A Closer Look at a Career as a Home Health Aide
Individuals who are in long-term care and retirement homes have all been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. The media is constantly flooded with news about an outbreak that affects both residents and workers. It has gotten to such dire straits; there is a court action that has been filed against a long-term care facility in London, Ontario brought about by the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) who claims that the owner did not provide them with adequate personal protective equipment or PPE. With the way things are going for this industry, it is most likely that this case won’t be the last of its kind.
In light of this, there is now a greater need for home health aides who can step in and provide the sufficient care that the senior members of our society needs without the latter having to leave the comfort of their own homes, which we are seeing put them at greater risk to succumbing to the disease.
If you’re thinking about this career path, read below for more information. It is a tough job, but rewarding, selfless and something that truly has a lasting affect on society and the people in it.
Home Health Aide– What You Need to Know
Home health aides might be the answer the country is looking for to control the spread of COVID-19 in the elderly population because they are equipped to attend to the needs of seniors who no longer have the ability to care for themselves. While individuals in their advanced years make up the majority of home health aides’ clientele, they can also be responsible for taking care of patients with a chronic illness or disability. They can also just lend a helping hand when it comes to medical attention.
In most cases, home health aides collaborate with nurses to maintain a record of the patient’s progress and alert the physician or nurse of any sudden changes in the patient’s health. Generally, a home health aide takes charge of basic care tasks, such as administering oral medicines as needed, changing bed linens, washing and ironing the patient’s laundry, and maintaining the patient’s quarters. Home health aides also check the patient’s pulse, temperature, and respiration. For patients with mobility issues, home health aides help them move in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs, and automobiles, and assist them with dressing and grooming
Apart from physical tasks, home health aides also provide companionship to the geriatric population to help them in their emotional and mental well-being by entertaining them, conversing with them, and maybe playing games with them if the patients are up to it, like puzzles or crosswords.
According to PayScale.com, a certified home health aide can earn between $31,549 to $45,398 per year.
To start a career as a home health aide, completing a certificate from a recognized program at any community college for two semesters is a requirement. This certificate would allow graduates to assume entry-level positions as aides.
Certification as a home health aide is an advantage but not required, and it mainly involves a minimum of 75 hours of skills training. Take note though that there is a significant number of organizations that require home health aides to complete certified nursing assistant (CNA) training, which usually takes four to eight weeks. Both CHHA and CNA training require passing an exam and completing a number of clinical hours.
Pros and Cons
Being a home health aide does have its share of challenges especially when it comes to the physicality required to fulfill the required tasks. At times, it can be emotionally and mentally draining too as one must have an ample amount of patience and understanding to work effectively with their patients. However, it does offer a rewarding experience as they are responsible for looking after the care of their patients, and it’s fulfilling to see patients keep their health and wellness and be free of serious illnesses. The companionship that the senior population provides is also a unique one as they offer a lot of wisdom that can truly be helpful to home health aides especially when it comes to life matters.