Once you have completed CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) training, you might want to consider home health aide training (hha training) to supplement your learning and increase your job prospects.
CNA training prepares the student to be able to work in nursing homes or in hospitals with RNs (Registered Nurses) or LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) as supervisors. These supervisors are on site to assist the CNAs throughout their shifts.
However, in a home health care setting, CNAs most often find themselves working alone during the majority of their day. This requires some additional home health aide training (hha training) that is not covered in a typical CNA training program.
In a nursing home setting, a CNA may have a caseload of anywhere from about 10-20 patients. Nursing assistants rotate from room to room during feeding time, for bathing and showers, for bathroom assistance, and to change bedding. This results in a very busy day that leaves little time for much else.
The advantage of having home health aide training is that the CNA can work with one or two patients in the privacy of their own home. This gives more time not only for activities of daily living, but also time for interaction on a more emotional, caring level. This is what many CNAs find most attractive about in-home health care.
So what is included in home health aide training (hha training)? One thing that is prominent in this type of program is learning how to properly lift and move the patient. As a home health aide, there is usually not anyone else available to help with lifting. While a CNA might have specialized equipment for assistance, it is important to learn how to use the equipment properly to avoid injuries to both the nurse and the patient.
Another important topic is ethics. In a nursing home or hospital, there is always someone “higher up” that can make important decisions if necessary. In the home health arena a supervisor might only be available by telephone. CNAs have to be able to make life or death decisions very quickly. Specialized courses in home health aide training and role playing activities help the CNA learn how to handle a variety of situations that may arise.
Because there is additional time available to devote to the patient, the CNA needs to learn about specific needs for various conditions in home health aide training (hha training). Consider Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s patients. These types of patients require particular activities to help preserve their memory or increase their range of motion. Games and exercises might be prescribed for the CNA to perform in addition to regular duties of feeding, washing, and dressing.
Home health aides occasionally live with a patient full time which means that other duties of cleaning, grocery shopping, and running errands are often included. Some agencies set up nurses on shifts but try to keep each nurse assigned to the same patients. This allows the nursing assistant to better learn each patient’s needs and fulfill them to the best of their ability.
The current job outlook for home health aides is favorable due to the large population of retirees that will be needing assistance in their homes. To best take advantage of the opportunity and to make yourself competitive for this market, it is highly recommended that you add home health aide training (hha training) to your resume.