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Become A Health Care Assistant

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Working As A Health Care Assistant

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $32,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Health Care Assistant 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 Care Assistant

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 Care Assistant Career Paths

Health Care Assistant
Registered Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nursing Director
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Nurse Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Staff Nurse Team Leader
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Staff Nurse Registered Nurse Supervisor
Assistant Director Of Nursing
7 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Instructor Consultant
Partner
6 Yearsyrs
Nurse Utilization Review Nurse Case Manager
Patient Care Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nurse School Nurse Registered Nurse Case Manager
Clinical Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Nurse Team Leader Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Office Manager
Business Office Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Patient Care Coordinator Assistant Manager
Center Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Patient Care Coordinator Office Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Patient Service Representative Patient Care Coordinator Supervisor
Unit Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Nanny Senior Technician Specialist Nursing Director
Managed Care Director
9 Yearsyrs
Nanny Executive Assistant Assistant Property Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Nanny Lead Teacher House Manager
Home Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Health Care Provider Office Manager Accounts Receivable Manager
Patient Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Health Care Provider Operations Manager Client Services Manager
Client Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Health Care Provider Case Manager Mental Health Case Manager
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Health Care Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Health Technician 2.8 years
Home Care Nurse 2.7 years
Home Health Care 2.7 years
Care Provider 2.6 years
Health Assistant 2.6 years
Home Health Aid 2.6 years
Health Aide 2.5 years
Care Associate 2.5 years
Resident Care Aide 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Health Care Assistant
Cashier 11.0%
Volunteer 4.2%
Internship 4.2%
Server 2.9%
Assistant 2.8%
Manager 2.0%
Supervisor 1.7%
Waitress 1.7%
Top Careers After Health Care Assistant
Cashier 8.5%
Internship 4.1%
Volunteer 3.6%
Assistant 3.0%
Server 2.6%
Nurse 1.8%

Do you work as a Health Care Assistant?

Average Yearly Salary
$32,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$18,000
Min 10%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$32,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
MercyOne
Highest Paying City
Fall River, MA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Health Care Assistant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Health Care Assistant in the United States is $32,513 per year or $16 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $18,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $57,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Health Care Assistant?

Have you worked as a Health Care Assistant? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Health Care Assistant.

Top Skills for A Health Care Assistant

  1. Patient Care
  2. Health Care
  3. Vital Signs
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Orchestrated patient care calendar for the clinic and managed physician schedules to accommodate patient medical care needs and physician availability.
  • Assisted elderly residents with health care necessities, bathing, laundry, feeding, transportation and planned daily recreational activities.
  • Administered medications for a 36 patient unit, updating information on vital signs and progress of treatments.
  • Provide patient personal care, meals, administer medications and document accordingly
  • Educated patients and families about infant care, preparation of healthy meals, independent living and adaptation to disability or illness.

Health Care Assistant Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,369 Health Care Assistant resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Health Care Assistant Resume

View Resume Examples

Health Care Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

70.2%

Male

16.5%

Unknown

13.4%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

7.3%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.3%

French

8.1%

Hindi

4.0%

Tagalog

2.4%

Portuguese

2.4%

Chinese

2.4%

German

2.4%

Russian

1.6%

Nepali

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Romanian

0.8%

Somali

0.8%

Mandarin

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%

Filipino

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Italian

0.8%

Mongolian

0.8%
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Health Care Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.3%

University of Utah

12.9%

Brigham Young University

8.8%

Salt Lake Community College

7.1%

The Academy

5.4%

Everest Institute

5.1%

Ashford University

4.8%

Cuyahoga Community College

4.4%

West Virginia University

3.7%

Remington College

3.4%

Kaplan University

3.1%

Fairmont State University

3.1%

Grand Canyon University

3.1%

Michigan State University

2.7%

National University

2.7%

Utah Valley University

2.7%

Wayne State University

2.4%

Lansing Community College

2.4%

Montgomery College

2.4%

University of Missouri - Columbia

2.4%
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Majors

Nursing

25.0%

Medical Assisting Services

14.6%

Business

10.5%

Health Care Administration

9.1%

Psychology

6.3%

Nursing Assistants

4.6%

General Studies

3.2%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Biology

2.7%

Education

2.4%

Medical Technician

2.4%

Social Work

2.1%

Human Services

2.1%

Management

2.0%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Public Health

1.7%

Sociology

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.5%

Health Sciences And Services

1.5%
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Degrees

Other

33.1%

Bachelors

26.8%

Associate

14.8%

Masters

9.9%

Certificate

8.0%

Diploma

5.5%

License

1.0%

Doctorate

0.9%
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