Home Health Aide Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Home Health Aide, or Personal Care Aide, are professional caregivers responsible for helping patients maintain their personal health and hygiene in their place of residence. Their duties include shopping for groceries and preparing meals, grooming patients and handling basic logistics such as paying bills or scheduling appointments.

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Home Health Aide Duties and Responsibilities

Home Health Aides help patients in a variety of ways, which may include taking their vital signs or giving them medicine under a nurse’s direction. They must record and report this data as medically necessary. Aides also help patients with their daily functions, such as dressing or taking a bath. They can assist with planning for doctor’s appointments or other meetings and may organize transportation for them.

Other Home Health Aide responsibilities may include:

  • Housekeeping, such as vacuuming or doing laundry
  • Cooking meals
  • Grocery shopping
  • Reporting to nurses about patient’s health status
  • Teaching patient self-care skills
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Home Health Aide Job Description Examples

What does a home health aide do?

Home Health Aides are usually employed in private residences, group homes and assisted living facilities to supervise and assist elderly, ill or disabled clients. They can be dedicated to a single person or work for a range of different patients. Home Health Aides perform household chores for their clients depending on their needs, including doing the dishes, washing laundry, making up beds, vacuuming and even light gardening or groundskeeping. They learn about the client’s dietary needs and shop for healthy ingredients. Home Health Aides make sure clients take the right medications on schedule and monitor them for any concerning symptoms.

Home Health Aide Skills and Qualifications

Home Health Aides must be detail-oriented and be able to carefully follow protocols and rules regarding the patient’s care. Aides must adhere to instructions from doctors and nurses, such as knowing how to care for a minor medical issue or letting them know about changes in the patient’s health. They should be trustworthy and dependable so the patient and their family feel comfortable relying on them.

Home Health Aides should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Current and valid CNA or HHA certification
  • Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds
  • Availability to work evenings, holidays and weekends
  • Three years of experience in the home health industry
  • Preferred nursing experience
  • Strong patient service skills

Home Health Aide Salary Expectations

Home Health Aides can expect an average salary of  $24,710 per year. However, this varies depending on how much experience a candidate has and in which state they are working.  Salaries can increase as the employee gains more skills and experience.

Home Health Aide Education and Training Requirements

Home Health Aides often need a high school diploma, but not every employer requires it. Related educational programs are available at vocational schools and community colleges if a candidate wants to improve their knowledge. Home Health Aides who work for certified home health agencies must finish formal training and take a standardized test. Individual states may require an emergency training class. Agency employees that obtain reimbursement from Medicaid or Medicare are required to complete specific training and earn a competency certification.

Home Health Aide Experience Requirements

Home Health Aides should have experience with housekeeping tasks, including keeping the house clean and safe for the patient to live in and doing the dishes. They should also be able to make meals for patients with special dietary needs and have experience helping another person with personal hygiene. Some patients may prefer for the aide to spend time with them before beginning the job so the aide can understand their preferences and become comfortable around them.

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Frequently asked questions about Home Health Aides

 

What is the difference between a Home Health Aide and a Nurse?

Home Health Aides monitor the general condition of their clients, but they do not have the same medical training and certifications as Nurses. While both Nurses and Home Health Aides look after the wellbeing of the patients in their care, Home Health Aides focus on holistic wellness including diet and exercise while Nurses prioritize treating diseases or conducting routine medical procedures like drawing blood for testing. Home Health Aides frequently run errands and help with the logistics of a household, while Nurses are solely dedicated to direct patient care.

 

What are the daily duties of a Home Health Aide?

Home Health Aides can work part-time or full-time at any hour of the day. Some Home Health Aides live in a group home with their clients to provide 24/7 support and care, while others visit client homes for a few hours each day. They arrive at a client’s home and talk to them about what errands they need assistance with. The Home Health Aide prepares meals and may assist in feeding a client and cleaning them up afterward. They help their patients sort through phone messages and mail, schedule appointments and acquire transportation when necessary.

 

What are the qualities of a good Home Health Aide?

Good Home Health Aides enjoy structure and routine, using strict schedules to ensure they can attend to all of their clients on-time and carry out all essential functions such as administering medications. Because they may work with clients with memory issues, cognitive impairments or behavioral challenges, Home Health Aides need to be compassionate, patient and understanding. They should also be organized planners who are prepared to run errands along a route to make their rounds more efficient.

 

What should you look for on a Home Health Aide resume?

Previous experience in a caregiving role such as Babysitter or Elder Care Provider is helpful on a Home Health Aide resume. Top candidates may list certifications in first aid, CPR and other basic healthcare skills. Being a Home Health Aide can be tiring work, so look for candidates who were at their previous employer for a long time and have a demonstrated history of thriving in a care-based position.

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