Nursing Home Health Aide Training Schools & Degree Programs

Home health aides as well as personal and home care aides all work in similar manners. This general occupation specializes in assistance to individuals who are mentally or physically incapable of being fully independent without help. Aides may function as a home or house keeper, managing the client’s calendar and taking them to appointments.

Aides even give medical advice and care should they be qualified and the client need those provisions; the status of the client’s health, application of medications and personal care are all provided by health aides. A nursing home health aide is a specialized version of this occupation as it solely deals with clients that reside in a nursing home environment.

Nursing Home Health Aides Training (In class and On the Job Training)

Very little prerequisites are needed before beginning training. Home care aides usually need a high-school diploma or GED and, just like other specialized aides, are trained on the job. Education and training consists of on the job training by other health care professionals including supervisors, nurses and experienced aides.

There are two areas of which nursing home aides are trained are general instruction and medical instruction. For general instruction, nursing home health aides learn home care or housekeeping tasks to keep the environment clean and secure for any nursing home clientele. Also, aides are trained in cooking for clients with unique dietary restrictions. Like a nursing assistant or CNA, basic medical training is usually required for the safety of the dependent client, as well. Safety techniques including emergency training and responding to a medical situation are vital for any nursing home health aide to know.

Bedside manner must also be implemented as a part of training for any home health aide. With all health or medical-related situations, it is essential for professionals to be courteous and respectful toward clients and coworkers. While this is a general rule for most aides, as training continues, it is sometimes implemented as a mandatory part of training technique.

Nursing Home Health Aides Qualifications and Certification

Although on the job training is the only education needed for some nursing home health aides, there are a lot of other optional qualifications to either consider or be used to further an individual in their career. For instance, a competency evaluation, physical examination, and criminal background check may be required before training or hire of a nursing home health aide.

For certification and advancement, the National Associate of Home Care and Hospice (NACH) have certification for home health aides. While it is voluntary, it is highly recommended for aides to complete this; it shows future employers that they have the competency to complete 75 hours of training including 16 hours of supervised practical training, have been observed and documented for competency, and pass a standard written exam. Classes include but are not limited to the studies of nutrition, hygiene, infection control, and patient transfer.

Although certification is not always needed, it can be used in place of other training. That being said, if nursing home aides happen to work for a company that receives reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid, the government requires this certification. Although this certification is a federal standard, states might require other training, in addition to the certification.

Where to Receive Certification and Training

For Nursing home health aides, there is a certification program hosted by the National Association of Home Care and Hospice. However, there is no true degree for this career. Instead, other options that are backers but not necessary include medical assistant and nursing, both of which are exciting careers on their own. For more information, visit the NACH website at http://www.nahc.org/education/home.htm.

Career Outlook

Any home health aide including nursing home health aide will continue to be in demand as the job field doubles by the year 2018. While home health aides currently make approximately $21,440 annually, the increased demand for this occupation will likely lead to a pay increase as demand reaches a peak by 2018. The increase of demand leads to more job prospects for this career; this is especially true as excellent as more of the baby boom generation ages and begins to retire.*

*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/

Summary of Nursing Home Health Aide Training

To become a nursing home health aide, there are several approaches including:

  • Aides should have a high-school diploma or GED and not been convicted of a crime.
  • Receive certification by the National Association of Home Care and Hospice
  • Receive on the job training by employers and agencies including home care, bed side manner, medical, and overall health care.
  • Basic medical training is a plus and often necessary for a nursing home health aide.
  • Aides are often given competency tests that must be passed in order to continue or further their career.

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