In case you think that as a home health aide you will not be able to find a satisfying job, you are totally wrong, as it belongs to the healthcare field which is definitely one of the largest and fastest-growing fields these days.
Plus, home health aide jobs are in high demand, and the higher level of education you have, the better chances are to find employment.
For those who are looking for healthcare jobs that do not require advanced requirements, there are also employers who offer on the job training and that is a perfect place to start your career path.
It will take a few weeks of training to gain all the necessary skills and the completion of a state certification exam can be a kind of proof of your qualifications and proficiency.
Even though you have a certificate, as a home health aide you will be working under the supervision of a medical professional, that is, a qualified nurse or RN.
Types of HHA Employment
A great thing when HHA employment is in question is that as an HHA, you get the chance to either work for a company, or for yourself, meaning that you can become self-employed.
The first option is to find a satisfactory employer, and you do not need to worry as there are numerous of them available.
Those can be home health care agencies, hospice care services, assisted living facilities, welfare agencies, nursing, and residential care facilities, and social assistance agencies.
Working for an Employer
It is a fact that various types of companies hire home health aides, but among all of them, home health care agencies have the largest number of opportunities for home health aides.
When your first job is in question, we highly suggest that you start your HHA career as an employee in an agency or facility.
This is the best way due to the fact that you can gain the skills which are considered necessary to perform your job duties.
Working for an agency is considered the best option as you will be a part of a health care team, meaning that all your colleagues with experience will be there to help you.
Furthermore, if you do not have advanced education, and you begin working for a home health care agency, you can get on-the-job HHA training.
This training can make you eligible for educational opportunities related to advancement in this field.
How educated you need to be so as to work as an HHA will depend on the state in which you live.
There are some states that have a set of rules related to requirements that must be met.
If you wish to work for a home health care agency, in the majority of cases you will be required to be HHA certified.
It is worth noting that the federal government is the body that requires that all agencies which have Medicaid and Medicare clients must hire only certified staff.
There is a chance of getting your HHA certification through the agency that you work for, as it will most likely assist its employees when completing the combination of classroom hours and clinical hours is in question.
Of course, the employee will need to pass an exam to get a certification.
However, if you get the training and certification from the agency, it may require that you sign an agreement that will oblige you to work for the agency for a specified time period after gaining the certificate, typically for one year.
Working for an agency is the best choice as a home health aide is assigned to clients that the agency has located for care, so there is no need that you look for clients by yourself.
Being employed at an agency gives a lot of flexibility to your working hours.
You can be employed both full and part-time and sometimes you can work in the evening, as well.
When flexibility is in question, you can work in the morning, afternoon, or evening, with one customer every day, or several clients per day.
Another advantage of working for the agency is that it will regulate withholding taxes and send you an annual W-2 form for your income tax returns.
Additional benefits that you may get are health insurance, vacation, paid holidays, and sick days.
After all these advantages, now we need to mention some disadvantages of working for an agency.
First, you need to follow the rules when working with your clients.
In case you are preparing food for your clients, you will need to agree to agency rules which may include not allowing you to share food with them so you will need to pack and bring your own meals.
You need to expect that you will not be assigned to the same clients on a routine basis, meaning that an HHA is not allowed to develop healthy relationships with their clients.
The option that you can make use of is to be self-employed.
This means that you will be an HHA that is not associated with an agency or supervised by a medical professional.
Self-employed HHA has to find and accept his/her own clients, set hourly fees and work schedules, and pay annual W-2 form, so this person needs to be very organized.
Our advice is not to start your own HHA business unless you have a large amount of experience.
Being self-employed brings a lot of advantages, such as more freedom and flexibility – but at the same time, more responsibility.
Self-employed HHA has to find potential clients that may have various needs and requirements, so you should expect that your income will fluctuate, your working hours are not guaranteed and will change, causing your salary to vary as well.