Home Health Aide (HHA) Training
HHA Training Requirements
Those who are interested in becoming home health aides should be at least 18 and have clean backgrounds (backgrounds checks are common). Depending on your state, formal training is not always required. However some clients and almost all health aide agencies require training. The home health aide agencies that hire you will train you themselves. You must also be willing to work varying hours. Some HHAs only work a few hours a day while others live with their patients and are on call almost all day.
The job mostly consist of taking care of individuals who can no longer look after themselves regardless of age or disability. As an HHA you will need to give medication, take temperature and perform other basic medical services. Some aides may be required to do other basic tasks like laundry, grocery shopping and helping patients bathe.
Pay can fluctuate depending on how much you work. This is good because if you are willing to work more hours, you can get paid more or if you prefer working less, you can also do that. There is a great level of flexibility and freedom in this sector.
Benefits from this line of work also include experience building. Being able to take care of others is a great resume builder. If you wish to go into other fields like nursing in the future, a background in home health aide will be very beneficial. It'll demonstrate responsibility and commitment to helping others.
Training can also vary, even within your own city. Some agencies may offer it for free, while others may pay you to get trained and other agencies may even charge to train you. It is important you research agencies beforehand. Your pay may also depend on the agency you work for. Some agencies may start off paying minimum wage while others may pay well above minimum wage. The training process should last no more than 2-3 weeks. Most agencies (if they receive money from Medicaid / Medicare) are required to give 75 hours of training, 16 hours of supervised work and a standardized test at the end.
Your 75 hours of training will consist of both theoretical and hand's on learning. You will learn how to deal with patients (ie how to effectively communicate with them, get them to open up, get them to trust you, how to phrase your questions and comments etc.). You will also learn to treat them (ie give medicine, treat wounds, change bandages, take temperature etc)
The final test at the end is something many people needless worry about. This competency test will basically make sure you paid attention to your teachings and will also test your basic reading and writing abilities. Here is a sample question that has been asked in the past:
1) Clients sometimes express religious beliefs with which the home health aide does not agree. In dealing with these situations, which of these understandings should the aide use as a guide?
A. Clients have a right to their own beliefs, which should be respected.
B. Clients should have told not to discuss their beliefs with aides.
C. Aides should explain their beliefs to clients.
D. Aides should pretend to have the same beliefs that clients have
(The answer is A)
Overall, HHA is one of the fastest growing jobs in America today. This means higher pay and more opportunities for anyone interested in joining this field. Although there are many sources for obtaining information and training in HHA, http://myhhatraining.org is a recommended starting point for anyone seriously interested in the field.