What do you do as a home health aide (HHA)?

home health aide

What do you do as a home health aide (HHA)?

Considering a career as a home health aide? Learn all about the job duties and work responsibilities of home health aides in their roles. Also, find training resources and other avenues to become an HHA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Note: If you are an individual looking for or interested in home health aide services, please visit our partner website, Chosen Family Home Care. 

 

Home Health Aide Job Responsibilities

For those that love caring for others, becoming a home health aide could serve as a wonderful career. Women and men in this occupation love caring for people as if they were their own family. Home health aides often build emotional bonds and connections with their patients as part of their job duties. They are tasked with providing care to help promote healing and overall well-being. HHAs are also responsible for taking care of patients who are suffering from disabilities or chronic illness. They also may be elderly and in need of continuous care while living at home.

Working as a home health aide entails much more than just assisting the person as they age and go through life. In reality, it consists of tasks like building trust with the patient, as well as the family, when they are at their most vulnerable. Home health aides also act as the eyes and ears of doctors and nurses. This is because they are often the first to notice a change in a patient’s condition.

Home health aides perform a variety of essential tasks for the individuals that they serve. Home health aides are considered health care paraprofessionals that are required to meet training requirements by the state of Pennsylvania.

What is a paraprofessional? 

They are workers who are not licensed healthcare professionals but who perform health-related tasks in support of certified healthcare professionals. Think of nurses, occupational therapists, or other roles that home health aides might support.

Daily job functions

In the majority of instances, home health aides work regular shifts. In some cases, they live with the care recipient. Along with doing routine chores the care recipient can no longer manage, such as cooking, laundry, and shopping, the aides must be able to:

  • Assist with activities of daily living. Examples include bathing, dressing, eating, grooming, transferring or moving from one place to another, toileting, and other activities.
  • Check and monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, respiration and pulse.
  • Monitor a client’s level of exercise, physical and mental condition, how much they are eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom.
  • Deal with emergencies such as an accident, heart attack or stroke.
  • Home health aides do not provide services such as nursing care or physical and occupational therapy. However, they often are tasked with observing the recipient of care’s physical and mental health. They will also report on one’s condition to a registered nurse or other health care professional.

nursing care

Tasks and duties of the HHA


Daily job functions and responsibilities may vary from company to company and agency to agency. More tasks of a home health aide include:

  • Bathing and dressing
  • Light housekeeping (laundry, vacuuming, etc.)
  • Monitoring of medication
  • Physical exercise and at-home therapy exercises
  • Shopping for groceries
  • Planning and preparing meals
  • Transportation to doctor’s offices and other appointments
  • Companionship visits
  • Organization of schedules and appointments

 

Additional job responsibilities

Home health aides might also help with certain in-home care needs related to specific scenarios or conditions. These may include:

  • Alzheimer’s or Dementia
  • Hypertension/Stroke Recovery
  • Hospice/Palliative Support
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer Recovery

 

Academic Requirements

in-home care

Home Health Aide Courses

To be a home health aide, you can start with just a high school diploma and get your HHA training and certification. To undergo your Home Health Aide training in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you are required to undertake a minimum of 75 hours of training which must include at least 16 hours of clinical instruction. This provides you with the instruction to prepare a future HHA with job responsibilities, duties, and job functions of the position that they may encounter.

Home Health Aide Program to Prepare you for Job Duties

CareBridge Academy offers a 75-hour Home Health Aide training program which exceeds the state’s requirements by offering 20 hours of clinical instruction. By exceeding the state minimum through hands-on laboratory training, CareBridge ensures that its HHA graduates are well prepared for their careers as a Home Health Aide. Best of all, the program is highly affordable and can be completed in just a few weeks. Then, you’ll be able to jump right into an HHA role and tackle your daily tasks with confidence.

Continuing Education

Each year, Home Health Aides that are certified are required to complete 12 hours of continuing education training for every 12 months that you’re an HHA. This is part of the responsibilities of the role in order to maintain your HHA certification. If working through a home healthcare agency, they will often provide the in-service hours needed for HHAs to maintain their certification free of charge.

Read all about how to get certification in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania here

Why a career as a home health aide?

There are a variety of reasons that being in a home health aide role makes a great career choice. We go into great detail here

To sum it up, a future as a home health aide offers the following as part of the functions of the position:

  • A fast growing field. In fact, home health aides and caregivers are the FASTEST growing jobs in America over the next 10 years! This is why being prepared to take on the tasks and job responsibilities of an HHA is so important.
  • A good starting salary. Considering the minimal training requirements and experience needed to function as an HHA, a home health aide has a strong starting salary with the potential for stronger earnings down the road. 
  • A fast pass to certification. As mentioned, a home health aide can get certified in just two weeks. In fact, CareBridge Academy regularly offers classes to fit your schedule and get you on your career track in the role of an HHA right away.
  • Job satisfaction. Being a home health aide is a challenging job. However, many HHAs find great satisfaction in helping others and making a difference in people’s lives.
  • Gain experience in healthcare. By starting your healthcare career, you are taking a path to a promising future. Plus, home health aides get exposure to different healthcare roles and specialties as part of their daily duties and job function. Many HHAs take advanced career and educational opportunities as a result to their job roles and experience as an HHA. They may eventually become nurses, doctors, or physical therapists. 

 

Taking the next step 

Ready to launch your career? Sign up for the Home Health Aide certification program with CareBridge Academy today and start tackling the duties of an HHA in just a few weeks! With a regular schedule of classes, you can launch your medical career and healthcare responsibility without delay. Plus, the program is very affordable and can be completed quickly.