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What Does a Home Health Aide Do?

Written by Autumn Granza on Monday, 15 June 2020. Posted in Career

Woman taking care of a patient.

Home health aides (HHA) assist patients with day to day tasks. Aides lend a helping hand when it comes to maintaining a patient’s household, buying groceries, running errands, and preparing meals. Additionally, aides may help patients with dressing, grooming, and bathing. They work to ensure their patients are comfortable and cared for.

What is a home health aide?

Home health aides provide care to individuals who may not have the ability to care for themselves, but desire to still live in their homes. Home health aides may assist those with chronic illnesses, disabilities, learning impairments, and the elderly. Helping patients with daily activities and ensuring their well-being is the main responsibility of HHA. Under the supervision of a healthcare professional, aides may also distribute medication or check their patient’s vital signs.

What are the main responsibilities of a home health aide?

The job responsibilities of home health aides may vary slightly by client, however, their duty is to support their patient. The main responsibilities of an HHA include

  • Housekeeping. Home health aides do various housekeeping work, including cleaning, washing dishes, vacuuming, laundry, and grocery shopping. Aides also prepare their patient’s meals.
  • Hygiene. Often, patients can’t groom themselves. Home health aides may bathe patients as well as style their hair, trim facial hair, and dress them for the day.
  • Organizing. Home health aides keep their patients organized. They may schedule doctor appointments, oversee their schedule, and ensure they have transportation to and from their various outings.

Additionally, home health aides may provide basic health services. They can check their patient’s temperature, provide them with exercises they may do, and distribute medication.

How can I become a home health aide?

You can train to become a home health aide online in as little as four months. Ashworth College’s Home Health Aide Career Diploma program may help prepare you to enter the growing healthcare field and care for patients at home. In our online training program, you’ll complete lessons such as

  • Safety in the Home Environment. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to assess the environment for any potential safety hazards.
  • Caring for the Elderly Patient. This lesson covers the physical and cognitive changes related to aging, how to transport elderly patients safely, and exercise, sleeping, and medication.
  • Skin Care and Personal Care. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the formation and healing of decubitus ulcers, basic skin care, the effects of radiation and chemotherapy, oral hygiene, and more.
  • Emergency Procedures. This lesson gives an overview of first aid and CPR, burns, and how to prepare for emergency situations.

A career as a home health aide may require that you be licensed or certified. Licensing and certification vary by state. States may also conduct background checks and aides may be required to earn a CPR certification.

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