Becoming a Home Care Aide

One of the most important healthcare professionals in the United States, the Home Care Aides provide personal care to patients who need various types of assistants due to illness, advance age, disability or cognitive impairment. They work closely with the patients and their family members. From bathing, eating, moving etc, they take care of all needs of the patients, including medication and therapy to keep them safe and fit. In most cases, they are also required to assist with light housekeeping duties such as cooking, cleaning or laundry.

Education Requirements: For this profession, no typical degree or certification programs are required. However, the aspirants are advised to go for training programs that are available at post-secondary schools and other health care agencies. They can also take online training through proper channels.

The Home Care Aides are also popularly known as Home Care Assistants. They work under the supervision of a nurse, but enjoy the freedom to review the conditions and take appropriate action if needed.

The Home Care Aides are trained on the job by nurses and other medical professionals. However, they can become licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or a certified nursing assistant (CNA). A national certification can be availed from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).

Key Challenges:

  • They need to be mentally strong and physically fit
  • Need to be flexible in terms of working hours as well as nature of jobs
  • Home Care Aides are required to be very patient and tolerant to handle all types of situation.
  • Act as a mediator between the patients and their family members.

Salary & Job Outlook: The job outlook for Home Care Aides is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it may grow at 49% during the period of 2012-22. Also, half a million jobs in this profession may be added by 2018. The average salary for Home Care Aide was about $20,100 per year as of May 2013.