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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:
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.
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.
|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 -
|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|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Jun 04, 2008||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Jan 23, 2009||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Jan 21, 2009||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Jan 14, 2009||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Jan 15, 2009||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Oct 08, 2008||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Feb 12, 2008||$16,696|
|Care Giver/Health Aide||Healthview Inc. DBA Pine Villa||Long Beach, CA||Dec 11, 2007||$16,696|
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