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How to Become a Home Health Aide in Philadelphia

A senior woman in wheelchair with a health visitor at home at Christmas time.

There aren’t many professions out there that give you the sense of satisfaction you get from being a home health aide. Caring for people that are most in need is both a job and a passion, and for many people, it’s the starting point into a long and fulfilling career! For those that are already caring for their elderly relatives or loved ones, training as a home health aide could mean that you get paid for caring for your relatives. If you’re thinking of a career as a home health aide or if you would like to get paid for caring for your loved one, continue reading below to find out all the key details!

What do home health aides do?

Home health aides provide one to one assistance services for those who need extra help with everyday tasks. The tasks include bath and shower assistance; hair, oral, nail and foot care; medication assistance; cooking, feeding, and preparation assistance; washing and housecleaning assistance; repositioning assistance and emptying urinary and ostomy bags. The range of jobs that HHAs need to complete means that there’s never a dull moment! For many, the qualification to become an HHA is the first step on a long and fruitful career in care and health services.

What are the requirements?

To undergo HHA training in Pennsylvania, you are required to undertake a minimum of 75 hours of training which must include at least 16 hours of clinical instruction. On top of this, you’re required to complete 12 hours of continuing education training for every 12 months that you’re an HHA. The training will include all the necessary care techniques you need to be a fully qualified HHA including assistance training, medication assistance training, washing procedure training, and housekeeping requirements to good cleanliness. Once the training is complete, you will have to undergo a test that covers all of the main elements necessary to gain your qualification. Before you decide on a training program, you need to ensure that the course you’re thinking of is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health!

A senior woman in wheelchair with a health visitor at home at Christmas time.

Other routes to becoming an HHA

Other than taking the route of an HHA program, there are two other ways to become a fully fledged HHA. The first is through the completion of the nurse aide certification and training. This certification is often sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is the first step on the road to becoming a qualified nurse so is a great option for those who want to make a career in healthcare. The other option is to complete a competency test developed by the health care agency where you will be working. While this is the quickest and most convenient option, it is the most restrictive, meaning you are unable to move to another agency without completing their competency test first. However, it may be a good option if you’re looking at becoming an HHA to get paid for looking after a loved one or relative.

If you are looking for a career where you feel the rewards of your hard work and dedication every day, or you want to get paid for the care you provide for your relative or loved one, then you should seriously consider becoming a home health aide! The average wage is $22,000 per year, making it a rewarding opportunity both financially and through the satisfaction of helping those most in need!