“Good English” may not be enough.
English skills may not be enough. When a customer asks for “someone with good English”, people often forget the converse exists: someone with bad English which can be harmful too, especially if the caregiver of your choice with that good English says the wrong things or uses their good English to talk on the phone with his/her friend or family instead of doing a good job or entertain your family with conversation. Sometimes the good English does not come with good personality required for the job that you offer, and that’s just bad English to us. These are the “caregivers” who give the industry a bad name. Occasional short phone calls or emergency calls are understandable. However, excessive phone conversations by the caregiver with someone outside of the job scope certainly does not meet ICONNEL standards. As a result, this person will never be considered for another job if we find out that this was happening. This is also why our customers’ honest feedback is so important. Some things can be trained and disciplined, but the whole person is pre-programmed and fixed from an early age, making this business more complex than one would think. In fact, there is no government regulation that stipulate “compassionate” care because the definition has more to do with emotional and intelligence skills tied to one’s upbringing rather than something that can be “certified” and learned in an institutional setting. With compassionate elderly care, there are higher priorities in effective communication than good English. Minimum conversational English skills is important, but we all know that emotional intelligence is by far the most important, yet this is not a compulsory requirement for home health care certification.