Home health aides are important for people who have disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive impairments. As a home health aide, you're responsible for assisting with the daily life of your patients or clients.
While, you may believe home health aides only work in their clients' homes, that's certainly not correct. Aides can also work in group homes or even day service programs. Generally, you'll only need a high school diploma to become a home health aid.
Your days and responsibilities as a home health aide will vary, depending on how many clients you work with. Some days you'll only work with one client for the entire day, then other days you may find yourself with 4-5 clients for shorter time periods. It's definitely a job that will keep you on your toes. You'll never know what to expect each day.
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.
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.
As you move along in your career, you may start taking on more responsibilities or notice that you've taken on a leadership role. Using our career map, a home health aid can determine their career goals through the career progression. For example, they could start out with a role such as certified nursing assistant, progress to a title such as registered nurse and then eventually end up with the title nursing director.
The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.7% of home health aids listed personal care on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and integrity are important as well.
Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Home Health Aid templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Home Health Aid resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.
After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:
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Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a home health aid. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Oregon, North Dakota, and Montana. Home health aids make the most in Washington with an average salary of $35,549. Whereas in Oregon and North Dakota, they would average $34,959 and $33,344, respectively. While home health aids would only make an average of $33,125 in Montana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.
3. North Dakota
|Rank||Company||Average Salary||Hourly Rate||Job Openings|
|2||Always Best Care||$27,567||$13.25||613|
|3||BAYADA Home Health Care||$27,179||$13.07||1,821|
|5||Maxim Healthcare Group||$26,916||$12.94||1,327|
|7||Personal Touch Home Care||$25,997||$12.50||739|
|9||Premier Home Health Care||$25,891||$12.45||428|
To become a certified home health aide you need to complete a certified training program and pass a certification exam.
Certification is not necessary for home health aides unless they work in a facility that receives Medicare/Medicaid funding. However, to increase earning potential and move up in your career, it can be useful to get this certification.
It takes about 120 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of clinical work to become a home health aide. These are the typical industry requirements needed to become certified as a home health aide.
A home health aide certification costs between $300 to $650. The cost of the program depends on where you get your training from. For example, the cost of programs from a reputed university or school can be more expensive than the training provided by smaller schools.
The difference between a caregiver and a home health aide is the level of medical care they are qualified and trained to give. Home Health Aides typically receive advanced training to provide simple health services.