Home Health Care Training Programs and Courses

Learn about educational program options for home health care training. Explore certificate program coursework and discover the requirements for home health aide certification. Review the employment outlook statistics for these workers.

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Essential Information

Home health aides (HHAs) generally work for agencies funded by Medicaid or Medicare, which entails completion of a formal training program and professional certification. Aspiring professionals in this field can earn a home health care certificate, which is an add-on to the CNA certificate. Generally, an applicant to a home health aide certificate program must be certified as a nursing assistant (CNA).

Certificate program courses cover basic nutrition, safe patient transfer techniques, infection control, basic life support and medical terminology. In addition, students may learn to take a patient's vital signs, give medication, change dressings and help with exercises. Certificate programs for aspiring home health care professionals typically take no longer than one semester to complete.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants to an HHA program must be in good health, pass a background check and be able to drive. They must also hold the CNA credential.

Program Coursework

Home health, home care or personal aides assist older, sick or disabled adults in hospices, other home health agencies or a client's home. A nurse directly supervises them. Courses should prepare students for entry-level careers as well as certification.

Some examples include:

  • Introduction to home health care
  • Basic life support
  • Checking vital signs
  • Medical terminology
  • Aging process and nutrition
  • Medication administration

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 2 million home health aides worked in states across the country in 2010 (www.bls.gov). More than 317,000 of these individuals worked for home health care services, while others worked for mental health facilities and nursing care facilities. The BLS reports that employment is expected to increase by 69% from 2010 to 2020. The annual median salary for the profession was $20,820 as of May 2012.

Licensure and Certification

While some home health aides don't need anything more than a high school diploma and some on-the-job training, home health aides who work for state funded agencies must be certified after completing a formal college training program. Some states might have additional requirements. Home health care professionals may also gain voluntary certification offered through the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics