Whichever career you choose as your future vocation, it is significant that you finish proper education so as to be successful and attractive to possible employers.
Becoming a home health aide is a great career path as it offers plenty of opportunities, being that the health care field is constantly growing and developing.
If you wish to become a Home Health Aide (HHA), the first thing you need to do is to attend quality home health aide training.
HHAs are professionals who provide personalized care service to people in need, usually working daily within the patient’s private home.
The higher qualities you possess, the better HHA you will be and it will make a very big difference in the lives of your patients.
Furthermore, your personal satisfaction will be greater as you will know that you are doing your best to improve the quality of someone’s life.
You need to get familiar with the minimum education and experience that are needed so that you are allowed to begin working as an HHA.
Then, you must make sure you understand the requirements to become an HHA.
Last but not least, future home health aides must fin out the training requirements determined by the state in which they live, as well as the requirements determined by the possible employer.
Prerequisites to Home Health Aide Training
As we have already mentioned, before even starting your HHA training or find an HHA job, you need to meet the eligibility requirements which are the following:
- You must be 18 years of age or older
- You have to be able to speak, read and write in the English language
- You must have earned a high school diploma or GED
- You must possess a government-issued photo ID
- You have to be authorized to work in the United States
- You must have recently completed a physical exam to prove you are physically capable
Training Requirements by Employer
There are differences in requirements among various employers, as they are determined by the company you will be working for.
If your employer is funded by either Medicare or Medicaid, you are required to be formally trained and evaluated by the state-approved training program.
This is required by federal legislation and federal training requirements include 75 hours of classroom training, 16 clinical hours, and 12 hours of continuing education over a 12 month period.
On the other hand, working for a private company that is not funded by Medicare or Medicaid – does not require formal training.
That is the moment when you need to pay attention to the state’s requirements, as some states have minimum hours required for both classroom and clinical training when HHA training is in question.
You can easily find out what the training requirements are in your state, by simply checking out PHI National for the state-by-state data.
You need to have in mind that there are some states which may require HHAs to complete and pass a background check before being employed.
Where to Get HHA Training?
If you are wondering whether there is good HHA training in your home area, we suggest that you do detailed research about places where you can get a proper education.
Enrollment in a formal home health aide training program is available in numerous institutions, including the following:
- Community colleges
- Vocational schools
- Online training programs
- Home health care agencies
- Eldercare programs
- A private employer through on the job training
In case you need assistance in finding the right HHA program, you can feel free to contact your state’s Board of Nursing via the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).
What’s Included in HHA Training?
Classes that prospective HHAs will need to take are HHA Introduction, medical terminology, nutrition, basic life support, cleaning, and home care tasks, and medication mathematics.
After finishing the training, they will be required to take and pass a competency evaluation.
It is a great option to find an HHA training program that has CPR training and certification as a part of the curriculum, being that CPR training is a short course that you will find very beneficial.
How Long are HHA Training Programs?
Future HHAs will need to attend both classroom and clinical training and how long they will need to study depends on the state that they live in.
The classroom training in the state of Maine consists of at least 180 hours.
We would like to mention that these are states that require 75 hours, which is also the Federal minimum: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
All the other states require between 76 and 140 hours of classroom training to be completed by future HHAs.
Free HHA Training
HHAs who do not have enough money to pay for this formal training can take advantage of free classroom training which can be offered by an employer or they may have on-the-job training from another experienced HHA, registered nurse (RN), or licensed practical nurse (LPN).
These are a few organizations that are glad to provide free training and education for future HHAs:
- Reliable Community Care Inc.
- Meridian At Home
- HHA Certification & License
HHA Certification & License
It is worth noting once again that working for an agency that receives funding from Medicare or Medicaid requires that you possess an HHA certification or license.
There is an option of contacting the Board of Nursing in the state you live or work so as to determine whether certification is required or not.
In case having your HHA certification is not required by the state, you can still consider earning it, as it will increase your chances of getting hired, and will improve your earnings potential.