What Are the Required Classes in a Home Health Aide Program?

Though not necessarily required to work as a home health aide, a training program can qualify professionals for certification on the state or federal level and provide the instruction necessary for developing vital skills. Required classes in a home health aide program might include nutrition and residents' rights. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Required Classes in a Home Health Aide Program

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), no formal training or education is required to become a home health aide (www.bls.gov). However, individuals who need certification or want to advance their careers can enroll in a home health aide course or certificate program at a community or junior college. These training programs teach students the basics of patient care, and most fulfill state and/or federal licensing requirements. The length and cost of a home health aide program will vary by institution, as will the classes required. Courses typically included are the following:

  • Ethics and safety
  • Basic nursing skills
  • Nutrition
  • Communication
  • Residents' rights

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $21,380
Entry-Level Education Less than high school
Job Outlook (2012-22)48% (Much faster than average)
Work Environment Client's home, small group home, or larger care communities

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Working as a Home Health Aide

Home health aides care for elderly, disabled or recuperative patients, either in their homes or extended care facilities. Some home health aides work independently, while others are employed by home health agencies. Certification requirements vary by state, although individuals working for patients who receive Medicare reimbursement must meet certain federal guidelines.

Nurses, social workers or other medical personal supervise home health aides who work for agencies. Home health aides must record tasks they've performed and the condition of their patients. They also help patients get in and out of bed, bathe and perform basic physical therapy exercises. They provide moral and emotional support and might complete the following duties:

  • Administering medication
  • Recording vital signs
  • Giving massages
  • Changing non-sterile dressings
  • Assisting with braces

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