HOME HEALTH AIDE: All You Need to Know

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If you have a parent or spouse getting close to retirement age, there are chances that at some point you’ll be in need of a home health aide. This is because home health aide provides valuable services for those who need medical care and attention in between periodic visits to their primary healthcare provider. Also, home health aides assist those with disabilities and people recovering at home following surgical procedures. This is done after they have undergone training and certification. Read on to learn more about home health aide and its job description.

What is a Home Health Aide?

Home health aides are healthcare workers trained to provide basic care like checking for signs, and observing the physical and psychological well-being of people who are unable to care for themselves at home. Hiring a home health aide is less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as the care you get in a hospital or skilled nursing facility because they spend the majority of their time in their patients’ homes.

When to Seek a Home Health Aide

Signs to look out for before seeking a home health aide for yourself or your loved ones include:

  • Leaving the stove on
  • Wandering away from home
  • Not eating regularly or nutritiously
  • Not bathing regularly
  • Falling frequently or having difficulty walking without help
  • Not driving safely to doctors’ offices or other appointments
  • Not preparing simple meals

You might be discouraged by those who say they don’t want or need help. Every situation is unique and everyone’s needs are different, but when you feel your loved one can’t be safe without help, discuss the options and allow the recipient of the care to help determine what he or she is most comfortable doing.

Home Health Aide Certificate

A home health aide certificate is one that provides individuals with the training to care for people with chronic health conditions and disabilities. Home health aide workers who get their certification learn how to provide care, supervision, and support within the homes of their patients. Regardless of the number of hours required for certification by your state, during this time you will learn to:

  • Monitor and record patient vital signs and food intake
  • Communicate patient health changes to a supervisor or case manager
  • Provide patient care such as bathing, dressing, and feeding
  • Track and administer patient medication
  • Care for infections and wounds
  • Perform patient chores like washing dishes, vacuuming, and folding laundry
  • Transport patients to medical appointments
  • Provide companionship to patients, listen to their stories, and give emotional support

How to Get Your Home Health Aide Certification

Although not required for all jobs, a certificate proves you can understand and apply essential skills as a health care provider. In essence, certification makes your job search easier as your credentials attract potential employers. Here are five steps you can take to get your home health aide certification:

#1. Take a Training Course

Before taking a certification exam, home health aides must complete training from an accredited institution. If you work for an organization connected to Medicaid or Medicare, you must complete a state-approved program to complete your training and end-of-program evaluation. 

#2. Pass the Written Exam

Once you receive training as a home health aide, your next step is to take a written certification exam. The test includes 60 to 70 questions covering 13 core topics, such as patient care and vital signs. You get 90 minutes to complete the test and earn a passing score of 70% to 80%, depending on your testing state.

#3. Complete the Practical Skills Exam

It’s time to take a practical skills exam that tests three to six skills, which the exam moderators pick randomly. The exam tests skills like checking vital signs and bathing patients and takes about 25 to 30 minutes to complete. You can pass with a 70% to 80% score, depending on the state where you write your test.

#4. Get listed in the HHA Registry

Once you pass your home health aide exam, contact a registry to record your certification. The United States Department of Health and Human Services controls this registry. After you contact this department to record your passing score, you can legally use your certification on resumes and job applications.

#5. Advance Your Career

While there are many possible pathways, your skills, and compassion can be easily transferred to other, higher-paying clinical roles. You can become a private-duty health aide by building a client base. If this is something you’re interested in, discuss this with any of your current clients that you want to continue working with. Also, you can pursue additional training and certifications while working for an HHA agency.

Best Home Health Aide Certification Programs

  • Best certificate Overall: Penn Foster:
  • Ashworth College: best home health aide certificate
  • Best for Starting a Business: American Caregiver Association
  • Best for Certified Nursing Assistants: Southern Technical Institute
  • Best Intensive Course: CareerStep
  • Best for Assisted Living: Cornerstone Healthcare Training

Factors to Consider for Home Health Aide Certification Program

The best course to take for a home health aide certificate as a student. Several factors play a role, including: 

#1. Money

Determine how much money you can put toward your HHA education. Most courses are relatively low-cost compared to other healthcare education programs, with the high end sitting around $1,200 and the low end at just $100.

#2. Time

If you need to start working fast, consider finding a multi-day, in-person course near you. This way, you can meet the 75-hour class time requirement quickly. If you have more time, a self-paced, online course might be a better fit and allow for more flexibility.

#3. Prerequisites

Some HHA training programs require minimal prerequisites, such as a high school diploma. Some courses don’t have any prerequisites, while some advanced or topical courses require more than a high school diploma. 

#4. Course Format

Decide whether you want to take an online course, learn in person, or do a combination. This is one of the first factors to consider when researching home health aide certification programs. 

#5. Career Opportunities

Does the outcome of the program set you up for job placement in the type of environment you want to work in? For instance, if you want to be a home health aide who specializes in critical illnesses, make sure to consider that in your search criteria. 

Training Home Health Aide

No formal education is required to become a home health aide, according to the BLS. Some form of training is required in most states, especially if the aide is hired by an agency that receives payment from Medicare or Medicaid. Therefore, individuals who need certification or want to advance their careers can enroll in a home health aide course or certificate program at a community or junior college.

These training opportunities teach students the basics of patient care and most fulfill state and/or federal licensing requirements. The training program contains other aspects of learning but must contain the following:

  • A minimum of 75 hours as follows: an appropriate number of hours of classroom instruction; and a minimum of 16 hours of clinical experience, which will include in-home training and must be conducted in a home, hospital, nursing home, or laboratory;
  • Completion of at least 16 hours of classroom training before a home health aide begins clinical experience working directly with clients under the supervision of qualified instructors.
  • An assessment that shows the trainee knows how to read and write English and can carry out directions

What You Will Learn in Home Health Aide Training?

 You’ll receive training on:

  • Basic personal care needs, such as how to give all kinds of baths and showers
  • Other types of personal care, such as mouth care
  • Basic medical signs and symptoms
  • Basic vital signs, such as taking temperature and pulse
  • Infection control (including required HIV/AIDS training)
  • Preventing accidents and emergencies
  • Mental health awareness
  • Assisting with personal care needs
  • Observation and medical charting skill
  • Fire safety and disaster preparedness

At the end of your home health aide training, you will sit for a certification exam. In addition to being tested on your knowledge, you also have to demonstrate what you’ve learned. In some cases, the training can be a full day where you’re observed doing various baths, making a bed, and transferring a patient, and you’re given scores on how you’ve done. 

Home Health Aide Services

Home health aide services are those assignments that are provided to a patient by a home health aide under the direction of a certified nurse or therapist, as stated in their job description. For instance, health care tasks, personal hygiene services, housekeeping essential to the patient’s health, and other related supportive services are in agreement with a plan of treatment. Some of the home health aide services are:

  • Assistance with planning and preparing meals 
  • Grocery shopping so you are not left without your favorite items or essentials
  • Bed changing and keeping on top of your laundry
  • Housekeeping tasks so that you don’t lose pride in your home
  • Running errands so that everything outside your home gets done
  • Feeding and caring for your pet (if you have one)
  • Skilled therapies (physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology)

Types of Home Health Aide Services 

Below are the several types:

#1. Hospital Discharge/Post-Operative Assistance 

When you or a loved one is discharged from the hospital following an illness, injury, or surgery, having home health aide services can greatly benefit your recovery process and help reduce your chance of re-admittance. They assist with transferring, bathing, medication reminders, range-of-motion exercises, moral support, and more.  

#2. Personal & Companionship Care 

Socialization and companionship are scientifically proven to enhance one’s health and promote well-being. Even if you or your loved one is able to complete your day-to-day activities without assistance, our home health aides can provide socialization and emotional support. 

#3. Dementia Monitoring

They provide complete, in-home monitoring for those experiencing early signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s. They are familiar with the different stages of these illnesses and possess the necessary skills to safely and effectively handle any challenges or behavioral issues that may arise. Equally important, all activities are planned to stimulate one’s mental function and memory, and may include listening to music, completing art projects, and looking through photo albums. 

#4. Leisure Care

Their services provide the opportunity for your elderly loved one to remain independent in a familiar environment with as few disturbances to their everyday practice as possible. For instance, when a family member or caregiver of a dependent elderly person requires a short-term break from their at-home health care duties, our respite cares will visit your loved one in their home so you can take a temporary leave of absence from your health care responsibilities without worry. Their services provide the opportunity for your elderly loved one to remain independent in a familiar environment with as few disruptions to their everyday routine as possible.  

#5. Home Health Aides and Skilled Nursing Care Together

Personal and companionship care provided by home health aides and skilled care provided by a nurse is not mutually exclusive services. Many families find that using these services together is often the best choice, especially after a patient returns home following a hospital stay for illness or surgery. 

Who Does a Home Health Aide Work with?

Home health aides work in clients’ homes, and personal care workers assist people of all ages, from newborns to the elderly. They typically work with Registered Nurses to ensure their patients receive the attention and care they need.

Home Health Aide Job Description

Understanding everything that’s involved is an essential part of evaluating if this is the right job to pursue and if your strengths, skills, and interests align with what’s expected in the job description with a few sentences highlighting the things that make your opportunity unique and the value you can bring to new hires therefore in order to have a well-detailed home health aide job description for a home health aide it should contain the duties, skills, and basic requirements. Thus they include,


  • Provide health care services in patients’ residences
  • Perform domestic and household tasks
  • Transport and accompany patients to doctor’s appointment
  • Administer simple prescribed medications
  • Assist with clients’ personal care activities
  • Monitor patients (vital signs, temperature, respiration, etc.) and report on their condition
  • Maintain patient’s care records and document services provided.
  • Assist patients with mobility and physical therapies and exercises
  • Instruct and counsel patients and families on diet and exercise
  • Collect routine specimens

Requirements and Skills:

  • Creating a safe, effective environment
  • Health promotion and maintenance
  • Nursing Skills
  • Health care administration
  • Patient services
  • Verbal communication
  • Listening
  • Training
  • Dependability
  • Emotional control
  • Medical teamwork
  • Familiarity with basic nutrition

What Is the Work of a Home Health Aide?

Helps patients by doing things like cleaning their homes, doing their laundry, going grocery shopping, cooking and serving meals, and doing errands. Offers help with daily activities like bathing, clothing, and grooming for patients.

What Is the Full Form of HHA in Hospital?

The Home Health Aide (HHA) program prepares students to work as home aides who provide basic nursing and personal care to patients, the elderly, and those with disabilities.

What Is the Full Form of HCA in Nursing?

The primary role of a health care aide (HCA) is to offer direct care to patients who are ill, old, or disabled. They help patients with personal care tasks include washing, grooming, dressing, and using the restroom. They may assist patients with eating, exercising, or even taking their prescriptions.

What Is the Full Form of Nursing Aide?

Certified nursing assistants are also known as nursing assistants, nurse’s aides, and patient care assistants. CNAs work closely with patients and nurses, assisting with the numerous physical and complex responsibilities associated with patient care. Turning or transporting patients is one of their responsibilities.


Home health aide workers are important because they help people remain independent for as long as possible. You will provide assistance with daily activities that many people take for granted. Also, having a home health aide can reduce stress and worry for family members and friends who are helping with care for patients.


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