If you’re looking for a career working hands-on with patients in the medical field but you don’t have the time or money to train to become a nurse, one option is to become a certified home health aide. To become a certified home health aide, you don’t necessarily need education beyond a high school diploma or equivalent. One thing you will need to do, get certified through a training program. At the end of your 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, it 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. 

Many seniors prefer the comfort of staying in their homes to a nursing home, and home health aide services allow them, or anyone else with chronic illnesses or impairments, to remain safe and healthy in a comfortable, familiar space. Becoming certified as a home health aide is increasingly important for getting a job. Many states will require it because it tends to mean that you have received additional training. A certification allows Home Care Aide to take on more responsibilities so that they can learn more on the job. To be certified first enroll in a training program which is typically offered online, hybrid or in-person. 

Do your research to find a training program that works for you. Most training programs require a high school diploma or GED. Consider whether a program fits your schedule, what their graduation rates are, whether it’s within your budget, and if it aligns with your state requirements. Then, enroll in the one that best suits your needs. Through your training program, you can expect to learn patient care skills such as, monitoring signs, administering medications, maintaining bedside manner and offering emotional support, communicating patient health with supervisors, assisting with personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding patients, assisting with household chores, such as washing dishes, doing laundry, and light cleaning. Second, get certified. After you receive your training, you’ll be eligible to take the certification exam, which comprises written and practical skills portions. For the written exam, it consists of 60 to 70 questions about 13 topics. You’ll have 90 minutes to complete the test. You’ll need a score of 70 to 80 percent to pass, depending on the state. For the practical skills exam, It consists of three to six skills chosen by the exam moderators. Each skill can take 25 to 30 minutes to complete. You’ll need a score of 70 to 80 percent to pass, depending on the state. 

After passing the exam, Home Care Aide can contact a registry to prove and record the certification with the US Department of Health and Human Services. Then, you’ll be able to use this certification on your resume and for job applications. You might be interested in the next steps for a home health aide. While there are many possible pathways, your skills and compassion can be easily transferable to other, higher-paying clinical roles. And lastly, you could pursue becoming a private duty health aide by building a client base. If this is something you’re interested in, you could discuss this with any of your current clients that you want to continue working with. You can pursue additional training and certifications while working for an Home Care Aide agency. 

Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can be in your future. You’ll need additional certifications for these roles. You could even enroll in nursing school to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Your experience as an Home Care Aide provides a solid foundation for any of these careers. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the future job outlook for certified home health aides is excellent and will continue to grow. The projected percent change in employment from 2020 to 2030 was 33%, which is considered much faster than the average for all occupations. Not only is this a field where there’s ample work, but if you love your job as a certified home health aide and want to get paid more, this will help you advance your career and bridge it to a higher level in the healthcare industry.

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