14 Aug How to get certified as a Home Health Aide (HHA) in Pennsylvania
Learn about what it takes to be a certified home health aide in Philadelphia and the career prospects that exist for home health aides. Understand what avenues one can take to attain their certification and the pros and cons of different options.
Note: If you are an individual looking for or interested in home health aide services, please visit our partner website, Chosen Family Home Care.
Starting a career as a certified home health aide can be promising, rewarding, and open many new doors of opportunity. Best of all, a career as a home health aide is both very stable and fast growing. This is especially comforting during tough economic times and in the face of the pandemic. Read more to discover how to get your certification as a home health aide (HHA) and take your career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a new direction.
What is home healthcare?
Home healthcare encompasses a wide variety of services. Home healthcare workers might include personal care aides who assist patients with daily tasks, to certified home health aides able to provide medical care, including rehabilitation services after surgeries. Many of the services these home healthcare opportunities provide can serve as an alternative to placing family members in a long-term care facility.
What are the job prospects and career outlook for certified home health aides?
As the pandemic has ravaged the job market in the United States, careers in retail, restaurant, tourism, and other service industry jobs have been hit the hardest. Many of the individuals in these fields have decided to consider other career paths, and healthcare has been one of the most resilient. Not only is it a path towards a stable career, but it is also fulfilling.
Home health aides engage in rewarding work and attain valuable experience in entry level healthcare roles. Plus, starting as a certified home health aide can eventually lead to a bright and blossoming future in all sorts of healthcare roles. Many HHA’s climb the career and educational ladder to become nurses, doctors, or therapists, among other roles.
While there aren’t as many home healthcare jobs today as there were a year ago, they’ve been on the uptick since the beginning of the pandemic, unlike nursing homes. Many industry group leaders said demand for those services are likely to continue as the baby boomer population ages.
In fact, a career in home health is one of the fast growing professions in all of America. The bureau of labor statistics projects a 37 percent increase in all home health aide jobs in America through 2028, versus only a 5 percent increase in all professions as a whole.
What’s it like to be a certified home health aide?
Home health aides will assist the elderly or other individuals with special needs, including children. These individuals served by HHAs may suffer from chronic illnesses, disabilities or impaired cognitive function with daily activities. Home health aides may assist their clients with daily personal tasks related to hygiene activities. They could also help their clients in getting dressed and other health-related tasks, including giving prescribed medications and monitoring their vital signs. Read more in depth about what HHAs do on a daily basis in our recently released article.
A home health aide is also permitted to perform duties including:
- Light housekeeping, like washing dishes and doing laundry
- Arranging transportation needs such as to doctor visits or for errands
- Planning a client’s schedule and setting appointments for doctor visits
- Shopping for groceries, errands, and cooking meals for a client
- Offering companionship and helping a client remain active socially, physically, and mentally
Can certified Home Health Aides only work in the home?
Considering the name, it may seem logical that home health aides (HHAs) only work in a home-based setting. This is certainly true in a majority of cases. However, HHAs work in a variety of settings, like in assisted living facilities, individual and family services settings, and residential disability facilities, among others.
How can I get certification as a Home Health Aide?
To get certified as a home health aide (HHA), prospective home health aides must complete a training program. This is a federal requirement of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These programs may be offered by community colleges, private schools or employers (home healthcare agencies) offering jobs in the field.
What is the cost of the program?
The cost of the program can vary but can run from a few hundred dollars up to $2000. It can also be obtained free of charge for employers offering the program for home health aides that work for that employer.
If I can get it for free, shouldn’t I just do that?
This can be an option, but there are some downsides, including restrictions or strings attached to this. Since these programs are offered by the agencies directly, they usually don’t have classes that occur on a regular basis. As a result, classes can be sporadic or infrequent.
Additionally, these classes are only free when you agree to work for that specific agency. In almost all cases, you are required to work at the agency for a specified period of time or for a certain number of hours. If you don’t you may be subject to have to pay for the full cost of the class or your certification may be restricted.
How should I balance cost and restrictions when it comes to being a certified Home Health Aide?
CareBridge Academy offers a premier home health aide training program right in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. CareBridge Academy commenced it’s HHA program because it found a lack of affordable HHA training options. In addition, it saw an opportunity to offer a program that was also innovative and of superior educational quality. Plus, they offer high-caliber HHA instruction under the direct supervision of highly experienced and patient nurse instructors.
At only $595, the CareBridge Academy HHA program offers the best of both worlds: a reasonable training cost which offers its graduates a certification that is highly flexible not restricted to just one home healthcare agency or one healthcare setting.