Differences Between a CNA and HHA

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Health care careers are quite attractive to younger generations, but they frequently have doubts about which path to choose as their future profession.

They do not know whether becoming a CNA is better than becoming an HHA, so we are here to provide you with a great explanation about the main differences between a CNA and HHA.

Of course, as you may already know there are many similarities between the duties of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Home Health Aide (HHA), as checking vital signs, recovery from illness, reminders of medication, changing bandages, bathing and dressing, meal preparation and serving are all the obligations that both professionals have to take care of.

But there are also things that make them different.

First and foremost, we need to mention the differences in the amount of training and education required.

Also, it is true that both the CNA and HHA provide health care to their patients, but the number of their responsibilities and places they work may vary.

CNA and HHA Training

In the majority of US states, formal training and education are not required for those who want to become home health aides.

After finishing secondary education, interested applicants can receive on-the-job training and do not need to attend classes.

Still, there are states that require HHAs to pass an examination and become certified so as to be allowed to work.

It is worth noting that those who would like to work for an employer that is funded by either Medicare or Medicaid have to be formally trained through a state-approved training program.

When federal training requirements are in question, you should know that a minimum of 75 hours of classroom training, 16 clinical hours, and 12 hours of continuing education over a 12 month period are obligatory.

Those HHAs who work for a private company that is not funded by Medicare or Medicaid are not required to take formal training.

It is highly suggested that you get familiar with each state’s requirements for minimum hours for both classroom and clinical training that you need to meet if you wish to work there.

Have in mind that the state you live in may require more than the federal minimum training for HHAs.

The training requirements can be found out through the PHI National for state-by-state data.

Besides the required training, certain states may require each HHA to complete and pass a background check before getting employment.

Once employed, an HHA will work under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

On the other hand, Certified Nursing assistants must complete a training program offered by some community colleges or vocational schools so as to be allowed to perform their duties.

CNA training can be found in various hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

So as to be able to start working as a CAN, you must have appropriate knowledge of basic nursing, and a number of hours of supervised experience, which have to be followed by successful completion of the state examination.

In case you find employment in a clinical or hospital setting, you will be working with multiple patients and be in contact with them more than the nurses.

Under supervision, a CNA will be taught how to operate some of the hospital equipment, and those who show the greatest devotion and improvement can be involved in more advanced nursing skills.

Work Settings

Home Health Aides are professionals who work in the home of the patient.

They care for one patient at a time and usually work independently, or can work through an agency.

Depending on their flexibility, they can visit more than one patient in a number of homes, or they can work for just one patient who is in need of full-time care.

Besides their regular duties, they can be found performing some shopping or light housekeeping for their patients.

Sometimes, the agency assigns them to assist in hospice care.

When CNAs work is in question, they work in a wider setting and with multiple patients at the same time.

Hospitals, clinics, hospices, and nursing homes are places where they can find employment, but sometimes they also visit patients in their homes.

A CNA will have more job opportunities than an HHA due to the fact that there is a greater number of places that employ CNAs.


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