Skip to Main Content

What Is a Home Health Aide and How to Become One

Home Health Aide

What Are Home Health Aides?

Home health aides (HHAs) are trained health care professionals who assist patients with personal tasks such as taking medication, eating, bathing, dressing, cleaning and other care activities. HHAs work in the homes of patients or clients. They may work with one person all day, or have multiple clients, depending on the needs of the patients. Duties of a home health aide may vary day to day and patient by patient. They may include house cleaning, preparing meals, and taking vitals.

How to Become a Home Health Aide

A home health aide (HHA) must have excellent bedside manners and a sincere interest in assisting patients. The qualifications to become an HHA vary by state and the patient’s health insurer. Certification may involve on-the-job training, formal training, and a competency exam. Training may be provided by the employer. Courses or programs are available from vocational schools, nursing schools, and online.

How Long Is Home Health Aide Training?

Home health aide training is very attainable for those interested in entering a career in the health care field. Depending on the state and the patient’s health insurer, HHAs may need some training and certification, which can usually be completed within one semester.

Is Being a Home Health Aide a Good Job?

Being a home health aide (HHA) is a good job for individuals who enjoy working with people and assisting them with their basic needs. HHAs are tasked with a broad range of responsibilities depending on the patient and the setting. There is a high demand for home health aides, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which continues to increase much faster than the average for other occupations due to the aging population. Jobs are readily available for home health aides with training.

What Do Home Health Aides Wear?

Home health aides wear clean and professional clothing, which allows them freedom of movement. Specific types of clothing may be required, depending on the employer. Many home health aides wear medical scrubs with comfortable shoes or sneakers. Other home health aides are required by their employers to wear an apron, jacket, or company uniform to present a consistent and professional look. Some can wear their street clothes. Home health aides generally wear minimal jewelry.

Home Health Aide Job Description Sample

With this Home Health Aide job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Home Health Aide role.

Job Summary

We are looking for compassionate, respectful, and caring home health aide to join our growing team of caregivers. As a home health aide for our agency, you will provide essential services to homebound elderly clients or patients with disabilities, a chronic illness, or other health issues. Our ideal candidate is patient, independent, and self-sufficient, who enjoys taking care of others.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work in client homes to provide routine personalized care under the supervision of a registered nurse
  • Monitor the patient's health and maintain up-to-date records of the patient's physical and mental condition
  • Discuss patient progress with the case manager or supervisor; adjust patient care plan as needed
  • Provide routine basic care: administer medication, dress and bandage wounds, check the patient's pulse, temperature, and oxygen levels
  • Direct the patient in prescribed exercises
  • Assist the patient with personal care including bathing, dressing, grooming, and eating
  • Help the patient in and out of bed, the bathroom, chairs and wheelchairs, and cars
  • Perform simple housekeeping tasks: change bed linens, do laundry, tidy rooms
  • Handle chores like grocery shopping and food preparation
  • Make efforts to keep the patient engaged mentally through conversation, games, and other forms of entertainment
  • Accompany the patient to doctor visits and other outings; assist with or provide transportation

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school or general equivalency diploma required
  • Preference will be given to candidates with certification from a recognized home health aide program or an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in health administration, medical assisting, nursing, psychology, or a related field
  • Comfortable providing medical care in close physical proximity to patients
  • Exceptional interpersonal communication skills
  • Empathy for the hardship experienced by the patient and the patient's family
  • Ability to maintain composure with patients who present challenging behavior