Home care aides are highly sought-after healthcare professionals who help patients to stay in their own homes and complete their Activities of Daily Living. Before being able to work as a home health aide, we answer how long does it take to become a home health aide? Individuals have to complete a training program that teaches them vital skills. Let’s have a closer look at how the certification works and what the prerequisites are.
How to Become a Home Health Aide
To become a certified home health aide, you have to complete a training program offered by the New York State Department of Health or the New York State Education Department. These courses are generally free or low-cost, so they’re open to anyone. They take around 30 to 60 days.
In addition to becoming certified, successful home health aides also have certain soft skills. They are able to communicate with other healthcare professionals and engage with patients to meet their unique needs. Additionally, they have some medical knowledge about several chronic illnesses.
Prerequisites for HHA Training Programs
People who would like to train as a home health aide typically need a high school diploma. This is because they require basic math and literacy skills. They have to be able to create accurate patient care reports, communicate efficiently with registered nurses and other medical professionals, and organize their schedules.
Additionally, many home health agencies require a background check and medical report. These documents are necessary because they show that the home health aide is trustworthy and in good physical shape. First aid training is sometimes required, depending on the exact job description and the medical conditions of the patients.
Skills Required to Work in Home Health Care
As a home health aide, you have to work with people all day, so it’s important that you have good social skills. If you’re outgoing, and you love to interact with elderly and disabled individuals, this job could be a great fit for you.
Additionally, you need to be flexible and adaptable because your schedule might change on short notice. No two days will be the same, so you need to be comfortable dealing with variable working conditions.
The Home Health Aide Training Program
To work as an aide, you don’t need a college degree. Instead, you complete a specific Home Health Aide Training Program (HHATP). Most of these courses take one to two months, but some can be completed within two weeks. They are offered by many community colleges and vocational schools around the city.
Although the exact training schedule depends on the type of course you’re doing, there are certain commonalities. All programs teach you how to administer medications, help patients take their basic vital signs and blood pressure, and meet all their personal care needs. You’ll also learn about communicating with elderly people, preparing nutritious meals, and evaluating the safety of each person’s home environment.
Is the Home Health Aide Training Program Difficult?
The home health aide training program is manageable for most people, but it requires some studying and many hours of classroom learning. While it’s possible to train as a home health aide while working full-time, most individuals do better when they either work part-time or focus solely on the program for a few weeks.
Additional Training for Certified Home Health Aides
Once you’ve successfully completed your HHA training and received your certification, you can start to work with patients right away. However, you might benefit from more training if you’d like to work with specialized groups.
At Parent Care, we mainly serve older patients, but we also work with young people who have serious illnesses or injuries. These patients often require more specific help, so we might match them with a certified nursing assistant or registered nurse instead of a home health aide. If you’d like to further your career once you’ve started working as an HHA, consider continuing your education while you work part-time.
Home Health Agency Programs
Good agencies almost always offer in-house home health aide training. When you work with Parent Care, you can expect regular continued education courses that help you to stay up-to-date and further your career.
We offer clinical training that enhances your medical knowledge, as well as workshops that address the social and emotional aspects of working in this medical field. We make sure that all our aides understand how to best balance their work with their personal lives, so they can avoid burnout and other health issues.
How Much Does HHA Training Cost?
Home health aides are in high demand at the moment, so the NY State Department of Health offers many HHA certification programs for free. This means that applicants only have to pay for their materials, which might cost $50 to $100.
Some community-based services are independent of the Department of Health, so they aren’t free. However, these programs tend to cost just $300 to $600, so they are affordable for many people. It’s also worth noting that most schools allow students to pay in installments, so they don’t have to provide all the funds in advance.
How to Find an Approved Instructor in New York
If you’re looking for a good training program in New York, the best way forward is to reach out to an HHA agency like Parent Care. We have many contacts in the home health industry, so we know where to find the best programs and instructors.
When you contact us, we’ll provide you with the names of several reputable institutions in your area. That way, you can be sure that your qualification will comply with all the federal regulations and optimally prepare you for your career. Upon successful completion, you can then apply for a job with us.
What Happens After Training?
Once you’ve finished all your HHA classes, you can look for personal care jobs in your area. As a certified home health aide, you’re likely to find employment relatively quickly because this job is in high demand.
When you first start, it’s best to work with a reputable agency because finding your own clients can be tough and time-consuming. Good agencies will match you with patients in your area, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time traveling around New York.
Is It Easy to Find Employment?
Most certified home health aides don’t have any trouble finding jobs because more and more patients want to avoid nursing homes and stay in their own apartments or houses. However, it all depends on the type of certification and the skill of the aide in question. People who have all the relevant documentation, enjoy working with patients, and are responsible are highly likely to find an excellent position within a few days or weeks.
Working as a Home Health Aide
When you work as a home health aide, no two days are ever the same. You will perform a wide variety of tasks such as helping patients to check their vital signs, assisting them with their personal hygiene, and making sure they are taking the right medication.
Additionally, you might take your clients on outings or go grocery shopping with them. If you’re working as a companion aide, your tasks include socializing and chatting with each patient.
What Hours Do Home Health Aides Work?
One of the best things about home health is that this industry is very flexible. If you have family commitments, or you’re not able to work full-time due to a medical issue, you can still become a home health aide.
At Parent Care, we always welcome people who want to work full-time. However, there are no required hours. Each home health aide can decide how much time they’d like to dedicate to us. If their situation changes, they can simply let us know, and we’ll adjust their hours.
What Is the Job Outlook of a Certified Home Health Aide?
Recent reports by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that a home health aide can expect to receive between $30,000 and $40,000 per year in New York. This amount is likely to increase significantly in the next few years, as the number of patients in need of home care rises.
If you’re looking for a job that is secure and engaging, home health services could be right for you. Experts are forecasting immense growth in this industry, so the shortage of trained aides is likely to become more noticeable in the next decade.
Why Work With HHA Agencies?
Early in your career, working with a good agency is crucial. At Parent Care, we provide every new home health aide with supervision and essential training. That way, they can settle into their new profession more easily. We check the home health aide’s preferences and individual situation and then match them with suitable patients in their local area.
To get work with skilled nursing facilities, you have to provide documentation, such as your HHA certificate, your background check, and the results of your physical. You also have to state where and when you’d like to work. Because there are both part-time and full-time hours available, you can usually choose how much you’d like to work.
Most home health aide training programs take 30 to 60 days, so you can become a qualified aide within a month or two. After completing your course, you can apply for a job with a high-quality agency in your local area. Send us a message at Parent Care or contact us at 718-486-7100 to find out more about current jobs.