Years of School
As the name suggests, home health aides offer home care to those who need help in their day-to-day living.
Here you’ll find a brief guideline of the home health aide industry, including their job description, education, salary, job outlook, and certification and licensing.
The job description of a home health aide entails working with people who live at home and need additional supervision.
This could be as a result of a terminal illness or other condition that affects their ability to function independently.
While they often work in the patient’s home, home health aides can also be employed by institutions like retirement homes.
The nature of their occupation dictates that home health aides should be comfortable working with the sick, elderly, and otherwise impaired individuals.
Additionally, they should enjoy the company of other people, as patients usually need a friendly helper.
Duties of a Home Health Aide:
- Miscellaneous housekeeping duties
- Bathe and dress patients
- Home Health Aide Duties
- Providing or arranging for travel
- Catering for individual diet needs
- Shopping for food & preparing meals
- Show that they genuinely care about their patients
- They provide vital social contact in cases where the patients do not get to see their friends or family
- Help clients monitor their schedules, from appointments to their medications.
Similar Job Titles:
- Hospice care worker
- Home attendant
- Personal care aides
The average annual salary of home health aides is approximately $24,252, with the lowest 10 percent earning slightly above $20,542 while the top 10 percent pocket close to $29,452.
Employees can clock in different hours, depending on individual circumstances.
However, most of them work full time and can be occupied with one or several patients a day.
The main people who require the services of a home health aide are those who are terminally ill or need long-term care because of their age.
There are three ways home health aides can boost their salaries.
The first option is to get their NAHC certification and the second one is to gain as much experience in the field as possible.
The third option can be separated into two categories: open their own business in the industry or aspire for a managerial role in a home health aide company.
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You don’t need a formal post-secondary education to become a home health aide.
Most employers actually provide on-the-job training even without any certification.
However, it is advisable to be certified by the NAHC (National Association for Homecare and Hospice), which is required by some employers.
Courses Covered by the NHAC include:
- Residential care supervision
- Patient Support
- Patient supervision techniques
- Medical terminology
Home health aides can start working after receiving their diploma or upon high school graduation.
However, they are required to have at least 75 hours of training before attending to Medicare patients.
This is often offered by employers if the new employee does not have the necessary training already.
Certification & Licensing
Home health aides looking to upgrade to the management level or run their own business may want to acquire the NAHC certification.
Some employers also prefer hiring home health aides who have home health aide certification.
If you decide to get your NAHC certification, you can get the program at a number of vocational schools and community colleges.
Once you finish the program, you need to complete at least 75 hours of practical training under a certified aide.
The NAHC examination is made up of fifty multiple choice questions, which cover anything from safety management to medical technology.
The exam costs about $140.
You can also become certified by obtaining home health aide certification on the internet.
The program is not completely online, but students generally spend about half the time in the classroom as compared to a traditional course.
This field has an excellent job outlook, according to bls.gov.
It has a projected growth rate of about 70 percent as opposed to the 10-19 percent growth in most industries.
This is primarily attributed to the large population sector that will be advancing to their senior years in the next decade, significantly increasing the demand for professional home health aides.