Home health aides are an essential part of the healthcare world. They are often the first point of contact for patients and families, providing one-on-one care to those that need it most. There are many reasons to consider a home health aide career, from a positive job outlook to making a difference in people’s lives.
What is a Home Health Aide?
Home health aides (HHA) help patients with disabilities, chronic illness, cognitive impairment, and the elderly with daily living activities and some medical care. The assistance you provide helps these people safely live in their own homes with dignity.
As a home health aide, you will help patients with everyday tasks such as:
- Bathing and grooming
- Meals and eating
- Light housekeeping
- Checking and documenting vital signs
- Providing medical treatments following instructions from a doctor or nurse
Why begin a home health aide career?
There are many reasons to become an HHA. Here are five key motives that you may consider:
1. Job outlook is excellent
Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics paints a positive picture for aspiring home health and personal care aides. Job growth for these occupations is projected to grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the 8% average growth for all fields.
The average home health aide salary is $28,060 per year, with opportunities to make more depending on the state or region where you work.
2. It’s an excellent way to start your career in healthcare
Entering the home healthcare field is relatively easy. Home health aides usually need only a high school diploma or equivalent education, and your employer often provides training. To become a certified HHA, you will likely need to complete formal training and pass an exam. However, this training is usually completed in a matter of weeks.
Working as an HHA can be an entry point into the healthcare field. Many HHAs become nurses or other healthcare professionals, building on the skills and knowledge they’ve gained on the job.
3. You can connect with your patients
Home health aides often work closely with just a few patients. This makes it easier to get to know each patient and potentially connect with them on a personal level. You can gain unique insights into a patient’s life through your home visits and may also get to know their family this way. Though you are primarily there to provide them with practical and medical help, you may also support their mental health by providing company and companionship.
4. You’re an essential part of the healing process
The recovery and healing process is complex. Your role is to assist with this process, which is more than just giving medications or dressing wounds. Helping patients remain in their own homes can provide a sense of normalcy during a difficult time. You might become a trusted confidant, a shoulder to cry on, or a bright spot in their day! All of this together could help them recover and even improve their wellbeing.
5. You can make a real impact in families’ lives
Caring for a loved one, though important, is also challenging. Home health aides often support more than just the patient, becoming an essential part of their family’s lives as well. You may give a spouse, parent, or child time to relax and focus on their wellbeing, knowing that their loved one is in professional and caring hands. This can be life-changing for family caregivers and those they love.
Home health aides are a source of strength for patients and families wanting to create a sense of normalcy despite injury, illness, or permanent disability. The reasons for becoming an HHA are never-ending, but those seeking a home health aide career are uniquely placed to impact patients’ lives in many positive ways.
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