Certified Home Health Aide Education Requirements and Career Info
Certified home health aides provide basic medical and domestic care. A high school diploma and hands-on training are the minimum requirements for pursuing a career in this field. Certification qualifications vary by state.
Certified Home Health Aide Education Requirements
Becoming a home health aide has minimal educational requirements. For entry-level positions, a high school diploma is essential. Many positions require individuals to take an aptitude test in math and English. Most training is gained through hands-on experience supervised by a licensed professional, such as a registered nurse. Aspiring home health aides learn very basic medical care skills, such as taking blood pressure, administering medications, preventing the spread of infections and recording medical notes and procedures.
Certification requirements vary by state and employer. Home health aides working for employers who receive Medicare compensation are required by law to complete a set standard of training. Aides must obtain at least 75 hours of training and demonstrate competency in specified skills while supervised by a registered nurse. For example, candidates might be required to show that they can safely transfer a client in and out of bed and properly record vital signs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 46-50% increase in employment for home health aides between 2008-2018 due to the growing number of elderly. As of May 2009, the BLS reported an average hourly wage of $11.09 for aides working in home health care services, leading to $23,070 per year (www.bls.gov). Hospice clinics also employ aides. Home health aides are assigned to clients, whom they visit on a regular schedule. Some employers require a background check prior to hiring a home health aide.
The duties of a home health aide might require frequent lifting of patients and equipment. Home health aides spend a lot of time traveling from client to client. In addition to providing very basic healthcare assistance, aides can perform light housekeeping, such as changing bed linens, doing laundry, making meals and bathing and dressing clients. Home health aides should possess patience and sensitivity due to the nature of the work and the diverse client-base.
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