In a home health care aide training program, students spend classroom time working under the direct supervision of registered nurses. They learn about basic patient care concepts and medical terminology, also gaining hands-on, clinical experience in these areas. Patients may sometimes need lifting, and programs might include physical fitness as an admissions requirement. Students should choose an accredited educational program that provides the knowledge necessary to qualify for certification.
Some community colleges and vocational schools require that applicants to a home health aide training program have a high school diploma or GED. Others simply require that prospective students prove at least a 9th-grade reading level by passing a competency examination before they begin classes. Applicants should also have a strong interest in helping others, and should be physically fit enough to lift patients if necessary.
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Home Health Care Aide Training Program
Home health care aides work directly in patients' homes, providing assistance with grooming, diet and medication administration. Students of certificate programs for home health care aides are expected to graduate knowing how to perform basic patient care tasks. Classroom study typically covers the following:
- Basic medical terminology
- Life support technology
- Introduction to health care
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), home health aides have a much faster than average projected job growth rate of 38%, from 2014-2024. As of May 2015, their average annual salary was $22,870.
Continuing Certification Information
The majority of home health aides receive at least 75 hours of preparatory training, then take a state-supported certification examination. Federal regulations mandate this certification for aides caring for patients whose home care is paid through Medicare or Medicaid. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) also offers voluntary national certification. Individuals must either complete at least 75 hours of training or prove that they have completed a certificate program to receive the Home Care Aide Certification.
Through a combination of classroom training and clinical experience, students learn basic patient care techniques and basic medical concepts. Graduates are well-prepared to take a professional certification exam before entering this field of work.