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Become A Home Health Aid

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Working As A Home Health Aid

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $19,569

    Average Salary

What Does A Home Health Aid 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 Home Health Aid

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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Home Health Aid jobs

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Real Home Health Aid Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Home Health Aide Mohamed M'Rabet Palm Beach Gardens, FL Mar 22, 2016 $34,029
Live In Home Health Aide SK & L 1978 Residuary Trust Los Angeles, CA Jun 30, 2016 $32,614
Live In Home Health Aide SK & L 1978 Residuary Trust Los Angeles, CA Nov 19, 2015 $32,614
Private Duty Aide Alfred Fenaughty Long Beach, CA Apr 11, 2015 $28,579
Senior Home Health Aide Law Office of Kevin Michael Reilly Bethesda, MD Sep 10, 2015 $28,350
Personal Care Aide Northeast Arc Salem, MA Dec 14, 2015 $27,643
In Home Caregiver Julie Nutter Vienna, VA Feb 09, 2016 $27,082
Home Health Aide Potomac Home Health Care MD Apr 01, 2015 $26,839
Home Health Aide Roberto Narciso Sanchez Miami Gardens, FL Jun 13, 2016 $25,917
Home Health Aide RIAZ S. Husain Potomac, MD Jan 10, 2015 $25,771
Home Health Aides Team Care Plus Reno, NV Sep 11, 2015 $25,044
Home Health Aide Laguna Elder Care, Inc. Laguna Niguel, CA Sep 02, 2016 $24,856
Personal Care Attendant Donald J Nadar Forest Park, IL Aug 24, 2015 $24,461
Home Health Aide X-Treme Care, LLC NY Jul 26, 2016 $24,190
Caregiver/Home Health Aide William Medigovich San Francisco, CA Oct 30, 2015 $23,400
Home Health Aids Korean Home Health Care, Inc. Dallas, TX Nov 20, 2015 $23,400
Home Health Aids Korean Home Health Care, Inc. Dallas, TX Oct 29, 2015 $23,400
Home Health Aide Christopher Torres Anaheim, CA Apr 09, 2015 $22,957
Home Health Aide X-Treme Care, LLC NY Oct 29, 2015 $22,776
Live-In Home Health Aide Astrid J Gallagher Arroyo Grande, CA Dec 23, 2016 $21,674
Home Health Aide X-Treme Care, LLC NY Jun 07, 2016 $21,611
Caregiver/Home Health Aid Ramon Curameng Monterey Park, CA Jul 15, 2015 $21,600
Home Health Aide Alipio Quality Homes, Inc. Anaheim, CA Jun 19, 2015 $21,174
Care Giver HEBA Corporation DBA La Fayette Residential Care Walnut Creek, CA Sep 22, 2016 $21,112
Home Health Aides Alexen Corp Antioch, CA Mar 22, 2016 $21,112
Home Health Aide Genesis Health Care Claremont, CA Sep 11, 2015 $21,050
Home Health Aids Korean Home Health Care, Inc. Dallas, TX Feb 08, 2016 $21,000

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Top Skills for A Home Health Aid

RUNErrandsLaundryServicesPersonalCareCompanionshipMealPrepPersonalHygieneAssistancePatientCareVitalSignsADLHealthCareDailyLivingActivitiesMedicationRemindersBedLinensDoctorAppointmentsDementiaBloodPressureHospiceAlzheimerEmotionalSupportCarePlan

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Top Home Health Aid Skills

  1. RUN Errands
  2. Laundry Services
  3. Personal Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped client run errands by facilitating transportation and serving in whatever capacity needed.
  • Support patients by providing housekeeping and laundry services, shopping for food and other household requirements., running errands.
  • Assist patients with personal care (bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.).
  • Followed infection control, provided caring companionship to elderly and developmentally disabled patients.
  • Record keeping of the clients Daily cleaning assist clients with their daily meal preparation

Top Home Health Aid Employers

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Home Health Aide Job Description and Salary

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