Get to know the crucial facts about working as a HHA!
Do you prefer a career where you can work closely with those in need? Perhaps, you’d like to stay active with a job that keeps you on the move. If so, then consider a career as a Home Health Aide (HHA).
Home health aides have the opportunity to stay active while working with one patient at a time or several different patients throughout the day. They also get to build strong bonds with patients who rely on them for daily living activities. If you enter a home health aide training program, you can bring value by giving back to others almost every day.
Before you enter a training program, take a look at frequently asked questions about the home health aide career path. You want to be sure you understand the responsibilities and the opportunities associated with this job position so you can make an informed decision about which career training program to choose.
Here are six facts you should know about the home health aide career path:
Q #1: What do home health aides do?
A: Home health aides assist patients who have disabilities, cognitive impairments, or chronic illnesses. These patients often need assistance performing daily living activities, like bathing or dressing. HHAs provide health services which are required by a specific patient’s health plan. In some states, they may check vital signs or administer medication under the supervision of a nurse or healthcare practitioner. In addition, they may conduct housekeeping activities like doing laundry, washing dishes, or vacuuming a client’s home. Sometimes, they help plan a patient’s daily activities and help schedule their appointments. HHAs make sure that patients have transportation to and from doctors’ appointments and other outings. They will shop for groceries and sometimes prepare meals according to a client’s dietary needs. They provide emotional support when needed and may also help to make sure their clients are engaged within their local communities.
Q #2: Where do home health aides work?
A: As their title suggests, most home health aides work in the private homes of patients. However, some may work in small group homes or larger long-term care communities. Some HHAs travel, usually by car or public transportation, to the same patient home every day for months to years. Home health aides might visit up to four to five patients in a working day. Others might see just one patient a day. They generally work independently and may trade off shifts with other aides so that the client always has an aide at their side. HHAs might also help people in hospices or day services programs. Sometimes part of their job requires them to transport patients with disabilities so they may engage in their communities. As an HHA you may travel outside of the home to places like the park, grocery store, town hall, or any place where an extracurricular activity is located for your client.
Q #3: What are the typical hours for home health aides?
A: Most home health aides work full-time. While most work days, they may also be required to work evenings or night shifts depending on their patients’ needs and schedules. You may be busy throughout the day completing every day activities and running errands for your patients. Your schedule may also be split up between several different patients in one day or you may need to follow a routine or schedule of one patient.
Q #4: What is the projected job growth for home health aides?
A: The Occupational Outlook Handbook, a publication of the US Department of Labor, predicts that employment of home health aides may grow by 38% from 2014-2024. This is positive news for those who want to become an HHA! The job growth rate is projected to grow because of an increased demand for care services for the aging baby boomer population. As this generation ages and is prone to more illnesses and age-related diseases, they are expected to rely more on home care services because it is a less expensive alternative to nursing homes or hospitals.
Q #5: How much do home health aides earn?
A: The annual salaries for home health aides vary depending on geographic location, employer, and experience level. The Occupational Outlook Handbook offers a Pay section under Home Health Aides. A median annual salary is featured. The median figure means that half of home health aides made above the median and the other half made below the median. If you’d like to see what home health aides make in your community, take a look on an online job posting site. You may be able to get an estimate of what entry-level workers make in a year or by the hour.
Q #6: Is being a home health aide a rewarding career path?
A: A career as a home health aide may be fulfilling, especially if you enjoy caring for others and building bonds with patients. Many home health aides like this career because they get to stay active during the day by running errands and attending to basic needs of their patients. They may enjoy working in calmer, home settings rather than a healthcare facility. If they do work in healthcare facility, they get to stay active by attending to more than one patient.
If you think that working as an HHA sounds like an interesting career path, apply to the Harris Casel Institute’s home health aide training program today.
Harris Casel offers career tips and student advice in its weekly blog. If you’re interested In learning more about home health aide school or our other healthcare training programs, contact us today to speak with an advisor or to schedule a tour.