and area clinicians to better support these crucial caregivers. The school offers a certificate for academic credit and will soon offer continuing education opportunities for working professionals.
The Family Caregiving Graduate Academic Unit Certificate Program is currently offered to doctoral students as a Graduate Academic Unit Certificate through the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, consists of three academic courses (12 credits):
“Our hope is to equip and educate health care professionals to integrate the family into the health care team, so the caregivers become active members of the team at the beginning of the provider-patient relationship,” said Kathryn Sexson, education lead at the institute. “So that if the patient needs assistance, then the health care team and the family caregiver can come together immediately to support if them. Likewise, we want members of the care team to recognize when the caregiver needs support as well and bring the team together to aid.”
The online, certificate program teaches students and clinicians about the complex nature of caregiving, such as perceived stresses, socioeconomic influences, value systems and the heterogeneity of caregiving situations. Students learn the value of a cooperative, family-centered approach to developing caregiving plans in partnership with caregivers. The goal — better health outcomes for caregivers, patients and increased skills for providers.
Upon completion of the family caregiving certificate program, students are positioned to address the needs of diverse family caregivers. Supporting the family caregiver as an integral part of the health care team bolsters preparedness and confidence for individuals who are high risk for worsening mental and physical well-being, both the caregiver and care recipient. Fundamentally, supporting family caregivers develops better stewards of the health care dollars as it has been shown to reduce expensive and unnecessary hospitalizations and long-term care. The students possess the knowledge to make systems change through leadership and research.
Institute leaders now plan to expand the program so nurses and other health professionals may also complete the courses through a professional certificate program. Watch this page for more details in fall 2021.
Nurses and other health professionals will soon be able to register for online, professional certificate programs without requiring the time and financial commitment of a full-time graduate-degree program.
We plan to offer two types of programs:
More details to come in winter 2021. Watch this website for updates on these new professional programs.