In the healthcare industry, the segment of home health care is one of the fastest-growing areas. Keeping with the rise in demand for home care among older citizens more and more aspiring medical students opt for this special category of healthcare service.
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Considering the trends and practices in the healthcare industry, The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that within the span of ten years from 2016 and 2026 there will be a tremendous growth prospect and demand for home health careers. Therefore, it is quite obvious that home health is among one of the most sought-after health careers in the entire industry.
One of the most prevalent and predominant careers in the in-home health care sectors is that of a home health aide. The good things about the career of home health aide is that:
- It does not need a specific medical degree or
- You do not have to undergo any extensive training as well.
All you need is a lot of passion for the job and the willingness to work hard, even for extended hours, if need be, because emergency situations in this field are very common occurrences. Therefore, if you are passionate about home care Philadelphia and are willing to help and care for the people, especially the old and ailing, a career as a home health aide may be just right for you.
The job responsibilities
The job responsibilities of a home health aide primarily involve providing personal care and assistance to the patients. These patients may be of varied types and kinds suffering from different physical and medical conditions such as:
- Different types of illnesses and ailments
- Advanced age-related issues
- Disability and mobility issues
- Permanent or temporary impairments and even
- Reduced cognitive functions.
Typically, the home health aides work with the patients and provide care according to their needs. Their work is ideally a part of a specific hospice care program as well.
A typical day of a typical home health aide may vary largely depending on the type of patient they are working with as well as the condition of the patent being treated. In general, their job profile includes:
- Helping with any specific personal care jobs such as bathing, dressing, moving, eating, or using the bathroom
- Traveling with the patients to assist them with their daily errands such as going to the grocery for shopping, visiting the doctor to keep prior appointments, picking up medications from the store and even help the patient to leave the home in case he or she cannot move
- Assisting the patient with light housekeeping chores such as cooking, laundry and cleaning and additionally
- Helping the patients in monitoring the vital signs and symptoms, assisting with taking the required medications as well as other medical tasks that are very basic.
Therefore, you can see that the job of the home care aide is of great importance.
Work settings and physical demands
The job of a home health care aide is physically very demanding and the degree of it varies according to the working environment.
- You may work as a home health aide for a specific agent who will determine which particular patient you will work with or
- You may even work directly for a patient by contacting their family member.
In both the cases, you will have to work typically in a patient’s home that may or not be equipped with the basic medical equipment. If not, then you will have to make arrangements for then same.
In case of severe issues that need continual assistance and supervision of trained physicians, you will even have to suggest that the patient is moved to a hospital, nursing home or any other medical treatment facility.
Those home health aides that work at any residential care facility usually perform different jobs that are often physically demanding. This is due to several factors such as:
- The nature of the work
- Need to move the patients
- Do the cleaning and perform a range of other physical tasks.
In case you are assigned with multiple patients to working with, your job will be more demanding even if you work for a couple of hours per day or per week.
However, that does not mean that you will have very little to do if you work with a single patient for the entire week. Ideally, it all depends on the needs of the patient as well as your agency you work with.
In a few specific cases, you may even be asked for additional work during the evening or in the weekend as well.
Education, training and other requirements
It is true that the home health care aides are not needed to possess any college degree or any hold any diploma from a high school to become one. However, proper training is required to deal with specific situations and patients, since moods and temperaments of patients can vary.
Training is usually provided by the nurses and other medical professionals. If you want to be better than the others you may even opt for a certifications program to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse, LVN or a Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA.
If you want to become a certified and licensed home health aide and work for agencies that are normally funded by Medicare or Medicaid. Then you will need to meet the minimum standards of training that include:
- A minimum of 75 hours of training
- 16 hours of practical work under proper supervision and
- Pass a competency evaluation or state certification program.
Depending on the particular state you live and want to practice, you may need to have a few additional training as well. Therefore, it is best to know about the requirements of your state before you embark on your journey as a home health care aide.
You will be better off if you have a certificate offered by the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, NAHC though it is not mandatory for your employment.