How to Become Certified As a Home Health Aide

If you want to go home after a hard day’s work comfortable in the knowledge that you made at least one person’s life a little bit better, you owe it to yourself to consider becoming a home health aide. Although it’s not the most glamorous job in the world, a home health aide fills a crucial role in our society. These are the people that come to the residence of an elderly, disabled or sick person who cannot get by without assistance and provides the help that allows them to maintain a decent quality of life. They could do everything from bathing their patient to cleaning their home, from cooking dinner to driving them to a relaxing day in the park. It’s a job that requires empathy and patience, and in most cases it also requires education and a specific certification. Here are some tips on how to go about becoming certified as a home health aide.

Becoming a HHA requires a wide variety of skills, but it doesn’t require a ton of education. Most of what it takes to succeed in this field can’t be taught in school and comes through experience, so it’s more about temperament than degrees. You’ve got to be willing to pay attention to detail, to remain calm even in the face of anger or frustration from a difficult patient, and to roll with the punches as necessary. Depending on the type of position you are looking for you can become certified as a home health aide without even a high school diploma. But just to make sure you can pursue all of your future goals, make sure you get that diploma or at least a GED, and then seek out preparatory classes at a technical school or community college.

The training of a home health aide is usually varied, and comes from a wide variety of sources. Some home health aides come at their experience naturally, having taken care of a friend or family member in a similar situation. You can also get hands on experience underneath another HHA, or alongside a certified nurse. Make sure you seek out the formalized training that helps you feel comfortable pursuing this career. After all, it isn’t right for everyone, and it’s best you know what you’re getting yourself into before going out to work with clients. So take related classes, and then shadow a currently working professional. If you’d like to apply for a position with a government-certified agency, they will probably ask that you take on some specific training courses and then pass a simple exam.

The process gets a bit more complicated if you want to go after that certification. Again, a home health aide doesn’t have to be traditionally licensed, but you will have a greater chance of finding a quality job if you go after the certification. Hop on the website for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice to find out the details. You will note there are some differences based on your state of residence, but in generally you’ll be looking at seventy-five hours of required experience followed by a formal exam. Check out if you need some help pursuing your goals.