The first thing that many families face in hiring a private caregiver is whether to use someone referred to them by a friend or to hire from an agency.

The questions are: How well do you know the person? Who is responsible if there is an untoward incident? How has the caregiver been screened? Were professional references verified? Clinical skills competency testing is generally conducted by the agencies. Some agencies use nationally accredited and validated skill tests.

Factors to consider on hiring a private caregiver:

  • Carefully examine licenses and certifications. Agencies should be conducting prime source verification with the proper authorities: U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG), Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and State Boards documentation should be readily available to you, the client.
  • Ask for a criminal history background check (CHBC) or documented drug clearance. Federal law requires nationally certified agencies to conduct CHBC tests. Drug screening is done according to employer or agency policy.
  • Ask for proof of insurance. Professional and Commercial General Liability Insurance is important protection for the patient, family and their personal valuables.
    The management of an agency should be readily available 24/7 when problems arise.

An agency with a professional Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner in charge will have well established quality control of services rendered. And an agency can replace a caregiver who becomes ill or unable to work.


Kahu Malama Nurses, 1357 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 850
808-951-0111 | www.kahumalama.com

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