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Home Health Aide Certification Programs

Majors Overview January 22, 2013

Students who seek entry-level jobs in the healthcare sector can pursue a home health aide certification program. These students can leverage their knowledge of general patient care skills, which they have acquired from such programs to serve as assistants to healthcare professionals like nurses among others. Completion of a certificate program will qualify a student to apply for state certification. In this article, we will look at Home Health Aide Certificate Programs and Certification.

Certification Information

Students learn how to provide services like checking vital signs, giving massages, giving medication, changing bandages and helping with medical equipment to elderly people, convalescent, and disabled people through the home health aide certification program. Most home health aide tasks are supervised by a licensed healthcare professional such as a registered nurse among others. Typically, community colleges offer home health aide certificate programs that can last one year.

Education Requirements

To qualify for admission, prospective candidates have to meet health screening and immunization requirements, pass a criminal background check and possess a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. In some schools, they may also be required to complete an entrance test or complete a clinical evaluation before they can graduate.

Course Subject

Coursework in a home health aide certificate program usually has one or two courses that provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to provide patient care. Programs comprise classroom work as well as instruction imparted in a clinical setting. The syllabus includes subject areas such as Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), First aid, Medical terminology, Life support and Healthcare basic concepts.

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

In 2008, there were 921,700 individuals working as home health aides in the United States (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov)). A fifty percent job growth for home health aides has been projected during the period from 2008 to 2018 by the BLS. This optimistic projection is due to the graying US population and increase in the number of individuals suffering from debilitating health issues. In May 2010, home health aides earned an average annual salary of $21,760. While the annual average salary for the 10th percentile was $16,300, the annual median income for the 90th percentile was $29,390.

Continuing Education Information

The requirements for home health aide certification vary from state to state. In some states, the employing agency is required to be certified while in others; home health aides are required to take a certification examination after completing an educational program. A skills assessment examination could be accompanied by a criminal background check administered by the state. Some states maintain a registry database of certified home health aides for the public to access. In the absence of further education, a home health aide cannot expect much career advancement. Completing a degree program in nursing can help some home health aides become a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse.

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