Home Health Aide Training
Welcome to the most trusted online resource on Home Health Aide Training. Here, you will find everything that you need to know – state specific training requirements, Home Health Aide training schools, potential employers, helpful tips and much more.
What is a Home Health Aide (HHA)?
A Home health Aide or HHA is a trained health care provider who works in private homes and residential facilities to care for people who need assistance with their daily living. Such people typically are individuals who have some sort of physical or mental dis-ability, illness or are recovering from injury or surgery. Some home health aides care for the elderly who can no longer live un-assisted. Home Health Aides are also sometimes referred to as residential assistant or simply home health provider.
Unlike personal care aides, home health aides typically work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive government funding and therefore, must comply with regulations. They work under the direct supervision of medical professionals, usually registered nurses.
Home Health Aides are now a vital part of the broader health care system and their area of influence in an individual’s life is no longer confined to personal tasks such as bathing and dressing etc. but also includes assisting with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) such as cooking, laundry etc.
Appropriate home health aide training is critical for the success of the services delivered and the overall success of the health care system. Therefore, there are different training requirements to become a home health aide.
Difference in training requirements depends upon the state where one wishes to practice as a Home Health Aide or as popularly called HHAs. Training requirements include minimum number of hours of classroom training and clinical training and completion of a competency evaluation exam. Once certified, the HHAs are called Certified Home Health Aides. At Homehealthaideonline.com we have compiled a list of detailed requirements for each state coupled with job and salary data. Also, you can locate the government approved Home Health aide training agencies for different states.
Job avenues open up upon becoming a certified home health aide and the future is bright who wish to consider a career as a Home Health aide as a stepping stone to the broader medical field. You can obtain more information on HHA salary and advancement opportunities here
What are the typical Home Health Aide duties?
Typically Home health aides have following duties and responsibilities:
1. Check vital signs – temperature, pulse rate etc. under the supervision of a health care practitioner such as a registered nurse (RN)
2. Administer prescriptive medicine and assisting with prescribed exercises
3. Dressing wounds, patching cuts and scrapes
4. Help clients in their daily personal tasks, such as bathing or dressing
5. Give massages, care for skin, or help with braces and artificial limbs
6. Do light housekeeping, such as laundry, washing dishes, and vacuuming in a client’s home
7. Physically move patient from one area to another (out of bed, bath, wheelchair, vehicle)
8. Organize a client’s schedule and plan appointments
9. Shop for groceries and prepare meals to a client’s dietary specifications
10. With special training, experienced home health aides also may help with medical equipment such as ventilators, which help clients breathe.
11. Provide companionship
How to become a home health aide?
Educational requirements -
There are no minimum educational requirements that must be met in order to work as a Home Health Aide. People with no formal education background also work as Home Health Aides. However, like in any other competitive job, having some formal educational background such as a high school diploma or GED serves to benefit you while applying.
Training Requirements –
While the requirements for formal education for HHAs are pretty clear, it is not the same for training. Home Health Aide training is needed to acquire the skills to perform the duties properly. HHA Training helps you to learn about actual client setting and requirements.
Training requirements are different depending upon your work setting, location, employer and a combination of the three.
Training requirements specific to work setting
If you wish to work for a Home Health Agency or HHA Agency that are funded by Medicare/Medicaid, you will be required to have the following:
a) Meet minimum federal training requirements
b) Pass a competency and evaluation test
Facilities that get reimbursement from Medicare/Medicaid typically pay slightly higher to Home Health Aides compared to facilities that are not funded. Detailed salary related information can be found here and Federal requirements include minimum number of hour of classroom training and clinical training. For most states, the requirement is 75 hours of training including 16 hours of clinical experience.
The keyword here is ‘most states’ since this requirement may still be different in some states. For example, the state of Alaska mandates that home health training requirements include minimum of 140 hours of training (including 80 hours of clinical training). We have documented detailed state level training requirements for HHAs here. Click on the map below to find out more.
Agencies that are NOT funded by Medicare/Medicaid do not have any formal home health aide training requirements.
Training requirements specific to State
While the federal training requirements cover not only the curriculum and the minimum number of hours of training needed, some states choose to have state specific requirements too. For example, the state of Colorado differentiates between different health aides services and particularly, for skilled services (such as providing wound care to patients in a home setting) require certification as a nurse aide (CNA).
On the other hand the state of Delaware does not license Home Health Aides and therefore, provides various alternatives on ways to work as a home health aides (for example, experience as a nurse, completion of a HHA course or being a nursing student).
Therefore, it is important for you to learn about the State specific home health aide training requirements before you enroll into a training program. Proper understanding of the state level requirements will also help you in asking the right questions to HHA Agencies.
For example, many agencies have their own training programs. While approaching them you could clarify if they meet the state specific requirements or federal requirements. We have compiled listing of state specific home health aide training requirements, approved training programs and HHA Agencies.
Click on your state below for more details.
Training requirements specific to employers
Once you have made a decision to become a home health aide, it is likely that you will work for a Home Health Agency. For those of you who are just starting out on this path, a Home Health Agency provides home health services to clients. These services include personal care, home health and sometimes even nursing services. They are typically licensed and regulated.
Some agencies have more stringent home health aide training requirements than others. For example, some agencies may require you to have CPR training or training for dealing with specific clients such as those with dementia. Therefore, the best way to go about this is to contact the agencies and ask if they have any specific requirements in addition to the state or federal requirements. You could either click on the US map above and find out more about your state specific home health aide training requirements and approved programs/ agencies or you can also look up agencies by your zip code by clicking here
Home Health Aide training - What are your options and how to find those?
There are many options available to you to obtain the right Home Health Aide Training:
Home Health Care Agencies
This is one of the most common way to obtain training to become a home health aide. Perhaps the most cost effective too. Generally, an agency may offer free HHA training to students and may also offer job placement opportunities after the training is complete. This may involve that you may have to work for the same agency for some time after your training is complete.
Community Colleges and Vocational Schools
This tends to be a little more costly. However, this can help you more in the long term if the home health aide training has been completed at a reputed school. Refer to the state specific pages to learn more about approved schools for HHA training. By clicking the US map above you can learn more about the state approved training programs.
Online training programs
A more recent addition to the home health aide training options, online programs afford you the flexibility of training from a home setting. Given that most state require minimum number of clinical training, some of these online schools have a provision of in-person clinical training too. We have compiled a list of different HHA online certification options here
Sometimes organisations such as YWCAs also provide training to become a home health aide. For example, YWCA of Queens provides free training in Chinese and Korean.
How to select the right Home Health Aide training program?
The programs for the training of home health aides is more or less standardized. However, on occasions where you have also enrolled into more specialized training such as dementia training, you still need to consider a few factors while selecting the right program.
One of the key considerations you need to keep in mind is where you wish to work as a home health aide. This decision could apply to a work setting such as self-employment or working for a certified home health aide agency. The state where you are located would also be one of the factors of consideration. For example, if you are planning to move to the state of New York, it is always better to obtain home health aide training from a HHA Agency or a school that is recognized in the local market.
Following are the key factors to keep in mind when selecting the right school or home health aide training program.
b) Cost of program
c) Location of school / training facility
So let’s take these factors one by one in detail:
The state typically lays down guidelines and standards that must be followed by each training facility / agency. Like for any other education program, accreditation implies that the school/program is trustworthy. When you have selected a school, it is always a good idea to ask them directly if they are accredited. They should be able to answer that and be able to support that answer with relevant information too.
You could also on your own verify the status of a school by looking them up in the following directory
The cost of the program depends on where you get your training from. For example, in some states programs are more expensive than other such as New York. Likewise, cost of programs from a reputed university/school can be more expensive than the training provided by smaller schools.
Typically on the higher side, the cost of a Home Health Aide training program will be $500 to $1,000 unless you are selecting an expensive option that might cost $2,500 to $3,000. On the other hand, there are avenues by which you could obtain training for free. For example, many HHA Agencies provide training for free.
In the middle of this price range, you have online schools that provide training at very affordable costs. Check out the online training page for more details. For those starting out in this career or getting back into the workforce to support their families, cost remains a big factor while selecting the right program.
Some people, in order to enhance their career prospects get multiple certifications. Some programs therefore, offer combined HHA and CNA certifications and those cost higher
In order to work with special needs clients such as those with acute disabilities or dementia, you may need specific training. And that will cost you more if you club that with your regular home health aide training. Some programs provide free text books and uniforms while other do not. Make sure you clarify these things while selecting the HHA training program.
Lastly, make sure you do NOT compromise on the quality of your training in order to keep it low budget. Make sure your school is accredited.
This is an easy one. Some of the bigger cities have slightly more expensive program than others. For example, New York. However, it is always better to select a school based on where you wish to work. A good school/agency will have some brand recognition in the local market and it is always good to leverage the brand of the school/home health aide agency after completing your home health aide training.
If you prefer the flexibility of training schedule, then online training options may be better for you. There are pros and cons to selecting such schools. But whatever you select remember to ask if the school or agency is accredited.
How long does it take to complete HHA Training?
Most states require minimum 75 hours of training (some states require higher number of hours). Most Home Health Aide training programs last for a few weeks or 1-2 months.
Typically classes are held during weekdays during normal work hours. Some schools do in fact offer evening classes for those who are also working at the same time. Remember to ask the school if they have flexibility in attending classes.
Then there are online Home health Aide Training program options that allow students up to 12 months to complete their curriculum. Make sure you ask you’re online training provider for how long you will retain access to the course material.
What can you expect in HHA Training?
In order to become certified as a Home Health Aide, you will be required to undergo training in basic safety techniques. This is needed not to keep the patient safe, but also to prevent injury to the HHA when completing tasks such as transfers, bathing and dressing. Training will also include emergency response skills, such as basic first aid training and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Following are the salient points any Home Health Aide training program covers (Note: given state specific requirements differ and therefore, syllabus for each program may also differ slightly
- Basic concepts of healthcare
- Life Support
- life support
- Terminology common in the medical field
- Communication and working with people
- Basic body movements and positions
- First aid and CPR
- Personal care
- Cleaning and care of homes
- Common diseases
The requirements include both classroom training and clinical experience. For reference, here is the curriculum for Home Health Aide training for the state of New York.
HHA Online Training
If you are one of those who seek flexibility of training schedule then online training options for home health aides may be right for you. Online training for HHAs allows for flexibility to completing the training from the comfort of your home setting. Not only that, you have the flexibility to move at our own pace. Most of the online home health aide certification providers allow you to access the course material for up to 12 months. Successful completion of the courses entitles you to the HHA training completion certificate.
Cost – The cost of Online HHA courses range from $250-$300 to $750 on the higher side. However, cost should not be the only criteria while selecting the online course. Read more to find out about different online options for Home Health Aide Training.
Training is over...One last step to HHA Certification
Once your Home Health Aide training has been completed, you will be expected to take and pass a competency evaluation. This is done to ensure you can perform tasks properly for your patients. The test is important because it assess if you have properly acquired the skills to perform duties in a home health setting working with clients who may have unique needs.
As we mentioned earlier, given different state requirements, some states require CNA certification for anyone to operate as a Home Health Aide. In such cases, an aspirant will have to take the CNA certification and get their name on the nurse aide registry applicable for that state. The state specific requirements mentioned previously also cover the registry requirements and other details for registration.
For those have properly completed the accredited Home Health Aide training program, passing the competency evaluation test is not difficult at all. If a Home Health Aide works for an employer that receives reimbursement from Medicare, Federal law requires that HHAs pass a competency test which covers a wide area of disciplines within home health care. Some Home Health Aide Agencies have the facility for testing at their center while others do not. Therefore, make sure you ask your school about the location of testing before you join their HHA training program.
Homehealthaideguide.com does a good job of providing sample questions for demonstration purposes.
Once you successfully clear the test you can be called a Certified Home Health Aide or CHHA.
Home Health Aide salary
As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 the average hourly wage of a HHA was $11.00 and the average annual wage was $22,870. Approximately 820,630 individuals were employed as HHAs in 2015 and the top 10% of the employees earned $29,950 / year. Moreover, the average hourly home health aide salary differed slightly depending upon the establishment of work:
There is a range of Home Health Aide salaries offered in different states of US. If you would like to know state specific annual and hourly HHA salaries and the employment details, please refer to the relevant state for details. To learn more about how salary for home health aides compares to other related professions such as nurse aides, personal care aides and other READ MORE
Home Health Aide Job Description / Resume
So you have now completed the home health aide training and are a certified home health aide! Congrats!!
Now it is time for you to understand what kind of jobs there are. You also need to understand how to craft a great resume. You want to make a great first impression. So, do not leave anything to chance. We have few simple suggestions for you that will allow you to better prepare for finding a job.
All employers love a well trained Home Health Aide. But proper communication of your skills, home health aide training and experience go a long way to make you competitive in the job market. Check out some great tips for polishing your resume when applying for the position of a home health aide.
Home Health Aide Jobs
The future remains bright for someone aspiring to make a career as a home health aide. As the baby-boom population ages and the elderly population grows, demand for the services of home health aides to provide assistance will continue to increase.
In 2014, Home Health Aides held approximately 913,000 jobs with about 59,000 job openings across the country
Employment of home health aides is projected to grow 38% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. To learn about top states for job openings and other job advancement related information, CLICK HERE
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