According to the latest United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for a Home Health Aide, this particular healthcare career is rated as one of the fastest growing throughout the entire healthcare sector. In fact, from 2008 to the end of 2018, predictions are that potential for jobs will increase by 50%, possibly more. While there are definite demands associated with a career as a Home Health Aide, this job is also rewarding, providing the professional an opportunity to provide personal care to someone in need while reducing burden of family and friends.
Considering the wide range of job responsibilities, the type of licensed healthcare professionals that a Home Health Aide works under, and the variety of health issues patients face, it would seem that requirements for home health training would be substantial. However, the very opposite is true in that only a high school diploma is mandated. Although no formal education or training is needed, for the person serious about working as a qualified Home Health Aide should take full advantage of educational and training opportunities.
In addition to actual certification and education, most employers offer some level of training for a job such as this. Because this person must work under the leadership and guidance of a licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, physical or occupational therapist, or some other similar healthcare professional, tremendous opportunities exist for someone interested in learning. In fact, because of the way in which a Home Health Aide career is established, it is often used as a means of learning by people interested in becoming a licensed professional in the healthcare sector.
Formally, someone could become certified as a Certified Nurse Aide or CNA as a part of Home Health Aide training and education. The required courses are offered at local community colleges, junior colleges, and nursing schools. Although criteria might be slightly unique to each school, overall certification programs are much the same. For starters, someone who wants to complete Home Health Aide training and education to earn certification would first need to be a high school graduate.
Then, most schools offer certification courses that consist of 100 plus hours of classroom study along with actual training during a two to four-week period, again based on the educational institution but also area of specialty for home health care. Coursework would include things such as mental health, nutrition, physical/occupational therapy aide training, traumatic brain injury, patient mobility needs, proper handling of patients with infectious diseases, and much more.
Other criteria for Certified Nurse Aide Home Health Aide training and education include:
Proof of being a US citizen or being authorized to work in the country
Minimum of 18 years of age
Completion of an Adult Basic Learning examination
Fluent in speaking, writing, and reading the English language
Original Social Security card
Typically, a person going through Home Health Aide training and education with the goal of certification would need to complete all hours for the program but also have a passing percentage of 80% for examinations and assignments. At the end of training and education, a clinical test consisting of a hands-on demonstration of lessons learned and skills gained would be administered. Once complete, a multiple question written test would follow.
After all Home Health Aide training and education has been taken and tests passed according to the school’s program guidelines, the name of the individual, as well as his or her CNA number would be added to the registry for the state in which that person would work. From there, two cards would be mailed out from the state’s Department of Health, one a wallet size showing that the individual is a Certified Nurse Aid and another wallet size showing the person is a Certified Home Health Aide.
Certification that comes from finishing Home Health Aide training and education usually expires within two years from the date issued so this person would need to stay on top of that date to ensure the certification did not expire. Once the date draws closer, the Home Health Aid would simply contact the state’s Department of Health to pay any application fees.
Additional Home Health Aide Training
While not required to be hired, it would never hurt for someone interested in becoming a Home Health Aide to take specific courses at a vocational school or community college. For one thing, the more this person knows and the more he or she can show potential employers that efforts were made to complete as much Home Health Aide training and education possible, the more likely that person would be hired. However, any training and education completed would prove beneficial for moving up in a different healthcare career such as Registered Nurse or Physical Therapist.