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Become A Health Aide

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Working As A Health Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $23,444

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Aide Do

Home health aides help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment with activities of daily living. They often help older adults who need assistance. In some states, home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the client’s vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.

Duties

Home health aides typically do the following:

  • Assist clients in their daily personal tasks, such as bathing or dressing
  • Provide basic health-related services according to a client’s needs, such as checking vital signs or administering prescribed medication at scheduled times
  • Do light housekeeping, such as laundry, washing dishes, and vacuuming in a client’s home
  • Help to organize a client’s schedule and plan appointments
  • Arrange transportation to doctors’ offices or for other kinds of outings
  • Shop for groceries and prepare meals to meet a client’s dietary specifications
  • Help to keep clients engaged in their social networks and communities

Home health aides, unlike personal care aides, typically work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive government funding and therefore must comply with regulations. They work under the direct supervision of medical professionals, usually nurses. These aides keep records of services performed and of clients’ conditions and progress. They report changes in clients’ conditions to supervisors or case managers. Home health aides also work with therapists and other medical staff.

Depending on their clients’ needs, home health aides may provide some basic health-related services, such as checking a client’s pulse, temperature, and respiration rate. They may also help with simple prescribed exercises and or with giving medications. Occasionally, they change bandages or dressings, give massages, care for skin, or help with braces and artificial limbs. With special training, experienced home health aides also may help with medical equipment such as ventilators, which help clients breathe.

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How To Become A Health Aide

There is no formal education requirement for home health aides, but most aides have at least a high school diploma. Home health aides who work for certified home health or hospice agencies must complete formal training and pass a standardized test.

Education

Although a high school diploma or equivalent is not generally required, most home health aides have one before entering the occupation. Some formal education programs may be available from community colleges or vocational schools.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Home health aides who work for agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid must get a minimum level of training and pass a competency evaluation to be certified. Training typically includes learning about personal hygiene, reading and recording vital signs, infection control, and basic nutrition. Aides may take a competency exam to become certified without taking any training.

Additional requirements for certification vary by state. In some states, the only requirement for employment is on-the-job training, which employers generally provide. Other states require formal training, which is available from community colleges, vocational schools, elder care programs, and home healthcare agencies. In addition, states may conduct background checks on prospective aides. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.

In addition, many home health aides may be required to obtain CPR certification.

Training

Home health aides may be trained in housekeeping tasks, such as cooking for clients who have special dietary needs. Aides learn basic safety techniques, including how to respond in an emergency. Specific training may be needed for certification if state certification is required.

In addition, clients have their own preferences, and aides may need time to become comfortable working with them.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Home health aides must adhere to specific rules and protocols to help take care of clients. Aides must carefully follow instructions from healthcare professionals, such as how to care for a client’s wound or how to identify changes in a client’s condition.

Integrity. Home health aides should make clients feel comfortable when they tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe. In addition, home health aides must be dependable and trustworthy so that clients and their families can rely on them.

Interpersonal skills. Home health aides must work closely with their clients. Sometimes, clients are in extreme pain or distress, and aides must be sensitive to their emotions. Aides must be compassionate, and they must enjoy helping people.

Physical stamina. Home health aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks. They might need to lift or turn clients.

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Health Aide Jobs

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Health Aide Career Paths

Health Aide
Direct Support Professional Program Coordinator Project Coordinator
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Operations Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Unit Secretary Office Manager
Business Office Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Recruiter Career Counselor
Career Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Teacher Aide Office Manager General Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Care Technician Office Manager General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
9 Yearsyrs
Direct Support Professional Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Worker Security Officer Direct Support Professional
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Worker Home Health Aid Activities Director
Life Enrichment Director
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Assistant Director Director Of Food And Beverage
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Teacher Aide Home Health Aid Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Account Manager Account Executive
Sales/Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Phlebotomist Service Technician Service Manager
Service Director
10 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Nurse Staff Nurse
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Guard Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Health Aide?

Health Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

81.5%

Male

15.5%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.4%

French

18.2%

Mandarin

3.4%

Chinese

2.3%

Russian

2.3%

Cantonese

2.3%

Polish

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%

German

1.1%

Akan

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Swedish

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Czech

1.1%

Albanian

1.1%

Greek

1.1%

Afrikaans

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Hmong

1.1%

Croatian

1.1%
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Health Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

22.0%

Grand Canyon University

8.1%

Kaplan University

7.3%

Liberty University

5.7%

University of Alaska Anchorage

5.7%

Everest Institute

4.1%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Pulaski Technical College

4.1%

Fresno City College

3.3%

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

3.3%

Ashford University

3.3%

University of Pennsylvania

3.3%

Temple University

3.3%

Texas A&M University

3.3%

Santa Rosa Junior College

3.3%

Indian River State College

3.3%

Grossmont College

3.3%

Baker College

3.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Remington College

3.3%
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Majors

Nursing

19.0%

Business

12.5%

Medical Assisting Services

12.5%

Health Care Administration

7.3%

Psychology

5.9%

Nursing Assistants

5.3%

Criminal Justice

5.2%

General Studies

4.8%

Social Work

4.1%

Education

3.1%

Liberal Arts

3.0%

Elementary Education

2.2%

Sociology

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.0%

Human Services

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.8%

Early Childhood Education

1.8%

Biology

1.8%

Health Sciences And Services

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

34.8%

Bachelors

24.4%

Associate

17.2%

Certificate

9.5%

Masters

8.5%

Diploma

3.9%

Doctorate

0.9%

License

0.8%
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Part Time
Internship
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Real Health Aide Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Health Aid Alfredhouse Eldercare, Inc. Rockville, MD Dec 20, 2010 $24,731
Health Aide Way of Hope, Incorporated Baltimore, MD Mar 04, 2008 $20,578
Health Aid King's Court Residential Community Orange, CA Oct 01, 2007 $20,244
Health Aid King's Court Residential Community Orange, CA Oct 29, 2007 $19,388 -
$19,827
Health Aid King's Court Residential Community Orange, CA Jan 02, 2008 $19,075
Health Aide Fancor Guest Home El Cajon, CA Nov 02, 2009 $17,823

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Top Skills for A Health Aide

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  1. Personal Care
  2. Independent Living
  3. Vital Signs
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Care for patients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.
  • Prepared healthy meals, independent living and adaptation to disability or illness.
  • Report abnormalities which occur on the unit to charge nurse both verbally and in writing including vital signs and other findings.
  • Facilitate access for clinical case management staff, non-emergency care and emergency care request.
  • Assist nursing staff with non-medical related patient care responsibilities.

How Would You Rate Working As a Health Aide?

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Top Health Aide Employers

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Jobs From Top Health Aide Employers

Health Aide Videos

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Male Home Health Aide (HHA), HHA

Home Health Aide Training Overview

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