Home Health Aide
What is Home Health Aide?
A home health aide cares for people who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, cognitive impairments, or age-related problems, who have the need or desire to still live in their own home.
The home health aide provides basic services that include administering medications, changing bandages, and checking vital signs like temperature, and pulse and respiration rates.
Although a home health aide works independently, he or she is supervised by a medical professional, usually a registered nurse. Be careful not to confuse home health aides with personal care aides who don’t provide medical services of any type.
- Provide health care services in patients residences
- Perform domestic and household tasks
- Transport and accompany patients to doctors office or to hospital
- Assist with clients personal care activities
- Monitor patients (vital signs, temperature, respiration, etc.) and report on their condition
- Maintain patients care records and document provided services
- Assist patients with mobility and physical therapies/exercises
- Instruct and counsel patients and families on diet and exercise
- Collect routine specimens
- Provide companionship and basic emotional or psychological support
- Help clients get dressed and undressed and maintain proper clothing
- Provide and assist with personal services such as bathing and grooming
- Accompany clients to their doctor visits
- Oversee the administration of prescribed medications to clients
- Assist clients who are unable to handle the day-to-day homemaking duties in their homes
- Follow a specified care plan for the client and report on completed tasks after each visit
Jobs are typically full time, although some aides have part-time schedules. Patient schedules often require work on weekends, evenings, and holidays. Overnight shifts and live-in shifts are not uncommon.
Education, Training & Certification
- Education: Although you don’t need a high school diploma to become a home health aide, most people who work in this field have one. Since those are the job candidates with whom you will be competing, it makes sense for you to stay in school.
- Training: Home health aides receive on-the-job training from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, or experienced aides. Some states require anyone working in this occupation to have formal training which vocational schools, community colleges, and home health care agencies provide.
- Evaluation: Home health aides who work for agencies that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement must, according to United States law, complete a state-approved training program and a competency evaluation (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Home Health Agencies: State Operations Manual [PDF]). Some states place even more stringent requirements on agencies receiving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. In addition, several states license, certify or register home health aides.
A Certificate of Completion will be awarded to those students meeting the Home Health Aide Program graduation requirements. Students eligible for certificates of completion are those who have satisfactorily completed their modules of study and all clock hours of the program with a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C), passed the final exam with letter grades of “C” or better, and are cleared through Student Accounts.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ELIGIBILITY FOR LICENSURE
Upon successful completion of the Home Health Aide Program and all financial obligations to the school obligations are settled, the student is eligible for the HHA license. Below are the requirements of the California Department of Public Health:
- The applicant should at least be 17 years old
- Completed 40 hours of HHA training
- Holder of a CNA license
- Lectures 0
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 hours
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Assessments Yes