Becoming a Home Health Aide

If you have been considering becoming a home health aide, there’s never been a better time. Home health aides are in big demand as the health care industry continues to grow to meet the demands of an aging population. Many more people are needing support with basic home health care as families choose to care for their loved ones at home as an alternative to nursing facilities. Anyone with an interest in health care and the compassion and patience to help others can become a home health aide. This entry-level career is perfect for new job seekers and career-changers looking for a flexible, part time or full time job. Read on to find out more about becoming a home health aide.

Educational and Training Requirements for the Home Health Aide

On average, the only educational requirement to become a home health aide is to possess a high school diploma, GED or equivalency. In addition, companies that hire home health aides provide hands-on training that often includes several weeks of classroom and patient care instruction. That means you will be working with the support of more experienced home health aides in patients’ homes for a period of time before you are allowed to work on your own. Home health aides can expect to learn basic medical topics such as checking for vital signs, basic care for various illnesses, medication administration, companionship and activity planning and care for the physical and mental well-being of patients. Many home health aides decide to go on for additional nursing training to obtain a certificate in nurse’s aide level of experience or to become licensed nurses, but this is not mandatory for home health aides.

Advice on Becoming a Home Health Aide

Once you’ve decided to become a home health aide, you will want to get in touch with home health aide companies in your community. One way to find agencies that train with and work with home health aide is by checking local telephone directories or by performing an Internet search. Make an appointment to go in to apply for a job as a home health aide and be prepared to demonstrate why you would be a good candidate for this type of work. Emphasize your interest in providing daily care for others and highlight any experience you may have with caring for any elderly or sick people in your family. You will be asked for references in some cases to verify your experience and character. Then you will most likely be asked to fill out employment paperwork, submit to a criminal background check and get a physical and any testing required to prepare you for work as a home health aide.

Benefits of the Home Health Aide Career

There are many benefits to becoming a home health aide. First and foremost, you will be making a positive difference in the lives of people who depend on others for their physical and mental well-being daily. Secondly, you will be engaged in a career that is respected by others. Being a home health aide is not an easy job and it takes a special person to handle the daily physical and mental challenges that this job brings. Pay levels for home health aides start low, but over time, you can expect to earn a nice living. Home health aide jobs are generally flexible and allow for a change of scenery as you travel to patients’ homes to care for them. You can expect to be paid for mileage as well as an hourly salary. The outlook for home health aide jobs is very good as health care related careers are expected to continue to grow at a higher than average rate in the future. As a result you should never run out of assignments and can expect a long-term career in home health aide work.