Helping Others: How to Become a Certified Home Health Aide
If you enjoy helping others, you may want to become a home health aide. Here is a complete guide on how to become a certified home health aide.
The healthcare industry is changing faster than ever. Nurses and home health aides are in demand to care for an increasingly older population, and that demand is going to continue for years to come.
Between 2018-2028, the demand for home health aides is going to grow by 36%. Most industries are lucky to see 5% growth, let alone 36%!
Do you want to start a new career as a certified home health aide? Read on to find out what it takes to become a home health aide and learn tips to build your new career.
What Does a Home Health Aide Do?
A home health aide plays an important role in the lives of people all across the country. A home health aide cares for people who can’t care for themselves. They work primarily with people with disabilities and the elderly.
Home health aides provide assistance with personal care. This includes helping clients eat, get dressed, take a bath or shower, and go to the bathroom.
They may also do chores around the house that the patient may not be able to, such as doing dishes or laundry. In many instances, home health aides help patients get to doctor’s appointments, and organize their schedule.
Don’t underestimate how important this work is. Clients feel that they are taken care of and they have more confidence because they feel better. You also provide support to the caregivers in the family, which can take the stress off of them as well.
The scope of practice for home health aides is limited and determined by state laws. For example, in California, a home health aide doesn’t administer prescription medication. However, if the home health aide is employed by a family or an individual, the home health aide can administer prescription drugs.
Understanding the laws in your state is important, and why you need to be certified as a home health aide.
How to Become a Certified Home Health Aide
You’ll be relieved to know that you don’t need a four-year degree to become a home health aide. The home health aide industry is overseen by state laws. Of course, they’re different from state to state.
Most certification programs will have you complete about 120 hours of classwork and anywhere between 40-75 hours of clinical training. You’ll also have to pass an exam.
It’s totally possible to become a certified home health aide within a few months.
Where to Get Certified
You’ll find that there are many different certifications for home health aides. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers a certification program.
Community colleges and schools that specialize in home health aide certifications can be good options as well.
Your job is to choose the right program for you and your career. You want to have a good understanding of the programs in your area and choose the program that will give you a lot of hands-on training.
Career Options for Home Health Aides
Where can you work once you get certified as a home health aide? You can work in almost any environment since there is a high demand for home health aides.
You can work for a home health care agency that sends home health aides to care for different clients. You can work with a nonprofit organization that provides home care to people.
An assisted living facility is another option to start your career after you become certified.
Building Your Career as a Home Health Aide
How can you grow your career as a home health aide? Start by making your application stand out from the crowd. An additional certification in CPR or a class in anatomy will help your application get more attention.
Another thing you can do so by gaining experience in a number of different environments. For example, you can start out working for an agency and then take a job working at an assisted living facility.
It gives you an opportunity to discover what you like and don’t like about these situations. With this information, you can make a choice to focus on a specific environment.
If you want to stand out among other home health aides, connect with managers and agency owners. Show them your interest in the profession. You’ll stand out as a candidate for moving up into a managerial role, such as a home health aide supervisor.
Starting Your Own Home Health Aide Agency
After several years of experience as a home health aide, you could decide to start your own agency. You can flex your entrepreneurial muscles and build a thriving business. Here are some tips to start your own agency.
Licensed and Certified
Your business needs to be licensed to operate as a home health care agency. You have to have a business license and a home health agency certification from your state.
Once you get those in place, you have to get certified by Medicare and Medicaid. Most of your payments will come through these programs, so it’s critical to have these before you begin.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan is necessary so you can create the long-term viability of the business. You’ll understand the marketplace and how profitable the business can be.
You can’t afford to overlook insurance for your home health aide agency. You’ll need business liability and malpractice insurance in order to operate.
Hire Employees and Get Clients
With your experience, you know what makes a great home health aide. You also know what clients are looking for in an agency. This makes hiring and marketing your new agency easier.
Get Certified as a Home Health Aide
A certified home health aide is a challenging, but highly rewarding job. You bring your gifts of compassion and empathy to those who need it the most. You can help a family care for their loved ones, and you can give families peace of mind.
You become an unsung hero going about your work. It’s a great career to undertake and a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many people.
Head over to the home page of this site for tips to pass your exam.