How to Become a Home Health Aide

Home Health Aid Boca Raton

Becoming a home health aide Boca Raton, or HHA, is one of the most rewarding professions you will ever hold. As more and more Americans are aging out of the workforce, there is more demand than ever before for skilled, compassionate care in a home setting. Home health aides in Boca Raton do much more than assist with showers and bed changes–they assist with every aspect of daily life for the nation’s elders.

How do you become a home health aide in Boca Raton?

There are several paths available to prospective caregivers. Many home health agencies will offer training programs internally, in exchange for a short commitment to working for the agency after certification. Additionally, technical colleges and trade schools offer adult students a combined instructional and clinical option, ending with certification as a nursing assistant or home health aide at graduation.

Home health aides in Boca Raton are responsible for many tasks while on their visits. Vital sign checks, assisting with bathing and dressing, doing laundry or washing dishes, cleaning the homes of their patients to prevent unsanitary conditions, running errands, and picking up medications all fall within the HHA purview. While a home health aide in Boca Raton will always work under the supervision of a licensed nurse, the position requires a strong sense of morality and a sterling reputation. By entering the home of a client, that client is placing their trust in you and your services.

For this reason, home health aide Boca Ratons and CNAs are required to undergo federal background checks and get fingerprinted for the elder abuse registry. In the event of a family complaining about the care provided, or reporting suspected abuse or neglect, the HHA must be able to provide documentation and proof of any notifications made or action taken. Additionally, the home health aide Boca Raton is considered a mandated reporter to notify the proper authorities if they suspect that the family is taking advantage of the elder patient.

Determine Your Career Path

Career progression for home health aides in Boca Raton is either lateral or vertical. Many HHAs use their certification as a stepping stone into a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN) role, contingent on passing the required clinical and instructional hours as well as a national board examination, the NCLEX. Others enjoy their level of responsibility and may move from one agency to another, with many staying with their client roster for many years.

When you are considering applying to become a home health aide, you must do your research on the educational opportunity. Make sure that you are selecting a learning institution that offers federal financial aides to its students. This means that the technical college or vocational school is accredited by the Department of Education, and you are assured that your certification will be validated upon graduation. If you are choosing to become certified through your prospective employer, verify that the certification process is compliant with DOE accreditation and will be portable after you fulfill your service requirement.

Make Sure You Have Reliable Transportation

Additionally, prospective home health aides need to ensure that they have reliable access to transportation. Unlike facility employees, a home health aide in Boca Raton is the first line of healthcare’s defense on keeping patients out of the hospital. Failing to make your scheduled appointments can be potentially life-threatening for your patients and their families, and may cause unneeded hospital stays. By making sure you can regularly transport yourself to and from the appointments in a timely fashion, you build trust with your patients and the agency. In urban settings, many home health aides in Boca Raton rely on public transit options. More rural HHAs will need a functional motor vehicle and be able to drive themselves to and from the appointments.

While speaking English as a primary language is not an acceptable barrier to employment, home health aides will need to be able to chart descriptively and use proper medical terminology to describe their patient’s conditions. Accurate documentation determines how much reimbursement the home health agency receives from Medicare and Medicaid, which pays for your services as an HHA. It also allows the licensed nurses to provide effective follow-up on the care you have provided during your home visits.

Understand Family Dynamics

Earlier in this article, we touched on the importance of home health aides monitoring the family dynamics. It is vital to be successful as a home health aide to establish a clear set of professional boundaries. It is unethical for home health aides to accept tips, additional gifts, or trips with the families they serve and participate in family activities off the clock. Establishing a therapeutic rapport is essential to provide good care to your patient, but the home health aides must exercise caution about becoming overly involved in the dynamics of the families they serve. Due to the high medical-legal liability associated with holding a certification or license, conflicts of interest or violations of the agency’s corporate compliance policies need to be addressed and mitigated immediately.

Becoming a home health aide is a highly rewarding, life-changing opportunity. For the patients who need long-term, community-based healthcare, which would otherwise place them inside a skilled nursing facility or hospital, not only for you. By providing home visits to assist with activities of daily living, you are providing their family respite from the 24-hour care plan which they may find exhausting, and enriching the lives of the whole family unit you serve. Home health aides in Boca Raton work with all ages, although the demand for eldercare services and the lack of skilled nursing beds in our country’s current health system largely ensure you will be dealing with the geriatric population.

Bottom line?

If you are looking to make a difference, and see if you have what it takes to pursue a career in healthcare? Becoming a home health aide is a wonderful way to get your feet wet and explore the interpersonal skills needed to be a good clinician. Your patients get to remain in the homes they have lived in for years, and you are keeping them from expensive and dangerous hospitalizations. This ensures the nation as a whole has better access to hospital care when we need it, and reduces the chances of an elder citizen getting a nosocomial superinfection during their stay.

If this sounds like something you’d want to consider for yourself, please Contact Us today, and start the conversation on how YOU can become a home health aide in Boca Raton.

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