As a result, there is a change in delivery of care. Home health is very prevalent and home health aides are an important part of that equation. Due to the training requirements and increasing demand, becoming a home health aide is a very viable job opportunity with considerable security.
Home health aides fulfill a large portion of the care given in the home setting. The services they are trained to provide include the following: preparing and serving individual diets, transferring and ambulation, catheter, oxygen and equipment handling and use, toileting assistance, medication dispensing, and skin care- particularly for bedridden patients.
In most states, the hourly training requirement to become a home health aide is 75 hours. For some states, including a few in the north east and Washington state, the requirement is 76-119 hours. Other states, including California and Maine, require more than 120 hours of training.
If you are considering a career in health care, becoming a home health aide is a good first step. The schedule is potentially more flexible than a job in a hospital, and it’s a great way to get through school while earning an income. The skills you acquire as an aide are formative for a nursing career. Learning to care for people on a basic level sharpens skills in observation, and provides opportunity for practice with vital sign monitoring, equipment care and more.
Most people who work as home health aides are female (91%), work part time (56%) and have at most a high school education (58%). The median salary for a home health aide working full time is 20,820.00. The job growth outlook is 48%, compared to the average of 11%. It is a 42 billion dollar industry, 73% funded by taxpayers.
Why is this such a solid and growing job market? It’s client population consists predominantly of the elderly. Fourteen percent of the current population is 65 years of age or older, and as the baby boomers age, that number will continue to increase. Currently there are 1.5 million people who require home health services and the average length of service needed by those people is 315 days.
When one considers the relatively low number of training hours needed and education level required, the fact that the demand for home health workers is high and only growing, not to mention the skills and income one can gain, becoming a home health aide is a great start for a healthcare career.