Home Health Aide Agencies
Home health aide agencies or home care agencies as they are also called provide two types of employment service. There are supportive unskilled workers which involves non medical home care, or custodial skilled care which can involve medical care for patients in their own homes.
Non medical home health aide agencies provide personal care tasks like grooming, dressing and bathing, housekeeping chores, shopping and helping with meal prep and self-administered medication. Transporting the patient to attend medical appointments and other errands may also be requested. This type of home health agency service can be obtained for varying amounts of time from a few hours per day to round the clock care, and can be assigned on a temporary or permanent basis. This service can help an aging or infirm person keep their independence and possibly avoid unnecessary and expensive nursing home care.
Medical home health aide agencies provide a more skilled service offering nursing, physical and rehabilitation therapy, as well as hospice care and social services employees. The care plan provided by home health aide agencies will be structured from a physicians treatment plan for that patient to be carried out in the patients home. Visits to housebound clients and the treatment plan carried out by an aide will be under the supervision of a therapist or registered nurse. This type of service can reduce the costs associated with prolonged hospital care, and can enable the patient to return home sooner from operations, acute illnesses or for convalescence.
Training requirements for home health aides working through an agency
To obtain employment with home health aide agencies or a hospice agency, you will be required to take formal training and then pass a competency test before you can obtain home health aide jobs. This is due to the agencies reimbursement requirements set by Medicare and Medicaid. A high school diploma or GED is not normally required to start your training and you will be trained on the job by a nurse, licensed practical nurse, senior home health employee, or your supervising manager.
A minimum 75 hours of practical training is set by the federal government as a guideline before you take a state home health aide certification exam. Training will involve reading/recording of vital signs, nutrition, personal hygiene and safety procedures. Plus basic daily tasks such as making patient beds, meal preparation, helping patients in and out of bed and generally how to interact with clients in their own homes.
Do you have what it takes to succeed as a home health agency employee?
Before you decide to take on home health employment, it is important to have some, if not all the following personality traits in order for you to be successful and enjoy your work.
- A desire to help and compassionate nature.
- Have patience.
- Responsible and disciplined person.
- Honest and discreet.
- Cheerful attitude.
You will also need to be in good health and physically fit. Due to the nature of the job which can involve heavy lifting of patients in and out of bed who can often be difficult and uncooperative. The aide must be aware of the dangers of back injuries whilst lifting and helping patients around. Before being allowed to attend patients in their own homes, you would have had a physical examination. A State mandated tuberculosis test, and testing for other communicable diseases may well be required as well. Most home health aide agencies will now do a criminal background check before they will employ you, and a good driving license record may also be stipulated in the agency employment requirements.
Employment prospects for home health aides
With an ageing population it should be no surprise that the home care industry and employment through home health aide agencies is seeing explosive growth right now. In fact it is expected that there will be a demand for 1.3 million jobs by the year 2014, a 50 percent increase in home health jobs from the 2008 level. To save on hospital and nursing home care costs going forward, government will be expected to make further investment into the home health care service. This will ensure that employment demand in this medical sector will remain strong for many years to come.
Home Health Agency Resources :
Medicare certified home health agencies across the country – http://www.medicare.gov/HomeHealthCompare/search.aspx
Home health agencies – http://www.caring.com/local/home-health-agencies
State by state search for home care agencies, long term care homes, adult day care facilities and more – http://www.caregiversguide.com