What is home health aide?
Most elderly prefer to live in their residence, in the familiar surroundings of their home. According to AARP, a United States-based interest group focusing on issues affecting those over the age of fifty, 90% of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age.
They opt to stay in their homes and enjoy the freedom, comfort, and independence that comes with it.
A home health aide is a trained medical worker who assists clients with daily duties such as washing and dressing.
They may also be in charge of modest household activities such as laundry or dishwashing to ensure the well-being of patients receiving home healthcare.
Home health aides act as a bridge to independent living for the elderly and the disabled. Home health aides are compassionate, loving people who want to make a difference in other people's lives. They are empowering their clients to live life on their terms.
Are you looking for a career as a home health aide? Then, you are at the right place!
Read on to learn about the profession in-depth and more:
- What does a home health aide do?
- What is the difference between a home health aide, personal care aide, and certified nursing assistant?
- How to read the home health aide job description?
- What are the responsibilities of a home health aide?
- What are the duties of a home health aide?
- What are the requirements and skills of a home health aide?
- What is a home health aide not allowed to do?
- What is the salary of a home health aide?
What does a Home Health Aide Do?
Home Health Aides provide primary personal care to clients. They help clients enjoy the comfort and dignity of living at home by assisting with activities of daily living.
Some basic home health aide duties are:
- Monitoring vital signs
- Monitoring physical or mental state
- Aiding with grooming, hygiene, and housekeeping
Who Does a Home Health Aide Work With?
They work in clients' homes and support people of all ages, from babies to the elderly. Caregivers usually collaborate with registered nurses to ensure that their patients receive the required care and attention.
HHA vs PCA vs CNA
The home health aide is involved in caregiving for the client much like the personal care aide or a PCA professional or Certified Nursing Assistant, CNA. The only difference between them is the level of training.
A PCA performs care services that are the most basic or non-medical care. HHA professionals offer mid-level support such as checking vital signs and documenting clients’ health.
A CNA can provide basic medical care for clients, and they are supervised by a registered nurse or a registered practitioner.
Also Read: Patient Care Technician Job Description
Home Health Aide Job Description
The job description for a home health aide includes what the client or the employer (if working in an agency) expects out of you. Read the job description thoroughly before applying for the role.
What to expect from the role of a Home Health Aide
The home health aide job description would specifically mention the expectations.
Here is a general overview of the expectations:
- Experience aiding with nurturing individuals back to full health.
- Learning how to keep track of a patient's progress, conduct physical treatment, and provide support.
- Learn about best practices in healthcare on the job.
Home Health Aide Job Responsibilities
A home health aide's responsibilities do not require medical training. They do, however, require state-approved health training.
The home health aide's responsibilities include:
- Execute domestic and housekeeping duties
- Transport and accompany patients to the hospital and administer prescribed medicines
- Assist with personal care duties for clients.
- Monitor vital signs such as temperature, respiration, etc., and document their condition.
- Keep track of your patient's medical data and document the services you've delivered.
- Assist in mobility and physical therapy/exercises for patients.
- Provide nutrition and fitness advice to patients and their families.
- Obtain the necessary samples for prescribed tests
- Provide companionship and basic emotional or psychological assistance.
Home Health Aide Duties
Here is a standard list of home health aide duties:
- Assisting with personal tasks, including washing, dressing, and grooming
- Light housekeeping tasks including washing dishes, doing laundry, and changing bed linen
- Purchasing groceries
- Meal preparation and serving
- Transporting patients to and from doctor's visits
- Helping with toilet usage
- Checking vital signs is an example of monitoring a client’s condition.
- Reminding clients about their medications.
Home Health Aide Requirements and Skills
The home health aide job requires kind and sympathetic people who wish to make an impact in other people’s lives. Some of the skills required are:
- High school diploma
- Valid driver's license
- Verbal Communication
- Ability to collect specimens
- Ability to monitor vital signs
- Basic nutrition and personal hygiene knowledge
- Nursing skills
- Healthcare administration skills
- First Aid training with a current CPR certificate
- Compassionate and caring personality
- Creating a safe, effective environment
What are Home Health Aides Not Allowed to Do?
The HHA's dos and don'ts are determined by the patient's home care demands. The demands might require the assistance of a licensed home health caregiver.
The certification and licensure requirements vary according to the state. The home care company must provide guidelines to their employee, having briefed the patient’s family.
If the client’s condition does not require the assistance of a trained home health aide, there are a few things to bear in mind when requesting them to perform certain duties.
Unlicensed caregivers are prohibited from administering any type of drug, mixing medications, filling reminder boxes, giving medical advice, performing medical evaluations, or providing medical care.
Home Health Aide Job Salary
The average salary of a home health aide is $22,600 per annum. However, it depends on many factors like the agency you work with, the home needs, your range of skills, and the location.
Evaluate all of these factors and try to build your network and skills to get a higher pay.
Home Health Aide Career Path
Home Health Aide is a position for those who have some experience in the profession. It's a career that requires you to provide healthcare to individuals in their homes.
It also involves activities like assisting them with everyday tasks, maintaining a clean environment, and keeping tracking their progress.
Here are some steps to take to get into this position:
- A bachelor's degree in health, biology, or medicine.
- A master's degree or home health aide job training.
- Obtain essential certification and training, such as the NAHC (National Association for Home Care and Hospice) certification.
- 1–5 years of healthcare industry experience
Home Health Aide Career Progression
After working as a home health aide for 5-10 years, you could advance in the following direction:
- Medical Assistant (Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse)
- Registered Nurse (Registered Nurse Supervisor or Nurse Practitioner)
- Ultrasound Technologist(Laboratory Manager or Ultrasound Supervisor)
What’s a typical day like for home health aides?
Each state has its criteria for home health aide training. HHAs are usually overseen by a nurse and are instructed to notify a supervisor if a client's condition or living environment changes.
They frequently assist patient families as well, offering dietary guidance and other specific needs, training them how to lift and turn their loved ones.
Every day (or client) is different, and home health aides like the diversity. It helps if you enjoy driving; many aides spend a significant amount of time in the car, commuting from one house to the next.
What makes a good Home Health Aide?
A good home health aide must be sympathetic and kind. They should also be well-versed in medical procedures, as they are responsible for the well-being of their patients throughout their shift.
Professional caregivers help the elderly and disabled lead their life on their terms. Professional caregivers could receive training depending on their role.
- A home health aide is a professional caregiver who assists people of all ages.
- A home health aide can provide midlevel care. The training and certification received by a home health aide vary according to the laws of the state.
- In general, a home health aide is expected to monitor a patient’s progress, light housekeeping duties, take the client to the hospital and back, obtain specimens, and provide emotional support.
- A High school diploma is mandatory to become a home health aide. A driver’s license is required in most cases.
- An unlicensed home health aide would not administer drugs, perform medical evaluations, and provide medical care.
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