Baby boomers are on the brink of retirement. As they move into their senior years, the demand for healthcare services is expected to rise. While many of these individuals will seek out the care provided in assisted living centers and nursing homes, others will choose to remain in their homes as long as possible. Their success will be highly dependent on the home health services available to help them remain in their home. You can be part of the solution to this critical problem by taking the steps today to become a home health aide.
Become a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA)
Before you can work as a home health aide, you must first become certified as a nurse aide. CNAs perform many of the same tasks as a home health aide, but they work in nursing homes, assisted living centers, hospitals, physician offices and other medical facilities. Becoming a CNA requires completing a short educational program generally lasting a few weeks or months. After completing the course, CNAs take the certification exam given by their state to receive their license as a CNA and begin working in medical facilities.
Enroll in a Home Health Aide Course
After receiving your CNA license, find out what home health aide courses are available in your community. Check with local community colleges, technical schools and career training institutes to learn if they have any home health aide classes available. If you're having trouble finding one, reach out to home health agencies and learn what entities they know of that offer this course in your area. Know that you'll need to provide a copy of your CNA card when enrolling in the home health aide course as this a prerequisite.
Learn Home Health Skills
Build on the knowledge obtained in your CNA class while learning how these skills apply to caring for someone in their home. Understand as a home health aide you need self-discipline and self-motivation since your supervisor won't always be at a client's home with you in the event you have a question or a problem.
Take the Licensing Exam
After completing your home health aide course and receiving a passing grade, register to take the licensing exam in your state for home health aides. Know what the minimum score is that you need to achieve for licensing, and ensure you get this by studying and reviewing home health aide information and content during the few weeks prior to the date of the exam.
Apply for a License
Apply for a home health aide license with your state once you receive your scores from the licensing exam. Complete an application, pay a licensing fee, provide proof of passing the home health aide course and submit fingerprints and authorization for the state to conduct a criminal background check on you.
Apply for Jobs
After you receive your home health aide license, begin searching for open positions in your community. Use popular career websites for lists of open positions, or contact home health agencies to learn of any unadvertised openings they have. You also may be able to find jobs through other medical organizations or private individuals who need assistance in their home.