What does a home health aide do? Your responsibilities as a home health aide will vary case by case. You may have to administer oral medications, check stats, assist patients with their braces or artificial limbs, and help them mobilize, dress, and bathe. Your work hours may far exceed 40 hours per week, depending on the patient you’re helping. Home health care can be a very hard career choice.
However, even with its challenges, it can be an incredibly rewarding position—every day you will go to work knowing you’re helping those in need.
Typical duties of a home health aide are:
- Helping clients by bathing and dressing them.
- Doing light housekeeping such as laundry, vacuuming, and dishes.
- Take clients to appointments and other types of outings, or arrange for them to be taken care of.
- Doing some of the grocery shopping and meal preparation.
- Making sure clients are taking the proper medication.
What Exactly is a Home Health Aide?
There are many reasons why somebody can be hindered from being able to take care of him- or herself. If some is struggling, that may be when a home health aide (HHA) is brought in. HHAs help older adults who have a hard time and need more assistance, as well as those who are disabled, have a chronic illness, or cognitive impairments. Under the supervision of a medical team, you will be taking care of patients who may need short-term care as well as those who require full-time, long-term watching over.
Many who work as home health aides have, minimally, a high school diploma. However, even that is not necessary in all positions.
Steps to becoming a home health aide:
- Get your high school diploma or GED.
- Your educational requirements will depend on your employer. Medicaid and Medicare-funded organizations will have you complete formal training. Many private companies will give you training right on the job.
- If your employer wants you to have a certificate, many community colleges and trade schools offer these programs. They last about one semester.
- Consider getting your certification from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Requirements include seventy-five hours of training and passing a written exam.
Home Health Aide Job Outlook and Salary
In your position as a home health aide, you can expect a median salary of $22K. When you’re just starting out, the median salary will be $18K, but the further along into your career you go, you can earn more than $30K. These numbers are an approximate—your actual salary will be dependent on your location, employer, and experience.
The career is expected to grow 47 percent through 2026 with an expected 1.3 million jobs opening up.The baby boomer generation is aging, which means the elderly population is growing—with that comes a tremendous need for in-home care.
Summary: If you’re looking for a way to get into the medical field without having to go through years of college, then becoming a home health aide may be the perfect idea for you. The career of a home health aide is all about helping, caring, and giving to those who can’t help, care, and give for themselves anymore, whether it’s temporary or long term. With just a little bit of training, you can start a career filled with rewards.