Your state may not require you to take formal Home Health Aide classes in order to work as a home care provider, but completing professional training does have a number of benefits. The most important among these is the fact that employers who accept patients with Medicare or Medicaid usually require their employees to be certified by a recognized training program. This means that earning your certification opens the doors to more job opportunities and, usually, better pay.
What to Expect in Home Health Aide Classes
The curriculum for HHA classes varies according to the school you choose to attend, and the requirements placed upon the program by your state. Nonetheless, most courses can be completed in three-to-four months or less.
Programs generally consist of both a predetermined number of classroom hours, and clinical hours. The following section breaks down both of these components to Home Health Aide classes.
Classroom Hours – Home Care Theory
These are the standard areas of study covered by most courses during the in-class portion of the curriculum:
- Nutritional Needs for Patients
- Caring for the Patients Social Needs
- Monitoring Vital Signs
- Identifying and Controlling Infections
- Emotional Support for Patients
The clinical portion of your HHA training will likely involve spending a number of hours at a local assisted living facility or visiting patients in their homes alongside a current CHHA (Certified Home Health Aide). During these hours, you’ll have the opportunity to gain valuable experience caring for a homebound patient and performing tasks such as:
- Preparing meals
- Taking vital signs
- Assisting the patient with dressing and bathing
- Providing companionship
Where to Find HHA Classes and Training Programs
Home care classes are available through a number of different institutions, including vocational schools, community centers, junior colleges and other types of career training centers. Some of these educators make it possible to complete a portion of your classroom training online, although clinical hours will still need to be finished in-person.
Regardless of where you decide to attend your training, it is recommended that you take Home Health Aide classes accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). The video to the right is provided courtesy of the ACHC and discusses the importance of their accreditation to the schools, and why students should look for their seal of approval in any training programs they consider attending.