Your job as a home health aide may be challenging, but it is also highly rewarding. Although you can learn the job duties you may be expected to fulfill, a typical day is not always typical. As in any other arena in which you are working with individuals, you can suddenly be faced with the unexpected.
Who Hires a Home Health Aide?
Home health aides are often hired in homes where people have chronic disabilities, major injury, chronic illness or cognitive impairment. In many cases, it’s in the home of someone who is experiencing an age-related problem and still wishes to live in their own home. A home health aide provides basic services to the client. Although they function independently, they are supervised by another medical professional, often a registered nurse. The home health aide will be responsible for following a plan of care that has been written by a registered nurse, therapist or physician who is focused on the rehabilitation, recovery or maintenance of the client. Your goal is to ensure the client’s health and safety, which means your daily list of “things to do” can vary and will depend upon your specific client.
What Are Some of the Common Duties a Home Health Aide Will Perform?
Some of the typical duties of a home health aide will be assisting a client with daily personal tasks, such as activities of daily living. These include hygiene activities, like bathing, brushing teeth or toileting. You also may help your client get dressed and assist in health-related tasks supervised by a medical professional. These tasks may include ensuring your client receives their prescribed medications, monitoring vital signs and changing bandages.
Since a home health aide’s goal is to keep their client at home, and many elderly desire to age at home, your duties may also include some light housekeeping, including doing the laundry and cleaning the kitchen. Clients may require setting appointments for doctor’s visits or therapy visits, as well as arranging transportation. Some of your clients may be unable to prepare their own meals or do their own grocery shopping.
What Skills and Competencies Are Required?
In addition to the list of tasks and duties, a home health aide may be required to do in an individual client’s home, there are skills that will help make your job easier. One of the greatest joys many home health aides say comes from their job is their ability to connect with their patients and develop personal relationships. It is crucial you gain your clients’ trust in order to help them feel safe and comfortable, and you do that by having strong interpersonal skills that include good listening and communication skills. Although this is crucial to doing your job, it also increases your job satisfaction working with clients. You’ll also need to be detail-oriented in order to keep track of medications, appointments and vital signs as well as strong time-management skills to prioritize what needs to be done while you’re in your client’s home.
Are You Ready to Work as a Home Health Aide?
Since there is a growing population of elderly and many insurance companies discharge their patients from the hospital sooner than they used to, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has designated a home health aide as a “Bright Outlook” occupation over the next decade as compared to other occupations and industries. Employment is actually is expected to grow by 47% as compared to the projected 7% growth for other occupations. If you’re ready to enjoy rewarding personal relationships with your clients, work a flexible schedule and be independent, it’s time to call one of our professional recruiters. It is our mission to support our clients and families, providing them with people just like you to support their efforts to stay home.