How to Start a Career in Home Healthcare

A career in home healthcare can be extremely fulfilling. Aides and nursing assistants help people who can no longer look after themselves. Learning how to start a career in home healthcare is a great step towards helping those in need. That way, patients can remain in their own homes for much longer, and they don’t have to go to a nursing home against their will. If you have the necessary skills and are motivated to work in healthcare, you can train to become a home health aide within three to six weeks.

Determine Whether a Career as a Home Health Aide Is Right for You

Before you enroll in a training program, make sure that home healthcare is a good fit for you. As an aide, you have to work with senior citizens, people with a disability, and even children who are recovering from an accident or operation.

You will be offering personal care to your patients. Your tasks might include helping with household chores, assisting patients with their personal hygiene, administering medication, and preparing meals. Sometimes, you might take your patients out for the day or accompany them to an appointment. If these tasks appeal to you, you will enjoy working for a home healthcare business.

You Love Working with Disabled and Older Adults

At Parent Care, we work with a wide range of patients. Many of them suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, mental health challenges, and other chronic illnesses. As a home health aide, you will spend most of your day driving from one patient to the next and helping them with the Activities of Daily Living.

This can be rewarding because patients are often extremely grateful for their home health aide’s visits. Home care is important to them because it allows them to remain independent. If you love supporting elderly and disabled people, you should consider a job in home health care.

You Love Having a Varied Workday

Home health aides and registered nurses have varied schedules, so the work never gets tedious. Aside from helping elderly and disabled people with their daily living needs, home health professionals also speak to their patients and offer emotional support. They get to know their patients’ unique needs and build long-term relationships.

Although the varied tasks make home healthcare jobs particularly interesting, they can also be tough. Home health aides have to be extremely organized. They must be flexible and good at thinking on their feet.

You Are Physically Strong

Home health aides must be in good physical condition because they have to help patients move around their homes. They assist patients with taking showers, using the restroom, and doing light housework. They also have to drive from one patient to the next. Some homes might have steps or slippery surfaces, and a home health aide has to navigate these structures safely.

As part of your job training, you have to have a physical exam. This is to make sure that a job in home health care is safe for you and that you’ll be able to complete all the necessary tasks.

Build Up the Necessary Skills

You need a formal education to become a home health aide, but you must also have several skills if you want to find employment easily. At Parent Care, we are always looking for home health aides who speak good English, have a driver’s license, are organized, can cook and clean for our patients, and have good interpersonal skills.

English Skills

Good communication skills are crucial. As a home health aide, you have to interact with your patients, their family members, the care coordinators at your home health agency, social workers, and other medical professionals working with your patients.

Most of these people speak English, but you might also interact with some patients who have other mother tongues. In New York, many people speak Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Italian. Knowing one of these languages is a bonus, but not essential.

Good Driving Skills

Because you need to visit patients at their homes, you have to be able to drive as a home health aide. Most home healthcare agencies will only employ you if you have a clean driving record because they want to make sure that their patients are safe.

Cooking and Cleaning Skills

Meal preparation and light housekeeping are two essential parts of a home health aide’s job. Because many of your patients might not be able to make breakfast and dinner on their own and clean up after themselves, you have to have basic cooking and cleaning skills. You will learn how to prepare nutritious meals during your training program, so don’t worry if you haven’t learned how to do this yet.

Organization Skills

During a typical day, home health aides visit several patients. Some of them only need one appointment, but others require home care in the morning and the evening. Aides have to be extremely organized to avoid delays and meet every patient’s needs.

Before you start working as a home health aide, find out more about organizational tools. Get a calendar or download an app that allows you to track your daily schedule. If you want to work full-time, make sure you adhere to a strict daily routine. If you eat two or three healthy meals and get enough sleep, you will be well-rested and ready for your duties the next day.

Medical Knowledge

Unlike a registered nurse or doctor, a home health aide can’t provide advanced medical services. However, they are trained to perform basic tasks like taking the patient’s blood pressure and vital signs. They also provide wound care and remind patients to take their medication. Home health aides have to read and interpret medical records, so they need to be familiar with the most common medical terms.

If you’d like to prepare for your medical care duties, take a first aid course. Several organizations offer CPR and AED training programs for $100 or less. If you’re not sure which medical training class to choose, reach out to us at Parent Care. We can let you know about the best options in your area.

Interpersonal Skills

As mentioned, you have to interact with a wide range of people as a home health aide. That’s why building up great people skills is so important. If you’re naturally outgoing and enjoy talking to others, you might be a good fit.

Attend a Training Program for Home Health Aides

Once you’ve decided that home healthcare is a good industry for you, it’s time to look for a good home health aide training program. In New York, there are several options. Typically, formal training takes three to six weeks. You have to complete 76 hours of classroom learning.

During your training program, you learn everything you need to know about home healthcare services. Depending on the course, there might also be classes about how to find work and collaborate with other medical professionals.

Do I Need a High School Diploma?

Not everyone needs a high school diploma to become a home health aide. The formal training program provides applicants with all the skills they need to be great home healthcare workers. However, some community colleges and training centers ask people without a diploma to take an entrance exam.

Where Are the Training Programs Held?

You can find home health aide training programs in various locations around NYC. Sometimes, they are offered by community colleges, but there are also some independent schools.

How Much Does the Training Cost?

Not all vocational schools charge the same for home health aide classes. However, you can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for the course. Some providers ask you to pay upfront, but most allow you to spread out your payments.

What Is the Difference Between Home Health Aide and Certified Nursing Assistant Training?

While the two professions are similar and involve some of the same tasks, most certified nursing assistants work in hospitals or assisted living facilities. Home health aides, on the other hand, provide home care. They visit patients once or twice a day, depending on the person’s needs.

Can a Home Health Aide Become a Registered Nurse?

To become a registered nurse, you have to complete a much more comprehensive course. This is more time-consuming and expensive than the home health aide certification. However, you might be a great candidate if you are already familiar with the healthcare industry. Home health aides have many of the skills required by nurses.

How to Find Home Health Agencies to Work With

After you complete training, you can start looking for a home healthcare company to work with. You don’t have to set up your own business, however, you might need to buy professional liability insurance.

To find a good company, search for New York home health services online and look into various businesses. Check the reviews on sites like to find out whether the current home health aides are happy with their agencies. With this information, it won’t be difficult to choose great home health companies to work with.

Why Parent Care?

At Parent Care, it is our mission to take good care of our clients’ aging family members. We want to help as many New Yorkers as possible to live safely and stay out of nursing homes. To do so, we provide a comprehensive service that includes care planning, care coordination, and regular home health aide visits. We offer all our workers a competitive salary, fair working conditions, and benefits.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’ve completed your home health aide certification. We’re always looking for friendly and enthusiastic home care workers.

What Does My Day Look Like As a Home Health Aide?

Most home health aides work during the day. They visit patients in the mornings and help them to get up, get dressed, and take a shower. They might also prepare a cup of coffee or tea for their patients and encourage them to take their medication.

Patients with serious medical issues might require a second appointment in the afternoon or evening. The home health aide helps them to get undressed and go to bed and prepares a light snack. Sometimes, home health aides also work at night. This might be necessary if a patient is bedridden and needs frequent care.

What Types of Home Care Are There?

Typically, your patients are elderly people who are no longer able to take care of themselves. However, you might be asked to work with several other groups. Sometimes, we offer hospice care. This is suitable for people who have a terminal illness. The focus is on making the patient comfortable instead of curing their condition.

You might also care for younger patients who have had an accident and are temporarily unable to take care of themselves. Let us know if you love working with children. Our pediatric home health aides visit children with disabilities or injuries and their family members.

What Is Companion Care?

Many elderly people struggle with loneliness and social isolation. That’s why some of our home health aides also act as companions. They visit the patient regularly and speak to them, play games with them, or read to them. Sometimes, the companion takes the patient for a walk or accompanies them into town.

Providing companionship is extremely important because it increases the patient’s quality of life. Companion care appointments are fully tailored to the patient’s needs. Sometimes, they include light housework or eating a meal together.

What Is the Average Home Health Aide Salary in New York?

In New York, the median salary of a home health aide is $17.50 per hour. If you work full-time, you can expect to earn $40,000 or more per year. Certified nursing assistants receive approximately $21.75 per hour.

For an entry-level position, your hourly rate might be lower at first. However, it all depends on the home healthcare business you work with. At Parent Care, we offer our home health aides competitive salaries because we want them to be able to focus on their patients instead of worrying about money.

What Is the Job Outlook?

In the past few decades, the number of elderly people has been rising steadily. Now, there are over 1.1 million NYC residents over the age of 65. While some of them are still well enough to look after themselves, many others are either living in nursing homes or getting regular visits from home health aides.

As the baby boomer generation becomes older, even more job opportunities are created in the home healthcare industry. According to labor statistics, 25% more home health aides will be needed by 2031. A home health aide can find work in cities around the country and even overseas, so this is a great job for people who move around frequently.

A career in home healthcare can be rewarding, especially for people who enjoy working with elderly or disabled patients. Get in touch with us at Parent Care in New York or give us a call at 718-486-7100. We’re always looking for great home health workers. If you’re patient, kind, and have fulfilled the training requirements, we would be delighted to speak to you.

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