Health Care Aide - How to Become a Health Care Aide

Home Care Aide

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Home Care Aide Job Description

 

As a home care aide, the expected duties may include caring for those who are physically or mentally ill, those injured or disabled or infirm patients confined to home or residential care facilities. Home health aide is one of the top 10 occupations showing large job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Home care aides work under the supervision of a nurse, and work closely with family members to provide the care needed. Both men and women are sought after as home health aides.

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Responsibilities

 

Home health aides work to keep patients in their homes by monitoring them and providing services. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Housekeeping, laundry, shopping, and errands

  • Keeping records of services 

  • Recording patient conditions and notifies the supervising nurse of changes or unusual behavior

  • Changing dressings, assisting with bathing, and offering support

  • Preparing patient meals and following specific dietary guidelines

  • Training patients to use special equipment to care for themselves

  • Maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the patient by following specified standards and procedures

  • Ensuring proper security precautions are taken

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguishtruths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

A 40 hour work week is standard for full-time employment as a home health aide. Because many patients may need care and assistance 24 hours a day, some conditions of employment may include night, weekend or holiday shifts. Some aides work on “live in” arrangements. Still others work on a part-time basis.

The nature of the work calls for aides to spend many hours standing and walking, and the work may include heavy lifting at times. Aides are trained in proper body mechanics in how to move patients safely and care for them. Mechanical devices may sometimes be used to reduce the risk of injury when lifting or transferring a patient.

Employment as a home health aide can be emotionally stressful when working with patients who are disoriented, irritable, and uncooperative or in the terminal stages of illness.

 


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How to Become a Home Care Aide:

 

1. Become Licensed, Certified, or Trained to Become a Home Health Aide

 

Requirements for certification or licensure vary from state to state. In some states, a home care aide can be employed without a high school diploma or previous work experience. Online training is available to any who want to improve their skill set.

Local agencies, such as vocational-technical training centers, facilities or community college programs, may provide training needed to satisfy state requirements for certification. Most states do require some sort of demonstration of competency before providing direct patient care.

If employed by a Medicare-certified home health provider, aides must complete a competency evaluation program to meet federal regulation standards. This will generally include successful completion of a state test and demonstration of competency mastery in 12 areas of health care skills.

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
12.05.2016
Provides direct and indirect patient/resident care activities under the direction of Registered Nurse and/or Licensed Practical Nurse. Assists patient/residents with ADLS, provides for personal care, comfort and assists in the maintenance of a...
12.05.2016
Provides direct and indirect patient/resident care activities under the direction of Registered Nurse and/or Licensed Practical Nurse. Assists patient/residents with ADLS, provides for personal care, comfort and assists in the maintenance of a...
12.05.2016
Associates Degree in Accounting preferred or equivalent of education and experience. Bookkeeping and accounting background preferred. Experience: 1-2 years in bookkeeping or accounting preferred. Proficiency in Word, Excel, Quick Books...
  1. Comfort House/Hospice Aide Pella, IA Pella Regional Health Center
    Provides direct and indirect patient/resident care activities under the direction of Registered Nurse and/or Licensed Practical Nurse. Assists patient/residents with ADLS, provides for personal care, comfort and assists in the maintenance of a...
  2. Comfort House/Hospice Aide Pella, IA Pella Regional Health Center
    Provides direct and indirect patient/resident care activities under the direction of Registered Nurse and/or Licensed Practical Nurse. Assists patient/residents with ADLS, provides for personal care, comfort and assists in the maintenance of a...
  3. Accounting Secretary - Home Care - Full-Time - Days Boone, IA Boone County Hospital
    Associates Degree in Accounting preferred or equivalent of education and experience. Bookkeeping and accounting background preferred. Experience: 1-2 years in bookkeeping or accounting preferred. Proficiency in Word, Excel, Quick Books...