Home Health Aide Training | Everything You Need to Know

HHA is an abbreviation that stands for home health aide.

These healthcare workers assist those who require help with daily tasks and basic medical care.

To provide adequate assistance, HHA requires numerous skills.

Overall, responsibilities range from basic home care to physically aiding clients with day-to-day tasks.

As a result, their experience and expertise make them indispensable healthcare workers.

Home health aides assist older clients in their home environment by providing comfort and support.

This allows clients to receive proper medical attention without moving to a facility or nursing home.

As a result, they feel more comfortable and familiar with their setting while allowing facilities to save space for clients that need it.

With that said, anyone dealing with a chronic illness or impairment may work with a home health aide.

Therefore, some home health aides work with parents, children, and other clients.

Because home health aides work closely with their clients, they must possess various talents to ensure satisfactory care.

To illustrate, the next section goes over a home health aides’ regular duties.

HHA Job Description and Responsibilities

Home health aides perform numerous daily responsibilities to ensure that patients are comfortable and properly assisted.

For example, HHAs help clients with physical tasks, perform basic house cleaning and handle transportation arrangements.

They also assist with food shopping, meal preparation, eating, and activities such as walking and exercise.

Beyond that, home health aides help other family members provide appropriate medical care.

This is done by educating them on appropriate lifting and movement techniques and advising them on nutrition and housekeeping.

As a result, clients remain in a comfortable home setting with/without family while rehabilitating and/or managing their health.

This frees up facilities in need of precious space and improves the client’s mood and healthcare experience.

HHA Responsibilities Include:

  • Assisting patients with physical duties (dressing, bathing, grooming, ROM exercise, etc.)
  • Administering medications
  • Meal preparation
  • Monitoring patient vitals
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Working alongside other healthcare providers
  • Arranging transportation
  • Assisting family members with carrying for the client

Home health aides work alongside other medical professionals. As a result, they must have good verbal and written communication skills and work well with others.

To illustrate, home health aides work beside registered nurses, CNAs, and other caregivers.

In this case, home health aides work under more experienced healthcare providers such as registered nurses.

Ultimately, this ensures that clients receive adequate medical attention and care throughout their daily experiences.

Overall, home health aides support other medical professionals so they can focus on more advanced medical care.

This is done by managing routine daily tasks that free up a healthcare provider’s time.

As a result, they can monitor and manage the client’s medical condition and handle multiple patients. 

In short, without HHA, other healthcare workers wouldn’t be able to manage multiple clients’ medical health.

Work Schedule

Because clients require care 24/7, home health aides work morning, noon, and/or night shifts.

Furthermore, weekends and holidays may be required to ensure that clients receive adequate care.

As with many healthcare jobs, home health aides work part-time and full-time schedules.

This means working anywhere from a few hours per week up to 40 hours per week.

Also, depending on work hours, home health aides work 4 hour – 12-hour shifts on their scheduled days.

With that said, their schedule depends on the company or agency they work for.

For example, numerous agencies/companies require home health aides to work every other weekend.

Moreover, during the hiring process, employees will negotiate their work shifts.

These shifts are usually broken down into morning, noon, or night times. 

Therefore it’s important to determine your flexibility when applying for jobs to ensure that it works with your schedule.

Finally, some home health aide jobs offer live-in employment.

In this case, the home health aide works as a caregiver providing day and night care for their clients.

Although these jobs pay well and provide housing, caregivers must remain within their client’s vicinity.

As a result, it can limit the freedom and flexibility of those who enjoy more autonomy and free time.

However, it’s a wonderful experience for HHAs that enjoy providing care and being a part of someone’s life.

Live-in-home caregivers work on assignments ranging from a few weeks to a year or more.

This allows them to develop strong relationships and companionship with the clients they serve.

How to Become a Home Health Aide

To become a home health aide, individuals must have a high school diploma or GED.

Assuming you’ve obtained the necessary educational requirements, the next step is to take HHA classes.

Classes can be found at community colleges, home health aide services, and online universities.

During the home health aide training and certification process, students learn the ins and outs of working as an HHA.

This includes how to provide basic patient care, manage daily responsibilities, and basic medical training.

Once the certification has been obtained, HHAs can seek employment from home health aide agencies and businesses looking for workers.

Nevertheless, you must still meet several other requirements.

This includes passing a criminal background check and having reliable transportation.

Steps to Become A Home Health Aide

  1. Obtain your Diploma or educational equivalent
  2. Receive HHA training and certification
  3. Pass a criminal background
  4. Have reliable transportation
  5. Seek employment

The following section will go in-depth on the HHA training and certification process.

This includes where to find HHA training, course length/hours and paid vs. free training,

HHA Training, Classes, and Certification

Those interested in HHA classes must have a diploma or educational equivalent before beginning HHA training.

With that said, numerous educational institutes offer HHA classes for those that want to enter the field.

This includes community colleges, home health agencies, nonprofit organizations, and some nursing facilities.

Beyond that, future home health aides can get HHA certification through the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

Therefore, it’s beneficial to check out their website for information and resources.

Importantly, students must make sure the HHA classes they attend provide adequate training.

This is because not all classes will meet the state’s requirements for certification.

Also, students can take advantage of home health care services that offer training and job placement.

Essentially, these services offer free training and work for those interested in becoming home health aides.

Furthermore, they may offer paid training, paid time, health insurance, flexible schedules, and other benefits.

However, it’s important to determine their requirements before applying for the program.

For instance, home health aide services may require employees to guarantee a certain number of work hours before leaving the company.

Overall the HHA classes, training, and certification process require approximately 75 – 120 hours of classroom education and 40 – 60 hours of clinical experience.

With that said, training and certification vary by state.

Therefore, you must determine your state’s requirements for accurate information on obtaining HHA certification.

Other Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Have reliable transportation
  • Must have good communication
  • Must be able to lift and manage patients
  • Perform housekeeping
  • Good time management
  • Must be able to work with limited supervision

Lastly, here are a few common questions people ask about home health aide training.

Is There Online HHA Training?

With online courses becoming increasingly important for various healthcare professions, it’s understandable that students want to take HHA classes online.

Fortunately, numerous colleges are offering affordable online home health aide training.

Basically, these HHA courses provide students with eBooks, mobile applications, a student portal, and online learning resources to provide an educational experience.

With that said, colleges provide varying levels of education and training, and not all programs are eligible in all states.

Therefore students must determine whether the online HHA training program is acceptable for their state.

They must also determine their educational needs based on the program’s offerings.

For example, online HHA training programs offer between 75 – 200 hours of online and self-study training.

As a result, they produce very different experiences and educational training.

Online HHA training programs may also have specific requirements regarding clinical field experience.

Ultimately, this impacts the students learning and certification process, which is important for state approval.

Finally, online HHA training programs may offer flexible payment plans to help students become home health aides.

This allows them to start work without worrying about hefty loan payments.

As with all loan and payment programs, students must take the time to determine whether the payment program is suitable for them.

Is There Free HHA Training?

Numerous agencies and programs offer free HHA training for eligible trainees.

Basically, these programs are a valid option for those that can’t afford to pay for HHA classes.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to understand the terms and conditions before enrolling in free HHA training.

This is because numerous programs have requirements that must be met upon joining the program.

For example, requiring students to work for the agency for a designated time period.

They may also require students to work at a specified pay rate for a certain duration.

This ensures that students don’t take the free training and apply for a job elsewhere.

After all, agencies need to recoup their training efforts.

With that said, not all free training programs have similar requirements, and the previous examples don’t apply to all programs.

In other words, there are excellent free HHA training programs for those that want to become home health aides.

Importantly, do your research and look for several programs to decide which is right for you.

Finally, those who do not meet the terms and conditions may be required to pay for training.

Therefore, you must learn the terms and conditions to determine whether it’s worth it.