Basic medical and domestic care is provided by professionals called certified home health aides. Hands on training in addition to a high school diploma will help a prospective certified home health aide obtain the minimum skills needed to pursue a career in this field. Certification norms vary from state to state.
Education Requirements for Certified Home Health Aide
There are minimal educational requirements for home health aides, completing a high school diploma is sufficient to get an entry level job. An aptitude test in English and math is required from job applicants to multiple positions. Majority of training programs are hands-on with the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or other licensed professional. Basic medical care skills are taught to prospective home health aides; they are taught how to record medical procedures and notes, prevent the spread of infections, administer medications, and take blood pressure.
Every state has its own certification standards, as does each employer. When a home health aide is employed by an organization who receives Medicare compensation, such aide is required to complete a certain level of training. The training should not be less than seventy-five hours in duration, and covering specific skills along with supervision by a registered nurse. For instance, an aide must demonstrate competency in transferring a client safely in and out of bed and maintaining a proper record of vital signs.
Career Information for Certified Home Health Aide
Job growth ranging between forty-six and fifty percent has been projected for home health aides in the decade from 2008-2018; this optimistic estimate is due to the increasing population of elderly people (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). In May 2009, home healthcare aides earned an average hourly wage of $11.09; this amounted to an average annual salary of $23,070. Aides are also employed in hospice clinic settings. Clients are assigned home health aides who visit the clients frequently on the basis of a planned schedule. Aides may be required by some employers to submit to background checks before the job is offered.
In the course of their duties, a home health aide may be required to frequently lift patients and equipment. Alot of home health aide’s time is spent in traveling from one client to another. Apart from assisting clients with basic healthcare, aides are also expected to performing housekeeping tasks; to this end, they can bath and dress clients, make meals, do laundry and change bed linens. The nature of work completed by them and the diverse client-base they serve require home health aides to be patient and sensitive towards people.