Enrolling in a Home Health Aide training program is an important step in growing your career in the Health Care industry. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) the number of jobs available to Certified Home Health Aides will increase by 69% from 2010 to 2020. This kind of growth makes HHA’s one of the most in-demand professionals in the entire medical industry.
What Does Home Health Aide Training Include?
Home Health Aides receive specific training in some unique skills that allow them to assist patients at home instead of at traditional medical facilities. Patients can range from elderly, to disabled, to chronically ill individuals that do not require hospitalization. Much of the training will focus on developing skills that are unique to working in someone’s home. For example, much of your time might be spent simply keeping the patient company or helping to prepare meals. The following list is an example of the curriculum you can expect in a typical Home Health Aide Training course:
- Role of the Aide and the Agency in the patients care
- Assessing the Social and Medical needs of the patient
- Providing personal care services
- Meal preparation and nutrition
- Basic care and cleaning of patients’ homes
Do I Need to Complete CNA Training Before I Become a HHA?
Home Health Aide training is usually done after you have completed you CNA courses, and many schools will offer the HHA classes immediately upon completion of the CNA coursework. Essentially, an HHA is a Certified Nursing Assistant that has chosen to also complete approximately 40 additional hours of training that is focused on caring for patients in their homes instead of in a hospital or other medical facility. So, the short answer is “Yes” you need to first complete your CNA classes before you can earn your HHA certification. However, it is not required that you possess a Certified Nursing Assistant certificate before earning your HHA Certification. Ultimately, it is in your best interest to earn BOTH certifications as it will look great on your resume and it will allow you to demand a higher salary. Keep in mind that you can take most of your CNA classes online!
Home Health Aide vs. Personal Care Assistant
Are you wondering what the difference is between a Home Health Aide and a Personal Care Aide? You are not alone! This is a very common question that gets asked when people are considering a career in Home Health Care. The main difference is the training that is required for each occupation:
Personal Care Assistant Training
Personal Care Assistants are generally required to obtain a certificate from an American Red Cross approved training program. The courses are not expensive and can be completed online! For more information you should visit the American Red Cross website. Beyond that, there is really no other formal training or certifications required to become a PCA. Some agencies may have additional requirements, and that can vary from employer to employer. Most will want you to have a valid driver’s license and current insurance in case you need to transport the client.
Home Health Aide Training
Becoming a certified Home Health Aide requires significantly more training than a Personal Care Assistant will receive. The first, and most important step in the certification process is completing a Certified Nursing Assistant program. These courses can be complete at a pace that works for you. Some schools offer a full time curriculum that allows you to complete the initial training in only a couple of weeks, while others have part time programs that stretch over two semesters. After completing the CNA training, you would be eligible to enroll in the Home Health Aide Training classes, and most schools that offer CNA training will also offer HHA training.