What is a Home Health Aide
Home Health Aides (HHAs) are individuals who work under the supervision of a registered nurse as entry level nursing assistants who care for patience with age-related issues, chronic illnesses or disabilities which require in-home care. HHAs are qualified to perform basic care services which may include helping patients change clothes, change bandages, administer medication or check vital signs.
The state of Oklahoma does not require residents to obtain more than the federal standard of training to work as an HHA. The minimum requirement is 75 hours of training, 16 of which must include clinical training. The state of Oklahoma also requires individuals who wish to work as HHAs to complete 12 hours of ongoing education every 12 months to continue to work in the field. The state of Oklahoma does not require individuals to obtain a high school diploma in order to gain employment as an HHA, however, most competitive resumes in the state contain, at least, a high school diploma. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals who wish to present a competitive resume and increase their chances of employment, should obtain a high school diploma.
Individuals who wish to gain employment with agencies who receive medicare and medicaid reimbursements may be subject to higher standards of employment. Most agencies who receive such reimbursements require employees to become certified in the state of Oklahoma. Those who wish to become certified in the state of Oklahoma must receive training from a state approved training program and complete a competency evaluation exam. Many agencies will also require one year of experience working in the field as a companion or apprentice.
Individuals who wish to become home health aides should perform self-assessments and identify whether or not they have the skills necessary to be successful as a home health aide. These skills include intrapersonal skills, as patients and their family members want to feel as though they can trust the HHA administering care for themselves or their loved one’s. HHAs also need to ensure that they have strong time management skills, as HHAs are often asked to handle multiple duties at once. Finally, HHAs need to make sure that they have the physical stamina required to lift, move or adjust patients who don’t have the motor function to handle some of these tasks themselves.
Those who feel that they have the necessary skills and are willing to put in the time required to move into the medical field should absolutely consider doing so. Many HHAs go on to become certified nursing assistants and, often, registered nurses. The medical field offers unbound career growth opportunities as well as a rewarding career experience.