Why get HHA certified?
The Home Health Aide test is mandatory for obtaining an HHA license. The HHA exam has two separate sections: a written test and a skills test.
Health care agencies that accept Medicaid and/or Medicare can only hire certified health home health aides.
Passing the exam and getting your certification is not difficult.
HHA 2022 exam questions will test your knowledge about what you learned about taking care of clients.
When you walk into a client’s house for the first time you should have the skills to help and care for that person – that’s what home health aides do. You now have the home health aide training and are ready to take the competency exam and conquer the world in your new career.
Where to begin
You will drive yourself crazy if you look for information on preparing.
Go to your favorite search engine on the internet and search for “home health aide exam” and the number (and quality) of the results are astounding!
And there will be lots of advertisements for products and services…
The goal is to provide information and guidance in a concise format to help you pass.
Consider a home health aide study guide to help with the planning process and learn how others have passed the competency exam.
Focus on preparing for and taking the exam and avoid all the “noise” you may hear and see about the exam.
HHA Test Planning
Take the time in the very beginning to plan out the whole process.
It sounds tedious and boring but your planning will pay off.
Start by writing down dates and deadlines then enter them on a calendar – even your smart phone, and set reminders as well.
Find out when the test is and work your way back. You’ll probably want to give yourself a couple of weeks to study and review the material.
Studying and learning by yourself can be a challenge; we’d all like to learn more and study less!
And, we all know, life gets in the way and things will crop up and eat into your schedule – allow some extra preparation time just in case.
Most states have different HHA competency exam requirements so adhering to their rules is very important. If you miss one deadline it may prevent you from getting certified – you most certainly do not want that.
Chances are you received your training from a home health agency. Setup some time with the program coordinator and review what the steps are to get certified.
Did you complete your training online? Same thing. Give them a call and try to have a meeting. Ask them what other students have done to prepare and what resources they may have available that you could use.
Back To Class
Begin to review the material learned from your training.
Review all of it and this should be incorporated into your calendar. Map out how, what, when and where you will be studying.
Focus on what you do not know!
Don’t waste time on a subject that is completely common sense or you know all there is about it – you’ll pass these sections with flying colors.
Work efficiently in order to learn as much as you can.
Some people simply don’t do as well on tests even though they know the subject matter very well – there are certain tactics to ace an exam.
Find a particular subject matter especially difficult?
- Make test flashcards
- Take notes from your original notes
- Review key vocabulary terms
- Ask the training folks for resources such as additional books/videos
- Retake the test you took in class and the labs; what did you get right and wrong?
Practice Tests For The HHA Test
One of the best ways to prepare for the home health aide exam is to take as many FREE practice tests as you can.
These home health aide competency test (and answers) will let you see exactly how it will look like on the actual day and you will be better prepared than going in cold-turkey!
If you are familiar with what it looks like, the types of questions and how to best manage your time then you will be virtually stress-free when you take it on exam day!
The first suggestion would be to tap into who provided your training. They are used to folks asking for practice tests and almost guaranteed they have a bunch on file for you to take.
Remember… everybody wants you to pass the exam.
No one is trying to stop you in your tracks and prevent you from getting certified. They just want to make sure you know what you are doing and you have the proper skills.
People will help – just ask!
There are study guides available that won’t cost you much and there are online tests, too – though most will be hitting you hard to purchase something.
Stress-Free Test Day
Practice exams can provide you with the confidence you need on test day. You want a stress-free day, don’t you?
Go ahead and see how much you really know – or how much you don’t know!
Once you take a couple of practices (experts recommend at least four (4) of them) you will get a great sense of how you will do.
As you go through practices test you learn in a way that makes it easier to recall that information later – as during the actual test. You retain more of the information as opposed to “studying” in one drawn out session known as cramming.
Focus on the areas that may be your weak spots. If you have mastered how to dress a client then move on to something you may be struggling with like taking and recording vital signs.
The scores will highlight all your strengths and weakness – and that’s a good thing.
In summary, there are proven ways how to pass a test. Practice tests are proven effective and cramming is not a good idea.
Making Friends for the HHA Exam
What will make the biggest difference is finding someone to study with.
Whether a classmate from your training classes or a friend or family member it will make a big difference.
When you talk about what you’re studying and demonstrate to them some of the skills you are trying to master it sort of forces you to put your best foot forward. Especially if they ask questions of what you are trying to show them. If you take them seriously and answer the question it will help you answer this on the test.
As part of your planning how and what to study set aside time to demonstrate several home care skills with a friend. Tell them exactly what you will be doing and why.
Then perform that skill on them – for example, help them transport from a chair to a bed and then back. No need to be silly about this. Treat as though you’re testing registered nurse is watching and grading you.
Another great way to either get tips on the best way to study or what to expect from a particular training/testing site is to speak with former students.
You can call your home health aide training coordinator and ask if there are past students you can speak with. Many of these facilities have a list of “referrals” for just that purpose – so take advantage of it!
When getting in touch with the former student (now a home health aide or a certified nursing assistant) ask away. Ask her what to expect on the multiple choice questions, ask if she had enough time and how to best manage time throughout, ask her what she found the most difficult, etc.
HHA Exam Outline
Of course it varies by state.
Usually the exam is separated into two parts:
- Written Knowledge Exam
- Skills Exam
Written Knowledge Exam
The written portion normally consists of close to one-hundred (100) multiple choice questions – most exams have an average of 75.
The written section may be offered in an audio/oral format for those who may have reading and/or comprehension difficulties. Also helpful for those candidates who consider English as their second language.
Typical subject matter may include:
- Infection Control
- Data Collection
- Personal Care
- Basic Nursing Skills
- Mental Health
- Role and Responsibility
- Care Impaired
- Disease Process
- Resident Rights
- Older Adult Growth & Development
Here’s a real approximate breakdown of content of the multiple choice questions (varies greatly by state).
Tips For Preparing for the Written Knowledge Exam
- Find Your Sweet Spot
- Be disciplined and set aside time each day – the same time
- Write or Wrong
- Take notes, make flashcards, doodle drawings to help jog your memory and make it fun
- Do not wait until the last minute and try to cram the night before
- Seek and Assist
- Don’t be shy; get stuck? Call a friend or your instructor for clarification
The skills exam portion is just that – the skills you learn in the clinical setting. Brings back all the times you had to get that “dummy” patient in and out of her bed!
You may be asked to demonstrate proper hand washing, taking blood pressure, transferring a patient to/from a bed, etc.
Many times there will be a certain number of mandatory tasks to preform then you have your choice of several others to complete. You are normally tested on five (5) skills and give about thirty (30) minutes to complete all of them.
This portion of your evaluation will be in a setting that will look very like a real life work setting.
It will normally contain a bed, chair/wheelchair, sink and bathtub – really anything you need to demonstrate that you know each particular skill a home health aide may need. Everything will be provided and you will not have to bring any of your own items, if you have them.
No dummies here… your pretend client will most likely be someone who volunteers in the class; so you will be working a live person. Treat this person as you would an actual client and speak to them accordingly – no fooling around.
As a reminder, you will be performing the actual skill required – not just explaining to the instructor.
If you are asked to help a patient out of her bed then you will assist the volunteer patient out of the bed as you were trained.
Example of subject matters on skills exam include:
- hand washing
- bed bath
- bed making
- temperature – oral, rectal, axillary
- handling and emergency
Please, show up on time – that really means about thirty (30) minutes before you are scheduled to be tested. Plan ahead, find out where you are going and map out a route if need.
Not sure best way to get there? Give the testing center a call – may be well worth it to call anyway in case something has changed.
Make sure you have the following to bring:
- completed application
- proof of completed home health aide training
- two (2) forms of ID
- both should have signatures
- make sure at least one (1) has your picture
- no copies; all should be originals
- social security number
- watch (with a second hand)
- exam fees
- bring a couple of checks just in case
Usually your results will be sent to the respective department of health or nurse registry in your state.
You become a certified home health aide only after you meet all requirements including, of course, the competency exam.
Don’t sit around waiting for your exam results though.
Your job search may take longer than you thought so you want to get a jump on it as soon as possible. Make it clear to your prospective employers that you recently took the home health aide exam and you expect the result real soon.
Emphasize that you are really excited about starting a career as a home health aide and you simply loved the training that you went through. Cite some specific example of what you liked best about the training.
If you fail either the Written Knowledge Exam or the Skills Exam you need to reapply to retake the exam you failed.