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Become A Nursing Home Aide

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Working As A Nursing Home Aide

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $22,838

    Average Salary

What Does A Nursing Home 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 Nursing Home 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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Nursing Home Aide jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Nursing Attendant 3.8 years
Nursing Home Aide 3.0 years
Home Health Aid 2.4 years
Nurses' Aide 2.3 years
Health Aide 2.2 years
Hospice Aide 2.2 years
In Home Aide 2.1 years
Resident Care Aide 1.9 years
Aide 1.8 years
Resident Aide 1.5 years
Hospitality Aide 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Staff Nurse 11.1%
Cashier 5.6%
Attendant 3.7%
Internship 1.9%
Top Employers After
Cashier 5.6%
Aide 4.2%
Internship 2.8%

Nursing Home Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

79.0%

Male

19.0%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

76.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Asian

5.0%

Black or African American

2.4%

Unknown

1.2%
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Nursing Home Aide Education

Schools

Southern Connecticut State University

9.1%

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

9.1%

Wor-Wic Community College

4.5%

Concordia College (Minnesota)

4.5%

Amarillo College

4.5%

Eastern Michigan University

4.5%

New York University

4.5%

CTK Healthcare & Career Institute

4.5%

Everest Institute

4.5%

Bryan College

4.5%

North Country Community College

4.5%

Danville Area Community College

4.5%

Palm Beach State College

4.5%

University of Oklahoma

4.5%

Florida State College at Jacksonville

4.5%

Boricua College

4.5%

Montclair State University

4.5%

Orange Coast College

4.5%

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

4.5%

Liberty University

4.5%
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Majors

Nursing

30.9%

Psychology

9.1%

Human Services

7.3%

Social Work

7.3%

Business

5.5%

Health Care Administration

5.5%

Medical Assisting Services

3.6%

Physical Therapy

3.6%

Clinical Psychology

3.6%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Liberal Arts

3.6%

Teaching English As A Second Language

1.8%

Public Health

1.8%

Mental Health Counseling

1.8%

Pharmacy

1.8%

Health Sciences And Services

1.8%

Music

1.8%

Biology

1.8%

Finance

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%
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Degrees

Other

39.1%

Bachelors

26.1%

Associate

17.4%

Masters

10.1%

Certificate

4.3%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.4%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Nursing Home Aide

DailyLivingBasicPatientCarePersonalCareVitalSignsADLMedicalConditionsBedLinensHealthCarePersonalHygieneBloodPressureCNAMotionExercisesIntercomSystemsElderlyResidentsPatientRoomsSpecialDietsEmotionalSupportRNAdjunctCareIV

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Top Nursing Home Aide Skills

  1. Daily Living
  2. Basic Patient Care
  3. Personal Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist residents/ home patients with Activities of Daily Living.
  • Care for patients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.
  • Obtain and record patient's vital signs, intake and output, and blood glucose.
  • Assisted nurse with the residents with their ADL.
  • Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.

Top Nursing Home Aide Employers

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