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How to Become a Home Health Aide - Jobs Without a High School Diploma
Work and Rewards
The work of a Home Health Aide (HHA, near the top of the list on the Top 10 Hot Careers to 2020) requires physical labor and the ability to interact well with clients that are elderly, physically and/or mentally challenged, or ill with chronic conditions.
HHAs and home companions also help care for individuals that are at home recovering after surgery and do not require the more intensive services of a nursing home or rehabilitation center. Probably the most important role of the HHA is to help an elderly person stay in their own home rather than to enter an assisted living facility.
A friend of over 20 years became an HHA after a few years in other careers. She worked for a home health services agencies, gathering skills and experience. She found the work time consuming, physically tiring, but rewarding, One of her clients hired her full-time until his death. At that time, she inherited his condominium, new car, savings, and other items.
This is not the usual outcome of full-time positions as an HHA, home companion or Certified Nursing/Nurse's Aide, but is an occasional occurrence. Otherwise, the starting pay is at the lower end of the Healthcare Industry pay scale, increasing over time. HHAs that go on to open their own home health businesses make larger salaries. One of my students began as the HHA and progressed to LPN after earning a GED, with plans to further her studies through tuition reimbursement offered on the job.
Sample Job Descriptions
Home health aides and personal care aides (Number 4 the Top 10 List below in links) have similar duties and training. Home health aides work in clients' homes, hospitals, clinics, hospices, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers, and adult day care centers.
These aides often have a high school diploma, but also a demonstrated 10th grade level of reading and writing, and mathematics knowledge of at least 9th grade level, which includes pre-algebra. Some US States do not require the high school diploma for licensure.
Home Health Aide Certification is available through short training programs in high schools, vocational schools,and independently-owned schools. From time to time, county and city funds are available to furnish free HHA training through a list of approved training providers. Basic PC skills and good interpersonal relations are also required. The personal and home care aides do not require licensure, but do similar work.
Some Tasks Are Less Glamorous Duties
Some job duties of the Home Health Aide can be very physically challenging and tiring, even boring at times. Others can be enjoyable. Any or all of these duties appear in job descriptions:
- doing laundry,
- changing bed linens,
- grocery shopping,
- planning menus and cooking,
- helping clients in and out of bed, and assisting with prosthetics, helping client walk,
- bathing, toileting, dressing, and grooming clients,
- taking vital signs,
- providing massage and skin care,
- providing range-of-motion and other exercises,
- providing transportation to doctors' appointments, physical therapy, etc.
- running errands,
- providing client education on nutrition, personal care, and household tasks,
- keeping accurate records of services performed and client progress,
- working as a member of a treatment or social services team,
- taking direction from a Registered Nurse (RN) or other licenses healthcare professional.
- Driver's License
- HHA Certificate
- CPR and Basic Life Saving Certification
- Pre- employment physician's Health Clearance: negative TB skin test and/or CXR and other state-mandated tests.
Some companies provide any or all of the following benefits for full-time HHA work:
- Employee and Family Health Coverage
- Employer-contributed Pension Plan
- Scheduled time off, Vacations and Sick Time
- Tuition Reimbursement
- 403(b) or other Retirement Plan
National Association for Home Care and Hospice ::
- National Association for Home Care and Hospice ::
Welcome to HomeCare Online the virtual headquarters of the National Association for Home Care (NAHC). Since its inception in 1982, NAHC has remained committed to serving the home care and hospice industry, which provides services to the sick, the dis
Courses Included in Many HHA Certificate Programs
- Introduction to Body Systems
- Introduction to Nutrition
- Introduction to Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy Aide Training
- Geriatric Clients
- HIV/AIDS Awareness Training
- Patient Communication
- Patient Mobility
- Patient Personal Care
- Respiratory Equipment Training
- Respiratory Therapy Aide
- Recording Vital Signs
- Understanding Vital Signs
- Basic Laboratory Equipment
Work Up to NP or MD with Scholarships and Other Help
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Thousands of Job Openings
During July - August 2015, at least 35,000 Home Health Aides were in demand in job listings across the Internet.
Significant Increase in HHA Jobs from 2005 - 2015
Comparison - Current Job Market and 2020
DECEMBER 2012: Over 105,000 open positions for HHA were advertised across the Internet for the USA.
Job listings for HHAs increased by a large percentage from 2005 to 2010 and significantly from March 2009 to end of September 2010. During the first week of November 2010, HHAs were required in 7,342 job listings around America. The average salary at this time for full-time work in America advertised in this position is $25,000/year, with a range of $14,000 to $36,000 pear year, the top end higher than for the LPN, although LPNs and RNs can also do home health work, especially live-in jobs that pay a higher wage than regular full-time HHAs.
The companies hiring the most HHAs are:
- HCR Manorcare- Rose to the top of employers in 2012.
- Maxim Staffing Solutions - Nurse Staffing
- Bayada Nurses
- Interim Healthcare
- Genesis Health Services
- Brookdale Senior Living
- Amedisys Home Health Services
- CareSouth Homecare Professionals
- Girling Health Care
- Emeritus Senior Living
- Home Instead Senior Care - This name is interesting, because employing an HHA can keep a Senior Citizen in his or her own home for a longer period of time before moving into assisted living facilities or hospice. HHAs and home companions or personal care aides are less expensive options than LPNs and RNS, who also sometimes live-in with their elderly or physically/mentally challenged clients.
Top 10 Cities for HHA Job Listings 2014 - 2016
- Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth TX
- Philadelphia and Pittsburgh PA
- Indianapolis IN - One of the largest increases in HHA jobs in America.
- New York NY
- Greater Boston Area
- San Antonio TX
- Atlanbta GA
- Columbus and Dayton OH
- Albuquerque NM
- Tucson AZ
Substantial numbers of HHAs are also needed in Florida cities, because of the large number of retirees living in that state, along with increasing medical tourism that increases the demand for HHAs in clinics and resorts.