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How Do I Become a Certified Home Health Aide?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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Caring and compassionate individuals may enjoy a career as a certified home health aide. To become a certified home health aide, qualifications related to education, training, and certification standards must be met. Candidates should also demonstrate a desire to help others and have specific personal skills to meet the needs of the position.

Home health aides assist patients with everyday tasks. This includes helping bathe and dress individuals who need assistance due to illness or injury. Other tasks a home health aide may perform include those related to helping keep a patient’s living environment clean. Examples of these tasks are doing laundry, completing light housekeeping chores, and changing bed linens. Home health aides may also do some grocery shopping and meal preparation for clients.

Minimum education requirements to become a certified home health aide must be met. This includes obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent for employment consideration with a wide range of employers. Employers may hire a candidate who demonstrates a willingness to learn and an aptitude for mathematics even if they do not have a high school diploma, but a diploma is preferred for most employers.

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Training usually occurs on the job for those looking to become a certified home health aide. New employees will usually be paired with experienced personnel, including someone already certified as a home health aide or nurse, to gain valuable experience and training. This will include training on maintaining sanitary standards and taking various vital signs, such as pulse rate and blood pressure. Training will also focus on how to transfer patients in and out of bed safely.

Certification standards will vary by location. It will also generally require a minimum number of hours related to on-the-job training, typically provided by the employer. Once a candidate has gained the necessary experience, those looking to become a home health aide can apply for certification after passing the necessary competency examinations. In some areas, the competency examinations may consist of a written exam, while in others the exam will consist of both a written and a practical exam.

Someone who wants to become a certified home health aide should also possess specific personality traits and skills. Home health aides work with a wide variety of people in varied settings. They must be comfortable interacting with people in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and in the home. Individuals looking to enter the profession should also be friendly, compassionate, and honest. Home health aides may also have to pass a background check and drug test.

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