Home Health Aide Job Description
Home health aides provide in-home care to elderly, disabled, and ill people. They provide many different services, including bathing, dressing, and housekeeping. They may also administer simple prescribed medications.
Home health aides normally work under the supervision of a nurse or other medical professional who can provide assistance when more advanced care is required.
Because many home health aides visit their clients repeatedly over the course of many months or years, this is one of the few occupations in healthcare where you can really get to know the people you care for. For many people, this makes it a very rewarding occupation.
Work Environment and Schedule
Home health aides spend most of their time working in their clients’ homes. Depending on the needs of the client, aides may go to the same home every day, week, or month. In rare cases, home health aides spend all day every day with a client.
More commonly, home health aides spend an hour or two with four or five clients each day. This means that they spend a good amount of their time commuting, which can provide a nice mental break between jobs.
Most people in this occupation work for home health care services and services for the elderly, though there are also opportunities for self-employment if that’s a path you want to pursue.
Overtime is rarely required for home health aides. And since clients may schedule help at different times of the day or night, it can be a great career for people who need to work abnormal hours.
How to Become a Home Health Aide
The majority of home health aides have a high school diploma, and most employers provide on the job training. During training, home health aides learn about basic nutrition, providing personal hygiene, basic first aid techniques, and how to record vital signs.
The only exception to the above requirements is if the employer receives Medicaid or Medicare. In those instances, a state certification is required to practice.
Certifications are provided by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. To become certified, you have to have 75 hours of formal training, demonstrate competency in 17 different skills, and pass a written exam.
Even if you don’t work for a company that receives government funding, many employers prefer to hire certified applicants. Earning one can increase your chances of employment.
There are currently 1,017,700 home health aides in the United States, with 83,750 new home health aide job openings created each year.
Home Health Aide jobs are not expected to see much growth beyond their current levels in the next decade.
Home Health Aide Salaries
Home Health Aide salaries can vary depending on your experience, the location, company, industry, and benefits provided. Nationwide, most home health aides make between $17,900 – $24,000 per year, or $8.63 – $11.52 per hour.