Home health aides (HHA) provide health, safety and personal grooming assistance to clients in their homes or in residential settings. While these workers generally learn on the job, formal training and/or state certification may be required. Prior to getting into most HHA training certificate programs, individuals must first complete nursing assistant training and be a certified nursing assistant (CNA). To become certified as either a HHA or a nursing assistant involves meeting training requirements as well as passing exams and potential background checks. HHA training certificate programs are often a semester or less in duration, and these programs include lectures and hands-on training.
HHA courses teach students about the following topics:
- Recording vital signs
- Personal care tasks
- Patient companionship
- Medication distribution
- Patient nutrition
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List of Course Topics
HHA Role and Responsibilities
Within the program, students learn about their duties and the types of patients they will be working with. Since most HHA workers are assigned to disabled, convalescent, or elderly patients, students will receive an overview of these particular patient populations and their needs. There will also be a discussion about health care agencies that employ HHAs.
Instructors will elaborate on HHA duties as they relate to patient care. While patients may need medical-related assistance, such as receiving medications, having bandages changed, or needing help using the bathroom, there are other aspects of patient care that HHAs must know. For example, students will learn that patient care may also involve performing light housework, providing patients with emotional support, assisting with personal care chores, and cooking nutritious foods.
As many students within these programs are already CNAs, this part of the training program will build on that pre-existing emergency responder knowledge. Students will get a refresher on how to observe patients, spot signs of emergencies, adhere to safety procedures, control infectious diseases, and perform other emergency responder techniques.
Clinical experience is a major part of HHA training certificate programs. Students will be assigned patients to work with at nursing facilities or other locations. During the clinical experience students will be supervised, and students must complete a certain amount of hours of training as set by their program or state standards.