What Do Home Health Aides Do?
A home health aide offers standard healthcare on a one-on-one basis. Such services often include monitoring and/or reporting changes in the health of patients, dressing wounds, changing bandages, applying topical medications and administering personal care, such as grooming and bathing. Home health aides work in health care facilities as well as in the homes of their patients. Individuals being treated might also need the assistance of an aide for exercise or accurately assessing his or her physical condition.
Home Health Aide Skills and Abilities
Active listening, social perceptiveness, psychology, personal service and public security are examples of some of the abilities and skills home health aides are expected to possess. Aides should be aware of how to properly communicate with their patients and be able to fully understand their patients as well. A home health aide should also be able to harness logic and reasoning and understand the fundamentals of inductive reasoning. Depending on the job, an aide could also need management and administration skills.
Home Health Aide Duties
Additional duties for home health aides include helping individuals being treated move in and out of bed as well as in and out of the bathtub. It’s also not unusual for aides to have to entertain, read to and converse with patients. An individual might need to be accompanied outside of his or her home, and aides can provide their charges with transportation. Sick or disabled patients with children might request an aide to help care for them. The families of people being treated might also require an aide’s emotional support and instructions on taking care of their sick or disabled loved ones.
Home Health Aide Tools and Technology
Throughout the course of their jobs, home health aides use such tools as:Therapeutic pillows and ice packsAbdominal bindersPatient fall prevention and stabilization devicesFoot boardsCommon technology includes:Medical software, such as AIG OASISDatabase reporting softwareInternet browsers
Education and Training for Home Health Aides
A majority of home health aides only have a high school diploma or its equivalent. While an individual can qualify for a position with less than a high school diploma, it’s not unusual to hear of aides who have earned an associate’s, bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. Once hired, aides commonly receive both short- and long-term on-the-job training. For some work environments and positions, such as nursing homes and healthcare support, having some college experience can prove useful.
Home Health Aide Salary
The lowest 10% of home health aides in the U.S. earn roughly $17,000 a year. 50% of all aides make about $21,400 while the top 90% earn approximately $29,000. As with most occupations, the amount an employee can earn depends on his or her education background and the state of employment. For instance, the top 90% of home health aides in California make $40,600.
Home Health Aide Jobs by Geography
States that are expected to experience the largest growth in employment of home health aides include Georgia (55%), the District of Columbia (54%), Kentucky (53%) and Utah (51%). Those that are expected to see the least amount of growth for home health aides include Tennessee (20%), Maine (19%), South Dakota (9%) and Maryland (7%). Overall, home health aides are projected to experience a 49% increase in employment, which translates to about 59,100 jobs. As far as wages, states with the best median wages for home health aides include Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Connecticut. Regions where aides earned the lowest median wages include Texas, Arkansas, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. While considering job opportunities, you should consider the area’s specific job prospects and recent salary information.