Chapter 39 – What Is a Home Health Aide?

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Home health aides typically perform unskilled patient care intermittently (as opposed to continuously) around 30 to 45 minutes at a given time a certain number of times per week as one of the representatives of the home health agency. Sometimes they are referred to as Certified Home Health Aides (or CHHA). CHHAs perform similar functions as Certified Nurse Assistants (CNAs) in the hospital setting.

Health aides work alongside SNs such as LVNs and RNs in performing delegated tasks. As such they do not have much liability as the liability tends to go to the more credentialed nurses. Still, in California, home health aides must complete a minimum of 12 hours of annual training, undergo tuberculosis testing, and have a criminal background check. The certification must be renewed every two years.

Job duties

Job duties of a home health aide include assisting patients with their daily activities and documenting any changes. Home health aides also perform some housekeeping tasks. They may prepare meals, assist with transfers and perform light housekeeping duties. In addition to these duties, home health aides may be responsible for providing companionship and assisting with personal hygiene. Aside from the above, job duties of a home health aide can also include assisting patients with their daily activities and administering medication.

Aside from taking vital signs, a home health aide also monitors a patient’s condition and communicates with their supervisor. They also teach the patient to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Home health aides also provide personal care and advice to patients on proper diet, housekeeping, and hygiene. The work of a home health aide requires full attention and understanding of the reactions of the patients and family members.

Working as a home health aide requires that you be at least 21 years old and possess a valid driver’s license. In addition, the job requires that you have strong listening and communication skills, and that you have a sense of responsibility and self-control. These qualities are important because you will be dealing with people who have memory issues, cognitive impairments, or behavioral problems. Aside from these characteristics, a home health aide must be organized and have strong organizational skills. Besides, a home health aide must be able to run errands and other tasks along the route.

In addition to possessing the necessary certifications, home health aides should be compassionate companions. Empathy is a vital trait for a home health aide, as it helps establish a strong bond between them and their clients. While seeking a home health aide, be sure to ask questions about their background, personality, and past work experience. This information can help you pair your family member with the right home health aide for your specific needs.

Training requirements

Depending on the state, the state usually requires a 75-hour training course for home health aides, which includes at least 16 hours of hands-on skills training. Training programs must be approved by the state and the Department of Health, and they must cover health-related tasks. In addition, they must include 35 hours of classroom instruction, 16 hours of supervised practical training, and 50 percent patient-care-related experience. Live virtual training is also permitted.

New employees must attend training and orientation. This training may be provided by the agency, but it does not count toward annual in-service requirements for aides. In addition, documentation of training and competency evaluations must be maintained in the aide’s personnel file. It must support the training requirements and the annual performance evaluation. The program must also adhere to the guidelines of the Board. If it does not, it should consider reapplying for approval.

Home health aides often spend most of their time with the same patient. As such, they develop close relationships with the patient and become a constant companion. This personal connection makes them a valuable member of the healthcare team and helps them monitor their condition more closely. They also report any changes to doctors and family members. Ultimately, this is why home health aides are important. For this reason, home health aides need to have excellent communication skills.

In addition to providing in-service training, home health aide training programs must also provide comprehensive classroom and supervised hands-on training in non-nurse aide skills. These skills may include taking blood pressure, maintaining a safe home environment, and assisting with medication administration. A home health aide must also be capable of observing and recording in a home health care environment. Unlike nurses, home health aides are not required to complete their nursing education, but the training must include the essential skills for the job.

Home health aide training hours vary from state to state. The federal law requires 75 hours of hands-on practical training, including at least 16 hours of clinical practice. Other states require more training, requiring CNA or nursing degrees. In Washington DC for example, aides must complete an application fee, pass a competency exam, and undergo a criminal background check.

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