The rise in the number of elderly Americans, skyrocketing inpatient care costs, and increasing interest in home health care means home health care aids will likely be in high demand. If you're interested in becoming a home health aide, personal medical aide, or home assistant, you need to demonstrate: a sincere desire to help others, an ability to remember details and handle responsibility well, emotional stability, honesty, and compassion.
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How to Prepare for a Career as a Home Health Aide
While many home health and personal care aides receive on-the-job training from a nurse or another health aide, you may need more formalized training if you want to work for an agency that receives Medicare and Medicaid funding. In this case, you must complete 75 hours of home health aide classes.
Typical home health aide programs include training in:
- Infection control
- Patient transfer
Currently, specific home health aide degrees aren't available, but home health aides who want to advance may pursue an associate?s degree in nursing or start their own home health agency. Earning a home health aide certificate through the National Association for Home Health Care and Hospice can open up job opportunities. The average salary for home health aides is $21,440, while the average salary for personal medical aides is $19,690. The job field is expected to grow 50 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is above average; therefore, job prospects are excellent. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, consider working as a home health aide.