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With the rise of more people needing home health services, more people are becoming home health aides. So we decided to write up an in-depth home health aide job description.

Description of Home Health

For those with chronic health issues or even medical conditions of a limited duration (such as recovery from an accident, broken limb or serious illness), there are limits to the benefits of hospitalization and/or regular visits to a hospital or clinic as an outpatient. The development of technology, coupled with a rise in the availability of trained medical/paramedical personnel has made home health care a viable option rather than being restricted to treatment from clinics and hospitals. Home health has become a popular and practical option in many homes today.

Definition of Gome Health Aide

According to Monster.com, a leading employment and job-seeker portal, a home health aide is a person who “enables patients to stay in their homes by monitoring and recording patient condition; providing support and personal services; teaching families.” So, it becomes clear that a home health aide is a person who imparts treatment, monitors health conditions and is solely responsible for the home health care of a patient in the comfort of their own home. The job profile of such a person is quite a comprehensive one, so it would be worthwhile to take a look at what actually goes into the work of a home health aide.

Job Responsibilities of a Home Health Aide

A home health aide is expected to have a wide range of skills sets. Here are some of the major activities such a person would be expected to carry out in the course of a normal day, looking after a patient at their own home.

  • Monitoring of the patient’s state of health through physical and mental parameters
  • The home health aide ensures that the patient gets the required intake through diet, medication and other inputs
  • Administering exercise and physiotherapy, wherever applicable
  • Personally undertake the housekeeping, laundry, shopping and all other miscellaneous errands around the house that the patient would normally do but is unable to do so due to their condition.
  • Bathing, dressing, grooming and maintenance of general hygiene of the patient
  • Helping the patient using accessories such as a walker or cane and showing them how to use special accessories like sippers, inhalers, and other health-related equipment
  • The home health aide is also expected to interact with family members, to keep them updated with the condition and progress of the patient, as well as showing them how to lift turn and move the patient.
  • Updating others in the household on the diet, general hygiene and housekeeping requirements of the patient
  • Maintaining a record of all information related to the patient with respect to the patient’s general state of health, progress and any changes in the patient’s condition
  • Prompt reporting to a nursing professional in case of any sudden changes/deterioration to the patient’s condition
  • The home health aide must ensure that the home environment of the patient is kept sterile through asepsis standards and procedures, while at the same time, keeping security considerations at the fore.
  • Ensuring that nutrition and dietary conditions are maintained for the patient’s continued well-being.
  • Keeping updated with regard to upgrading knowledge and participating in relevant training programs
  • Should also be aware of professional standards, policies regarding to home care with specific reference to federal and local requirements, thereby upholding the good name of the home care agency
  • Above all, it is required by a home health aide to uphold the sanctity and reputation of the home care services by following all these practices and, accepting ownership and being accountable for one’s actions at all times, while being proactive about new developments which may add value to the home health care industry.

Training and Education Requirements

We have seen that the role of a home health aide is a multi-faceted one. The range of job responsibilities is vast and exhaustive, which may vary from complex medical procedures, to merely providing companionship to people who are left alone for extended periods of time. There is no formal training and education requirement for a home health aide.

In recent times, the job profile of a home health aide has become more challenging, complex and covers a wider set of skill sets. Due to the increasing complexity of the job, quite a few states have begun to make it mandatory for the candidate to have attended a community college, vocational school or have some basic training through a home health agency. Depending on particular circumstances, a home health aide would necessarily be required to have a recognized certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Home Health Aide Job Description – A Final Overview

Working as a home health aide is a competitive and challenging job profile. It is a fast-paced job, where the employee will be working in a frequently high-pressure environment, and competency in crisis management is a desired skill. A home health aide also needs to have extreme patience and be able to keep calm in high-stress situations. The job is not an easy one, and experience is as paramount as qualification or training.

Another downside to this job is that it often involves lifting and moving a patient singlehandedly, and there is always a risk of back injury, and the home health aide could be blamed for negligence. Further, despite the use of protective equipment, there is always the risk of catching an infection from the patient. Finally, aides often develop a close relationship with the patient over a period of time, which causes a lot of emotional turmoil in the eventuality of the patient passing away.

However, as much as this is one of the more challenging jobs around, the rewards are fulfilling as well. Sometimes, well-earned appreciation and commendation for a job well-done can offer almost as much satisfaction as monetary benefits, and this is what often happens in a career as a home health aide, especially for one who has dedicated themselves to this job as a career path for life.

In conclusion, we can say that one should not worry too much about remuneration – a job well done will always earn recognition and monetary benefits. A career as a professional home health aide is a good choice, especially if total commitment is applied to executing one’s duties in a dedicated fashion.

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