Medicine is one of the fastest-growing fields, and it’s projected to provide millions of new jobs over the next few years. That’s just one of the reasons that getting a home health aide certification is a great idea. But how do you get started? And what exactly can you expect? Here are the ins and outs of getting your HHA certification.
What is a Home Health Aide?
Home health aides are specialized care providers that help disabled patients with their day to day. For example, a health aide might tend to an elderly patient who can’t live alone, or they may help someone with physical disabilities navigate the world around them. There are dozens of ways that an aide helps. But in the end, the best-certified home health aides have patience, understanding, and a willingness to help.
What Does a Home Health Aide Do?
An HHA certification means a career in helping people in-home. Here are a few things to expect.
Meal Prepping: Many aides are responsible for a patient’s dietary restrictions, including cooking and purchasing food.
Transportation: Transport won’t always be vehicular. Some patients need help navigating their homes. A health aide is there to provide support and stability during those moments.
Emotional Support: Health aides may develop a rapport or friendship with their patients. And this is one of the job’s best and most challenging aspects. Being a health aide often means being someone’s best friend and all the emotional stuff that comes with that. But there’s no greater satisfaction than knowing you’ve helped make someone’s life a little easier.
Plus, home aides need the emotional awareness to tell when their patient is in pain or needs help. Patients won’t always like asking for help, so being able to figure out their needs makes your job that much easier.
Routine: Routine is essential to the longevity of any care plan, and home health aides play a big part in their patient’s routines. That’s especially true if you’re responsible for getting them out of bed, meal prep, or medicine. An HHA may also assist with other routine tasks, such as dressing their patients and performing light housekeeping.
Medical: Health aides may monitor patients’ heart rates, temperature, and other essential medical techniques and report them to a supervisor.
How to Get Trained and Certified as a Home Health Aide
Here are the three requirements for a home health aide certification.
Get Your High School Diploma or GED: Most HHA certification programs are part of a college course. That means you’ll need to get your high school credentials to apply.
Research Requirements: An HHA program might have limited spots or require a set amount of prior training. Research the requirements and make a plan to meet them. Typical requirements include classroom assessments, on the job supervision, and the average tuition cost is roughly $1,000.
Pass the Exam: The home health aide certification exam will test all aspects of health aides and basic medical skills. Costs for the exam vary, but you can take it as many times as you need to pass. Check your state website or local organizations for a test exam to better your chances of passing.
Home Health Aide Salary
Home health aide salaries vary by state, with an average of $29,000 and a high of $36,000. The average income in the US is about $30,000 per individual. Plus, medicine is a growing field, so you’ll always have a career path. Alternatively, being a home health aide is a great way to make the world a better place through the care of your patients.
Background Checks for Home Health Aides
Any position requiring an HHA certification benefits from a background check. If you’re a hiring manager looking to fill such a trust-centric role, run a background check to ensure your clients are in good hands. KarmaCheck offers a series of employment, education, and legal history checks that give you peace of mind.
Becoming a certified home health aide is an excellent way to foster a career in medicine, and it’s an achievable, affordable goal for most people. The most important home health aide requirements are patience, kindness, empathy, and a strong work ethic.