In as little as one month, you can complete a Home Health Aide certification program that will make you eligible to become a certified caregiver in either long-term care facilities or home care settings in your area.
Accredited programs (see below) are required by federal law to include at least 75 hours of training, and put their students through 16-or-more hours of clinical trials where they can gain hands-on experience.
Most classes are offered both on-campus and online, and accept students all year around, so read on to learn how to choose the one for you today!
HHA Certification – Why it’s Important
Although it is not required in order to work at some facilities, Home Health Aide certification is a prerequisite for employers who work with either Medicare or Medicaid. Because most agencies do work with these two popular government-sponsored insurers, this means that earning your certification should be viewed as a must if you are serious about a career in home care.
How to Become Certified
There are three steps in the process of becoming a Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA):
- Complete an ACHC-accredited HHA training program
- Pass your state’s certification exam
- Renew your certificate every two years with your state board
While the first step is somewhat self-explanatory, certification testing and renewal both merit a closer look.
Passing the Home Health Aide Certification Exam
There is no national certification exam for HHAs. Instead, each state has its own. Nonetheless, you can expect most exams to cover a combination of the personal care principles taught during your course, including: basic nutrition and food preparation techniques, infection control, how to deal with medical emergencies, and basic communication skills.
To see an example of a practice test for the HHA exam, check out this link to a resource provided by the Oregon Association for Home Care.
Home Health Aides must renew their certification every 24 months in order to maintain their standing as CHHAs. In order to be eligible for renewal, the individual must have worked at least 24 hours over the previous two-year period.
Most states will automatically renew your HHA certification if you meet these criteria although, in some instances, you may be required to retest in order to satisfy changing requirements in your area.
Finding Accredited Classes
Accreditation is one of the most-important things you should consider when comparing HHA programs. The national governing body for home care training is the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), and you’ll want to find out if the courses you’re considering are accredited through them prior to enrolling.
Attending an ACHC-accredited course ensures that you will study a curriculum that satisfies both national and state training standards, and will be eligible to test for certification upon completing your classes.
Fortunately, using the search tools provided on this site, you can find accredited Home Health Aide certification programs near you simply by entering your zip code. Good luck!