Home health aides are in high demand, with job growth expected to increase 33% by 2030 (according to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). It’s also an excellent way to kickstart a career in healthcare. You can begin working rather quickly and transfer your skills and knowledge to nursing or other medical professions if you continue your study.
There may be many options for getting trained as a home health aide (HHA) in your area but paying for them can be a major roadblock. Fortunately, there are options to receive free home health aide training in most parts of the country. These alternatives can help you achieve your dream of becoming an HHA without breaking the bank to do it!
Five Ways to Get Free Home Health Aide Training
This home health training guide will cover five ways to receive free HHA training in the United States and what to look for in a program.
1. Home Health Agencies
Many home health agencies offer free training to prospective candidates. Typically, you will be required to work for the agency once your training is complete and you are certified. This arrangement offers you some job security, and the agency gets a return on its investment.
Agencies will often hold informational sessions to provide more details about their program. They may also review your qualifications and enroll you in the program on the spot. Otherwise, program information and applications are usually available on their website.
Strict attendance is typically enforced by the agency. This allows them to offer an accelerated course that gets you trained, certified, and into the workforce in weeks. It also helps them weed out unsuitable candidates who are not dedicated to becoming an HHA.
2. Community Colleges
Many community colleges also have home health aide training programs. Coursework covers everything you need to know while working in the role and prepares you to take the certification exam. Community colleges charge tuition and enrollment fees, but financial aid and scholarships could potentially cover your entire expense.
You may be eligible for financial aid depending on the size of your school, the length of the training program, and the type of credits you will earn while studying. Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to determining your eligibility for Pell grants and other forms of monetary aid.
Scholarships are another option to consider. Your school’s admissions and/or financial aid offices may have lists of scholarships provided by local government offices or businesses that you may qualify for. These might take into consideration your academic merit as well as your financial need.
3. Local Community Resources
Another option to receive free home health aide training is through community resources such as local government offices, workplace training centers, and non-profits. These agencies often have an intimate understanding of the communities needs when it comes to healthcare and connecting potential trainees to free training programs. You may decide to contact these offices, as well as others:
- State Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) – Local government offices like the DSHS connect people with resources to help them succeed financially and socially. Training in the in-demand healthcare sector is one way they achieve this goal. You may be eligible for free DSHS caregiver training, particularly if you qualify for food benefits or other financial assistance.
- State Department of Labor Services – Your local labor and industry service department will work with unemployed or underemployed workers to get them back into the workforce. This may include free home health aide training to help you begin a new career.
- State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation – Individuals with disabilities may qualify for free home health aide training through their local vocational rehab agency. These offices help get people back into the workforce, which may include funding your training.
4. National Resources
Many national organizations are also working to fill the need for skilled home health aides. They may be able to help you find suitable free training in your area. Here are two examples of charities and companies that you can contact for assistance:
- The American Red Cross – While traditionally focused on emergency and safety training, the Red Cross may offer free home health aide training in your area or be able to put you in touch with an organization that does.
- Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) – PHI works with government agencies and private companies to offer quality disability services and eldercare training across the country. They may have a free home health aide training program in your area.
5. Reimbursement Programs
Hopefully, you will qualify for one of the above programs to receive free home health aide training. However, if these options are not available to you, a reimbursement plan is another way to cover your training costs.
Though you will need to pay for your education upfront, your employer may be willing to reimburse you for your training. Typically, you will be required to work for them for several years after certification. Contact home health aide agencies in your area to see if they offer training reimbursement for new employees.
What to Look for in a Home Health Training Program
Finding a home health training program that fits your needs and schedule may take some time. As you research your options, you may want to consider the following or ask before enrolling in a program:
- Is this program accredited or state-approved? – An approved training program will typically give you the best chance at employment and avoid the need for re-training in the future.
- How long will it take to complete the training? – Getting certified and into the workforce as quickly as possible may be an important factor.
- Can I train online? – Some coursework may be available through online home health training. However, you will likely need to do some practical training in a classroom or clinical environment.
- Are there any extra costs associated with the training program? – Beyond tuition or enrollment fees, you may need to purchase scrubs, appropriate footwear, textbooks, and classroom supplies for the program. Ask if these can also be paid for or reimbursed.
- Will my certification also be paid for? – After you’ve completed your training, you will need to pass an exam to become a certified home health aide. This will include an exam registration fee and possibly background checks. Ask if the program also covers these expenses.
- Is there a work commitment after I’ve completed the program? – You may be required to work for a specific home health agency after completing your free home health aide training, particularly if the agency provided it.
A full understanding of the training programs available to you, including all expenses and what is expected of you during and after, could help you decide which one is right for you.
Home healthcare is a growing industry in need of skilled and dedicated workers. We hope that this home health training guide provides you with the resources you need to access free training in your area.
BizInsure is proud to help home health aides nationwide find business insurance to protect them on the job. Once you’ve completed your free home health aide training, consider insurance coverage designed for the unique needs of healthcare professionals.