A Rewarding Career for People Who Want to Help Others
Are you looking for a job in the medical field, and enjoy caring for others, but you have very little education, training or experience? Are you patient and calm during stress? Are you comfortable around people who are ill, disabled or elderly? If you answered yes to these questions, you may be able to get a job within weeks as a home healthcare care professional.
Aide Job Description
Health aide duties include driving to private homes and taking care of seriously ill, disabled or elderly patients. The health aide's job may require them to check vital signs, and give medication, as well as bathe, groom and move their patients. They need to be able to keep careful records of the patient's progress, and quickly report back to the doctor any changes that they observe. They also need to be able to recognize signs of distress or serious complications, and call for an ambulance or other assistance, when appropriate.
Where Do Healthcare Aides Work?
Aide services typically involve working in private residences for about 40 hours a week. However, those hours may be on a Monday through Friday daytime schedule, or they could be in the evening, overnight, or on weekends. When they are responsible for the care of a seriously ill or elderly patient, they may sometimes work a 24 hour shift for a few days each week, alternating with other home health aides. However, this is rare.
In other situations, these important healthcare workers may visit several different homes a day. In this case, they are usually paid only for the hours they are working in each home, not for their travel time.
Healthcare Aide Requirements
Becoming a home care aide requires at least a high school diploma and, in most places, they are required to complete about 75 hours of in-class education, and spend about 16 hours getting clinical experience caring for a home care patient under the supervision of a nurse. Once the home aide applicant has completed this work, they can take the exam for their state. Upon passing, they will receive full certification and be able to work in patients' homes.
Depending on your location, home healthcare aide schools offer classes that can be completed in as little as three weeks. In the class, the students are taught personal hygiene, how to safely lift and move patients, how to read vital signs and record the results, basic patient nutrition, and how to prevent and control infections.
You can use this link to find more helpful information in the Amazon book: Home Health Aid - On the Job Companion. It contains useful information that will help you take good care of your patients. The book can even be purchased used, to save you money when you are first starting out.
Because the demand for health care workers is so high, the classes are offered free by some healthcare agencies. For example, in New York City an agency called Fedcap has a three-week, tuition free program that only asks the students to pay a $40 book fee. Your local home nurse agency can let you know if this program is available in your area. You may also see these programs advertised in local newspapers and online help wanted ads.
In some cases, the high school diploma requirement is even waived if the person is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; 18 years old or older; can read, write and speak fluent English; can read at a sixth grade level or higher; has no felony convictions; and can pass a drug screening test.
In addition to their training, home healthcare aides or nursing aides need to be very reliable, since people are usually extremely dependent upon them. As a result, it is important that they be in good health themselves. They also have to enjoy helping others.
How Much Does a Healthcare Aide Earn?
According to Indeed.com, people who work as aides in the health care industry earn a little over $28,000 a year. If they obtain work through a heath care placement or employment agency, they are likely to earn the most money.
If you hope to find a rewarding job in a hurry, and you enjoy working with people who need physical care, becoming a home health aide may be the perfect career for you!
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