A Home Health Aide is a health care professional that provides in-home care to patients that do not require hospitalization. HHA’s are typically Certified Nursing Assistants that have completed approximately 40 additional hours of training that is focused specifically on providing medical care in a patients home. In addition to monitoring the patient’s health, a Home Health Aide will also provide basic housekeeping assistance.
Home Health Aide vs. Personal Care Assistant?
In some cases the patient may not have ongoing medical concerns and may only require assistance with household tasks. This is common with elderly patients, in those situations they may only need what is known as a Personal Care Assistant. A PCA is typically only trained in CPR and minimal First Aide and are not allowed to assist patients with medical related tasks. It is common for Personal Care Aides to be hired through agencies that also employ Home Health Aides as well as Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses. If a patient requires any medical assistance the PCA must refer the patient to someone that is certified to offer that assistance. Many HHA’s start out as Personal Care Assistants since it requires virtually no training and jobs are plentiful. If they decide that they enjoy the work, the next step is to complete CNA training, followed by the specific Home Health Care training courses, after which they are eligible for Home Health Aide Certification.
Not sure if this is a career you might enjoy? Below you will find a list of some of the tasks an HHA may perform, both medical and non-medical. Every patient is different and some may require everything below, and others may only need someone to prepare meals and keep them company. The good news is that with an ever increasing demand for certified HHA’s you should be able to find a job opportunity that suits your personal needs.
Duties of a Home Health Aide
- Take and Record Blood Pressure
- Take Oral Temperature
- Take Pulse
- Measure Respiration
- Take and Record Body Weight
- Remind Patient to Take Medication
- Prepare Meals
- Wash Dishes
- Do Laundry
- Assist with Bathing and Grooming
- Help Getting Dressed
- Escort Patient to Appointments
- Assist with Wheelchairs, Walkers, Crutches, etc.