Home health aides
provide personal and homemaking services to elderly, convalescent, and
disabled persons. They usually perform their services in the patient’s
home. Some duties that are performed by home health aides include checking
pulse and respiration rates, helping with prescribed exercises, changing
surgical dressings, providing emotional and psychological support, and
giving prescribed medications. They are required to maintain accurate and
up-to-date records of services provided and the progress of the patient.
Home health aides may also be called upon to assist with activities of
daily living, which include helping patients in and out of bed, getting
them dressed and undressed, assisting with personal hygiene, purchasing
and preparing meals, changing bed linens, and other household chores. Most
home health aides work with elderly and disabled patients, who require
more help than family and friends can provide. Specific assignments and
duties are usually given by a home health agency, a registered nurse,
physical therapist, or social worker. Some home health aides may work with
one patient for months or years, but the majority of aides work with
several patients at any given time. Individuals in this profession often
perform unpleasant duties, such as emptying bedpans and changing soiled
linens, but most aides gain a great deal of satisfaction from helping
people in need.
Home health aides
mostly work independently in the client’s home. They work under the
supervision of a licensed nurse, social worker, or other health
professional. They are usually employed by a home health agency, and
typically work a 40-hour workweek although part-time positions are
available. Because some patients require 24-hour care, nights and weekend
are sometimes required.
High School Preparation:
students interested in becoming a home health aide should take courses in
biology, algebra, family living, English, computer skills, child care,
health occupations/medical professions education, home economics, physical
education, and nurse aide training.
interested in becoming a home health aide should have a high school
diploma or the equivalent. Many states require that aides be licensed as a
Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). In Mississippi, home health aides are
required to pass an annual physical examination and have a negative
tuberculin (TB) test. Other considerations for employment are a valid
driver’s license and personal transportation.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study click here.
opportunities for home health aides are expected to grow faster than the
average for all other occupations. Over the next eight years job openings
will increase by 20% - 35%. As the baby-boom generation becomes
increasingly older, demand for home health personnel will skyrocket.
Another reason for a rise in employment opportunities is that hospitals
and nursing homes are trying to keep costs down by moving patients out of
these primary care facilities and into their own home. Consumer preference
for care in the home is another reason for such growth in this sector.
Association for Home Care
228 7th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Phone: (202) 547-7424
Fax: (202) 547-3540
Association for Homecare
P. O. Box 1468