Home Health Aide
Years of School
Home health aides provide home care to individuals who require assistance in their day-to-day living.
Home Health Aide Salary
Home health aides earn a median salary of around $20,170. The lowest 10% of these employees made a little over $16,000. The top 10% earned close to $30,000.
The hours for a home health aide job can range drastically depending on individual circumstances. Most of the employees will be full time. These people can work with one or multiple patients each day. Most of them assist people who are terminally ill or require long-term care due to their age.
Home health aides can earn a higher salary in three ways. The first one is to have the NAHC certification. The other way is to have many years of experience in the field. The final option, which can be broken into two categories, is to become a manager of a home health aide provider or start up their own business in this industry.
Home Health Aide Job Description
Home health aides work with people who are living at home and require additional supervision. Individuals served by home health aides may have some type of terminal illness or other condition that makes it difficult for them to function independently. Home health aides work in a patient’s home, although health aides are also employed by institutions such as retirement homes.
Health aides need to be comfortable working with elderly, sick, and otherwise impaired individuals. They should enjoy being around people because patients who are sick need a friendly helper.
Home Health Aide Duties
- Bathe and dress patients
- Miscellaneous housekeeping duties
- Help client keep track of anything from medications to their appointments
- Shopping for food and meal preparation
- Individual diet needs have to be considered
- Providing or arranging for travel
- Show that they truly care about their patients
- Many patients do not get to see their family or friends too frequently, which can make the aide their only social contact
Alternative Jobs Titles
- Personal care aides
- Home attendant
- Hospice care worker
How To Become A Home Health Aide
Becoming a home health aide doesn’t require a formal post-secondary education. Most employers do not require any type of certification as they normally offer on-the-job training. With that being said, some employers do prefer that their aides are certified by the National Association for Homecare and Hospice, which is commonly referred to as NAHC.
Sample Courses for NHAC Home Health Aide Certification
- Medical terminology
- Patient supervision techniques
- Patient Support
- Residential care supervision
Education & Training Requirements
Home health aides can go directly into the field upon high school graduation or after receiving their diploma. However, the only national stipulation is that for Medicare patients to have their home health aide covered, their aide must have at least 75 hours of home health aide training. Most employers offer free home health aide training upon hiring a new employee if they are not already trained.
Certification & Licensing
Home health aides who wish to move up to the management ranks or possibly own their own business will definitely find that the NAHC certification is a good thing to have. Some employers will also prefer to hire aides with home health aide certification.
If a home health aide chooses to earn the NAHC certification, they can find the program at many community colleges and vocational schools. Upon finishing up the program at an institution, one must complete 75 hours of on-the-job training, which is done by observing a certified aide. Once this has been completed, the new aide will be able to take the NAHC exam, which consists of 50 multiple choice questions. These questions will cover anything from medical technology to safety management. The cost of the exam is $140.
Another option for becoming certified is to obtain home health aide certification online. The program will not be completely online, but the student can expect to spend about half the time in the classroom as they would with a traditional course.
Home Health Aide Job Outlook
According to BLS.gov, the job outlook for this field is excellent. When most industries are projecting between a 10 and 19% growth, the projected growth for this industry is close to 70%. The primary reason for this is that a large sector of the population (baby boomers) will be entering their senior years over the next decade and will greatly increase the demand for home health aides.