Earning your Home Health Aide Certification can open doors and help advance your career, but is it really that important? Before you make that determination, you must first understand the benefits of being certified and what amount of training required to be eligible for certification.
What Does it Take to Become a Certified Home Health Aide?
Specific HHA Training
In most States Home Health Aide training is usually done as a supplement to CNA Training. For example, if you attend a full time training program you can usually complete all of your CNA courses in about 4 weeks. Many schools will then give you the option of taking an additional one to two weeks of HHA training classes that will make you eligible for both certifications. The primary difference between the two training programs is that the HHA training focuses more on the non-medical functions of the job like preparing meals and working in a home environment.
What Are the Benefits of Home Health Aide Certification?
Even though certification may not be required to be able to work as a Home Health Aide in some States, possessing the Certificate will allow you to demand a higher salary. A Certified Nursing Assistant can usually earn up to $3 more per hour as a Certified Home Health Aide. It would be crazy to go through CNA training and not go ahead and continue through the HHA Training.
As a CNA with a Home Health Aide Certification you will have greater flexibility in where you choose to work. In addition to hospitals, doctor’s offices, or general medical offices, you will also be able to work in patient’s homes and non-hospital eldercare facilities.
More Job Options
Most Home Health Agencies will only hire HHA’s that have obtained Certification from their particular State. Without the certificate it is still possible to find work, but you would be considered a Personal Care Assistant and be paid accordingly. A Home Health Aide’s salary is significantly higher than that of a PCA, and HHA’s are in higher demand.
Looks Great on Your Resume
Let’s face it, education is important and all employers want to higher employees that have shown the ability to start and complete education programs. Both CNA and HHA positions are at the entry level of the Health Care industry and for most people they are stepping stone careers. Even though a Home Health Aide Certification is not a requirement for any of the CNA bridge programs, having it on your resume when you start applying for LPN or RN jobs will only help you rise above the competition.
So, Is the Home Health Aide Certification Important?
If you are serious about a career in health care, the answer is absolutely yes! The bottom line is that Home Health Aide Training is a relatively short process that you can complete as a continuation of your CNA training program. Take the time and build a stronger foundation for you career, a Home Health Aide certification means you will have more job options, career flexibility, and you will earn more money!