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Some visit four or five clients in the same day, and others only work with one client all day—in some cases staying with one client on a long-term basis. They may work with other aides in shifts so that the client always has an aide. They help people in hospices and day services programs, and may travel as they also help people with disabilities go to work and stay engaged in their communities.
Injuries and Illnesses Personal care aides have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations.
Home health aides have a higher rate of injuries and illnesses than the national average. Work as a home health or personal care aide can be physically and emotionally demanding.
Aides must guard against back injury because they often move clients into and out of bed or help them to stand or walk. In addition, aides frequently work with clients who have cognitive impairments or mental health issues and who may display difficult or violent behaviors.
Aides also face hazards from minor infections and exposure to communicable diseases, but can lessen their chance of infection by following proper procedures.
Work Schedules Most aides work full-time, others work part-time. Home health aides and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, though some positions do not require it.
Those working in certified home health or hospice agencies must complete formal training and pass a standardized test.
Education Home health aides and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, though some positions do not require it.
There are also postsecondary nondegree award programs at community colleges and vocational schools. Training Home health aides and personal care aides may be trained in housekeeping tasks, such as cooking for clients who have special dietary needs.
Aides may learn basic safety techniques, including how to respond in an emergency. Specific training may be needed for certification if state certification is required.
Training may be done on the job or through specialized programs. Training typically includes learning about personal hygiene, reading and recording vital signs, infection control, and basic nutrition. In addition, clients have their own preferences, and aides may need time to become comfortable working with them.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations Aides who work for agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid must get a minimum level of training and pass a competency evaluation to be certified. Some states allow aides to take a competency exam in order to become certified without taking any training.
Additional requirements for certification vary by state. In some states, the only requirement for employment is on-the-job training, which employers generally provide.
Other states require formal training, which is available from community colleges, vocational schools, elder care programs, and home healthcare agencies.
In addition, states may conduct background checks on prospective aides. Aides also may be required to obtain CPR certification.
Important Qualities Detail oriented. Home health aides and personal care aides must adhere to specific rules and protocols and carefully follow instructions to help take care of clients.
Home health aides and personal care aides should make clients feel comfortable when they tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe. In addition, aides must be dependable and trustworthy so that clients and their families can rely on them.
Home health aides and personal care aides must work closely with clients.
Sometimes, clients are in extreme pain or distress, and aides must be sensitive to their emotions. Aides must be compassionate, and they must enjoy helping people.Story time: My sister adopted a dog a few weeks back that she was told was a three-year old American Bull mix.
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