Home Health Aide Job Description – Sample job requirement
Following is a sample home health aide job description. Actual description may vary depending upon the employer/HHA Agency or the job opportunity available. Be sure to check with your employer/HHA Agency about the specific requirements for your job before accepting the position. If you are looking for the latest HHA jobs in your area, you can visit the HHA Jobs page HHAs here
The Home Health Aide provides non-medical, in-home support and home management services to clients. He or she provides assistance with personal care, nutrition, exercises, ambulation, positioning, and transfers under the direction and supervision of a Registered Nurse according to the established plan of care. He or she has a genuine desire to work with the elderly or disabled. Effective oral and written skills, empathy and the ability to listen, good time management skills, and professional dress, speech, and behavior are all required for this position.
- Assists client with all personal care functions as needed
- Assists client at mealtimes and monitors eating habits
- Assists client to and from daily activities
- Performs light housekeeping tasks and assists with laundry
- Ensures that required documentation is complete and is in compliance with regulations and standards
- Communicates with clients and families regarding care
- High school diploma or GED with further training to achieve certification
- Certified as a Home Health Aide or Nurse's Aide
- Previous experience preferred
- Current CPR and First Aid certifications
- Knowledge of general sanitary and safety practices
- Able to bend, kneel, squat, stand, and lift heavy objects as needed
- Able to work days, evenings, weekends, and holidays
- Unrestricted driver's license and clean driving record
- Reliable transportation and valid automobile insurance
What are the typical Home Health Aide duties?
Home Health Aides play a significant role in taking care of the well-being of their clients. They perform a wide array of activities to ensure their clients have a high quality of life.
Typically Home health aides have following duties and responsibilities:
- Check vital signs – temperature, pulse rate etc. under the supervision of a health care practitioner such as a registered nurse (RN)
- Administer prescriptive medicine and assisting with prescribed exercises
- Dressing wounds, patching cuts and scrapes
- Help clients in their daily personal tasks, such as bathing or dressing
- Give massages, care for skin, or help with braces and artificial limbs
- Do light housekeeping, such as laundry, washing dishes, and vacuuming in a client’s home
- Physically move patient from one area to another (out of bed, bath, wheelchair, vehicle)
- Organize a client’s schedule and plan appointments
- Shop for groceries and prepare meals to a client’s dietary specifications
- With special training, experienced home health aides also may help with medical equipment such as ventilators, which help clients breathe.
- Provide companionship
Find out about the Home Health Aide Training Requirements for different states
What is the work environment and job demands like?
Most home health aides work in client’s homes while others work in small group homes or larger care communities. Some home health aides go to the same home every day or week for months or even years. Some visit four or five clients in the same day, while others work only with one client all day. This may involve working with other aides in shifts so that the client always has an aide. They help people in hospices and day services programs, and also help people with disabilities go to work and stay engaged in their communities.
The job is often physically demanding. Due to the nature of the work, moving patients, and cleaning, and other physical tasks. A person in this field should be strong physically and have good stamina because they may need to lift their clients and withstand long periods of standing and walking. They should be able to lift at least 50 lbs, must be in good health and must guard against back injury.
In addition, home health aides frequently work with clients who have cognitive impairments or mental health issues and who may display difficult or violent behaviors. Aides also face hazards from minor infections and exposure to communicable diseases, but can avoid infections by following proper procedures.
Benefits of a career as a Home Health Aide
Like any job or occupation, the job of a home health aide has both pros and cons and it is important that you understand both before taking the plunge. A good understanding of the job and its requirements goes a long way to ensure your success and advancement in it. Any job has to be considered for compensation and other emotional/non-monetary factors. Here, we will elaborate on the latter ones only. For salary related information for Home Health Aides, please click here
Let us talk about the benefits first.
Job Satisfaction – All the home health aides we know have this thing in common. Immense job satisfaction stems from being able to help someone and make a sizeable positive impact on their lives. Your clients are dependent on you for living their life with dignity and you become the provider of that by means of compassionate services. You improve their quality of life. Knowing that what you do daily has such an important impact on individuals and families a benefit that is invaluable.
Stepping stone to a bigger career – HHAs are typically an entry level position and therefore, there are no set educational requirements to become one. And with more experience in training your earning and job prospects get even better. The demand for home health aides is only going to increase in the future (as per BLS statistics, 48% increase in demand is expected from 2012-2022) and therefore, you will be making the right career choice if you are passionate about the field.
Job flexibility – There are no set hours that you have to work for your clients. You have the freedom to specify your availability whether you work on your own as on contract with an agency. This flexibility around your own schedule allows you to balance other activities including your own family while making money to support yourself. For example, some home health aides pursue this occupation on a part time basis only so that they are able to go to school simultaneously. This makes sense since while they get educated and certified, they also get valuable experience on the side.
No monotony on the job because no two days are alike. While on some days you might be helping your clients with activities of daily living (ADL) such as washing, dressing etc., on other days you may be administering them medications (in the supervision of a registered nurse)and documenting their progress. You may do grocery shopping with senior people or even enjoy a nice meal with the clients. Monotony is something that you will rarely experience as a home health aide.
Relationships – You will build many deep and close relationships while always meeting new people. Because your clients depend on you, you will be able to have meaningful and deep relationships with all of them. A spirit of friendship, well-being and connection develops when you know that you have to tend to them to help them live better.
Now, let us talk about some challenges.
Physical stress – will be a direct outcome of helping your clients with physical activities such as lifting them, helping them move or perform activities of daily living. Some states even require HHAs to be able to lift a minimum of 50lbs. It is therefore, important for you to take adequate precautions in order not to hurt your back or body. Aides may also be exposed to communicable diseases when dealing with patients.
Mental stress – because you will be closely working with people with ailments – physical and mental, it may cause some stress to you as well. Some of your patients could be depressed or have other emotional issues and a great home nurse will demonstrate the strength of mind to be able to work through all of that. Also, you will have to be prepared for awkward situations such as dressing your clients or helping them bathe or use the washroom.
Travel – When you are working for an agency, you will need a car to be able to travel different locations to visit your clients. When you are working with senior people who typically do not live downtown or areas with intricate public transit, you will be relying a whole lot on your car and be spending some time travelling everyday back and forth.
Pay and benefits – Given that a position of a home health aide is an entry level position, the pay per hour is not more than $9-$10. The benefits are meagre. You may be able to get mileage for travel but that will depend on the agency you work for. Therefore, it is important to clarify this with your employer.
A career as a home health aide is a stepping stone for a great career. While you may complain about the pay initially, HHAs who have the right experience and training have better chances of advancement. Also, the non-monetary benefits such as job satisfaction and flexibility of work allow for a greatly balanced lifestyle while making money. Therefore, anyone aspiring to enter the field must have the passion for helping others and willingness to improve oneself continuously.
Home Health Aide Resume
There is no ‘best’ way to write your resume for the position of a Home health Aides. However, there are some good practices that you must keep in mind while writing your resume. Follow these guiding principles:
1. Keep your resume short and crisp – If possible, keep the maximum length as 1 to 1.5 pages
2. Highlight relevant experience and qualities – Like we mentioned in the article on ‘skills to highlight’ in an interview’ remember to keep it relevant and in the context.
3. Cover letter – This makes a lot of impact and tells your employer why they should hire you.
Given below are the 2 sample resumes and one cover letter that you could use when applying for a Home Health Aide Job. Remember to customize these according to your training background and experience. Downloadable versions are available here:
Home Health Aide Sample Resume (More Experience)
Home Health Aide Sample Resume (More Experience)
Home Health Aide Sample Resume (Less Experience)
Home Health Aide Sample Cover Letter
Skills to highlight when submitting a resume or during an interview for Home Health Aide position
Like any other profession, employers focus on job specific skill sets, skills that are required to become successful in the role. Given that majority of the HHA jobs will be at a HHA Agency, it is important that you understand what your prospective employer is looking for.
HHA Agencies look for well trained and experienced candidates. But that is not all. You should also be able to communicate your training and experience well during an interview or while submitting your resume. As we explain in the article on the qualities of a good home health aide, communication skill is critical for your success not only during the interview but also on the actual job dealing with clients every day.
Here we have picked some key themes that employers focus on when hiring for HHAs. Make sure you emphasize these either in your resume or during a face to face interaction. All may not apply to you at the same time and therefore, a proper understanding of your experience becomes important before you apply for any job.
• Demonstrated ability to assist clients with activities of daily living so that they can function independently in their homes
• Well versed in light housekeeping and meal preparation
• In-depth knowledge of maintaining proper infection control measures following standard control guidelines
• Self-directed with the ability to work with little or no direct supervision
• Comprehensive knowledge of taking proper measures for client safety and comfort
• Demonstrated tact, patience and excellent personal hygiene
• Able to give detailed and accurate written reports to agency
• Thorough understanding of assisting with ambulation
• Ability to read and follow written instructions and care documents
• Hands-on experience in submission of clinical records, visit notes and every day time summaries
• Excellent patient care and customer service skills
• Professional appearance and ability to comply with agency dress code
• Proven ability to communicate clinical information in an accurate and friendly manner
• Ability to communicate well with managers and co-workers
• Dedicated and careful – high level of accuracy and attention to detail
• Bilingual:Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and Spanish
• Computer: Skilled in MS Office Suite
Qualities / Skills of a good home health aide
It is important to understand the qualities to become a good home health aide since they not only enable you to be successful in your job but also enhance the quality of life of someone. Following explains qualities of a good home health aides:
- Knowledgeable to carry out required tasks. Such knowledge can be acquired by proper training and experience.
- Detail Oriented - Home health aides must follow specific rules and protocols to help take care of clients. Particularly, tasks around documentation and administering medication/therapy requires attention to detail.
- Strong Interpersonal / Communication skills - Home health aides must work closely with their clients. Sometimes, clients are in extreme pain or mental stress, and aides must be sensitive to their emotions. Aides must be cheerful, compassionate, and emotionally stable. They must enjoy helping people and providing companionship, which is all about being able to communicate effectively, patiently and listening.
- Compassion and Patience – a compassionate attitude is needed to take care of elderly, sick or disabled people. Sometimes home health aides may work with the same person for years and having compassion and patience helps forge stronger relationships for success.
- Physical stamina - Home health aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks. They might need to lift or turn clients who have a disability.
- Emotional stability and maturity – HHAs need to show a lot of mental stability because sometimes helping sick people can be mentally tiring. A mature and dependable attitude goes a long way to help the client. Sometimes they must also be able to cope with the death of patients they have developed a bond with after serving for a long time.
- Time-management skills. Clients and their families rely on home health aides. Therefore, it is important that aides follow agreed-upon schedules and arrive at their clients’ homes when they are expected.