Home Health Aide Video: Becoming an In-Home Patient Care Professional

Home Health Aide Video: Becoming an In-Home Patient Care Professional Transcript

Millions of elderly and disabled patients are able to live in their homes versus health care facilities because of the assistance that home health aides provide. Under the instruction of a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or social worker, home health aides take temperatures, administer medicines and take care of day-to-day functions for patients.


Home health aides assist disabled or elderly people in continuing to live in their own home. They do this by helping perform daily living tasks and certain health-related services. Most home health aides either work in a home full-time or provide temporary, part-time assistance to people recently discharged from hospitals.

Job Skills and Duties

Home health aides need to be good listeners and capable of standing and moving for hours on end. Most of the jobs done by a home health aide are particular to each home. Instructions must be followed carefully. Aides may assist patients with grooming and dressing, as well as getting them in and out of the bed. Other duties include administering medicine, checking vitals, assisting with exercise or physical therapy and changing dressings.

Training Required

Home health aides are not required to have a high school diploma, though many do. Training is typically obtained on the job. Each home environment is unique, requiring home health aides to adapt to a variety of circumstances. The federal government has specific rules in place for home health aides whose employers receive Medicare reimbursement and require passage of a competency-based test. Some states require aides to be licensed before they can perform certain duties. Many home health aides also elect to seek voluntary certification from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). The NAHC awards certification to aides who can pass three competency-based elements: training, a skills demonstration and a written examination.

Work Environment

Home health aides often work under the supervision of a certified nursing assistant or social worker in home environments. While some home care workers assist a single home, most divide their time between multiple homes. Home health aides can work with a patient for months or even years. Since most patients require care 24 hours a day, many aides work evenings, nights and weekends.


Home health care is a physically and emotionally demanding job. Interested individuals must love working with people and be capable of following explicit instructions. Patience is also key. Successful aides work not only for the pay, but for the joy of assisting those in need.


Bureau of Labor Statistic Occupation Outlook Handbook - Nursing Psychiatric and Home Health Aides


Wikipedia - Home Care


National Association for Homecare and Hospice


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