Home health care is becoming a rapidly growing field. As with all positions within the healthcare industry, home health aides are increasingly in demand. Much of the elderly population try to avoid going into a nursing home or assisted living facility for as long as they possibly can. Understandably, they prefer to stay at home where they have lived all their lives and where they feel safe, comfortable, and content. They choose to hire the help of an aide to help with their daily tasks that they can no longer do on their own. Patients who choose this method in order to stay in their homes have the option of choosing a home health aide through an agency or hire an aide privately. Due to the increasing number of people choosing either of these services, home health aide work is an excellent field to get into.
Becoming a home health aide does not require any certification or a college degree. Most aides are trained on the job through the agency that they are employed with. However, there are certifications available such as the Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) certificate or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate. These certificates are recommended, and they are very useful certifications to have. They not only help you to land a position in the field and possibly even get higher pay, but they also help you have a stronger background and understanding for what you need to do in the position. Home health aides who work for medicare and medicaid funded programs are required to have 75 hours of on the job training and 16 hours of practical work.This includes passing competency tests. Some states require additional training.
The Home Health Aide job description is varied because of the different environments they may work in, and the different needs of each patient. Home health aides work with patients who are experiencing a number of different medical conditions. Advanced age, illness, cognitive impairment, and disability are the main reasons why a person may need the services of an aide. The position requires the aide to help with personal care tasks such as bathing, grooming, going to the bathroom, eating, and any other task the patient may need. The position may require light housework and cooking, errands such as grocery shopping, and taking the patient to doctor appointments. Home health aides may also assist with medication, basic medical tasks, and monitoring vital signs.
Becoming a home health aide can be a good stepping stone to higher paying healthcare positions. Taking classes toward a degree in nursing and other nursing certifications while working as an aide can prepare you to become a registered nurse. Because of the lack of education required to be a home heath aide, the pay is fairly low compared to other healthcare fields. The pay averages about 10 dollars an hour for this position.