A home health aide works in the home of the patient. Their jobs can be short term or long term, depending on the needs of the patient or client. Today, there is an increasing demand for HHAs or home health aides because most people want to keep their sick and elderly loved ones at home. In addition, it is also cost effective for the family to keep their loved ones in their homes than to let them stay in a nursing home or hospital.
A home health aide is in charge of giving care to the patient. It is a part of the responsibilities of home health aides to follow the orders of the medical professional or a registered nurse. As a home health aide, it is one of your important duties to ensure the client is taking the prescribed medication on time and on the correct dosage. Aside from that, aides should also change the surgical dressing the patient and to monitor its vital signs including the blood pressure, temperature, respiration and pulse rate.
Home health aides are also responsible in assisting the patient with all of the daily living activities. If the patient is moved from the hospital to the home and is not immobile, then the aide should be able to assist the patient in using a bedpan, in taking a bath and in dressing them.
Along with giving proper care for the patient and attending to their medical needs, a home health aide should also be able to carry out light household tasks such as changing the linens as needed and taking care of the general housekeeping responsibilities. They may need to cook and prepare the meals for the patient provided by another agency.
To sum it all up, the duties and responsibilities of a home health aide or HHA may include but not limited to the following:
- Implement and support the care-plan of the patient
- Take and record the vital signs of the patient
- Give routine care to patient such as feeding, bathing and dressing
- Accompany patient to doctor’s appointments and other outdoor activities
- Grocery shopping
- Light housekeeping
- Provide reminders on medication
- Do the laundry and change the linens
- Prepare meal and clean-up
- Ensures a safe living environment for the patient without breaking in on the rights of the client
- Report if there are some changes in the condition of the client
Depending on the employer, the duties of a home health aide may require you to be tested and certified by the state. This is similar to the certification of a CNA or certified nursing assistant. There are many of these companies that can also offer their students with paid training and will train according to their expectations and specifications while making sure that you pass the test administered by the state.
If you are someone who loves caring for the disabled patients and the elderly, or if you know how physically demanding this job is, a career as a home health aide can be exactly what you are looking for. This career is not just about taking care of the patient, it is also about feeling a sense of contentment when you see that you have helped them get through the day without any pain and difficulties.
A home health aide job is not easy but will definitely give you a rewarding experience especially when you have seen that the patient is satisfied with your service. Home health aides are normally working 8 hours daily. But in some cases, they may need to work for 12 hours or even 24 hours to accommodate the needs of the patient. The schedules for HHAs are very flexible and usually can be worked into your lifestyle.