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Home Health Aide Job Description

If you are considering a new career in the healthcare industry as an aide, our job description of a home health aide will help you determine that you are making the right career choice.

The healthcare industry can be a hard career path to break into, especially if you do not have a lot of time or money, an advanced education, or job experience.

That’s not a problem if you want to become a home health aide. Little or no training or formal education is required to become an aide, and many agencies will offer free HHA training.

Furthermore, the need of aides and in-home healthcare is rapidly increasing due to the aging population and the rise in healthcare expenses, so becoming a HHA is the perfect entry-level healthcare position to help you get your foot into the door.

Job Description Overview

Home health aides play a crucial role in today’s society. They are hired to assist people who are disabled, chronically ill, and elderly helping the patient maintain to a high quality of life.home health aide job description

By assisting the patient with their daily living activities, also known as ADLs, aides help allow those who would otherwise need a higher level of care the opportunity to live on their own.

Your goal or mission, as health aide, is to help your patient maintain as much independence as possible while creating a safe clean environment and by respecting your patient’s privacy at all times.

Typical Job Duties

Your job duties and responsibilities will depend on what your patient’s specific needs are and also depends where and who you are working for.

This means that there will be a broad range of duties you will be carrying out as an HHA. Because the home health aide job description contains a wide variety of duties, we have compiled a short list of common HHA job duties and responsibilities for you below divided in to four parts – personal care, medical care, housekeeping, and other duties.

  • Personal Care – Bathing, oral hygiene, dressing, skincare, grooming, feeding, and toileting.
  • Medical Care – Monitoring vital signs, changing bandages, administering medications, and helping with physical rehabilitation.
  • Housekeeping – Cooking, shopping, laundry, changing bedding, and light cleaning.
  • Other HHA Duties – Offer companionship, educate patient and family, documentation of patient’s health, and transportation.

Work Environment and Schedule

Aides will work directly for a patient and their family, or they will work for a healthcare agency.

Aides will typically work alone right in a patients home and will be supervised by a nurse or other medical professionals. The supervising nurse will give the aide specific and detailed instructions on how to care for each patient. In some cases, an aide may work in a residential facility taking care of more than one patient at a time throughout their work shift.

These healthcare industries employed the most aides in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • 37% – Home health care services
  • 31% – Residential care facilities
  • 18% – Individual, family, community, and vocational rehabilitation services

Just like any job, the schedule of a HHA can vary depending on their work situation. Most aides will work a normal 40 hour week but some may work part-time, evenings, weekends, overtime, and holidays.

The job description of a home health aide can be very physically and emotionally demanding. Work days will consist of long work hours on your feet along and the likelihood of heavy lifting and other physical tasks, and also the possibility of some emotional stress when working with an unpleasant patient.

Both the physical and emotional demands of being a HHA can be a little daunting, but if you have a positive attitude and passion to help people, you’ll do great.

Person Qualities and Skills

First of all, interpersonal qualities are very important to have if you want to become a HHA. Not only will these personal qualities help meet your patient’s needs, it will also help you work and communicate better with your colleagues.

All successful HHAs will be:

  • Honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Compassionate
  • Genuine
  • Patient
  • Respectful

Just try to think about how you would want your family member to be treated if they were in your patient’s shoes, and that is the way you should always treat your patient.

Secondly, aside from having great personal qualities you, also need to posses these skills to become a successful HHA:

  • Must have great communication.
  • Must be detailed oriented.
  • Must have time management skills.
  • Must be in good physical condition.
  • Must have a good work ethic.
  • Must be dependable.
  • Must be responsible and reliable.
  • Must be a good listener.
  • Must be able to be clean, neat, mature, and professional.

Salary and Job Outlook

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a home health aide in May of 2013 was $22,050. This comes out to about $10.60 per hour with a 40 hour work week.

We have great news for you. The job outlook and employment security for an aide is looking excellent for years to come. In the next decade, there will be an estimated 424,200 home health aide positions created.

We hope that our job description of a home health aide has given you a better understanding about what goes on in the daily life of a HHA. If you are passionate about helping people and have a positive attitude, we guarantee you’ll have a successful and rewarding career as a HHA.

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