Finding HHA Classes

Finding home health aide classes can be very time-consuming, inefficient, frustrating and difficult.

There’s not a resource that’s shows programs near you and you can spend hours surfing the Internet and get nowhere.

And then it hit me: pull together a listing of companies that offer the classes and training, so users can find them easily – and in one place.

Let me walk you through exactly how to find HHA training in your area – and it may even be free!

Who Offers HHA Classes?

The basics…

As a certified home health aide, you will most likely be working for a home health agency.

A home health agency provides services, including skilled nursing care and home care aide services, as well as occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and medical social services. They hire home health aides and lots of them!

I won’t bore with all the details but there are basically two (2) types of agencies.

Those that accept Medicare payments for services for home health care and ones that do not.

Most agencies are certified as a Medicare and/or Medicaid home health providers.

In fact, more than 75% of providers are Medicare certified.

Let me explain why this is important…

Medicare certified home health agencies can only hire certified home health aides.

Period.

And better yet?

Most of these agencies will have home health aide classes near you and train you – and they may be free as well!

Why Get Certified

Well, first, it will be required if you work for an organization that accepts Medicare for the services provided to patients. Most places do accept Medicare.

Put another way…

Most places that hire HHA’s can only hire certified aides; you need to be certified!

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And on top of that, it is an indicator of the training you have received. It shows that you took training and passed a competency test

Secondly, to maintain certification, a home health aide must take continuing education courses (according to Federal law).

Lastly, it will most certainly put you ahead of the competition and make you more hirable and promotable – which all means: more money as you advance in your home health career.

Finding The Classes

Here is a listing of home health agencies and other organizations that are Medicare certified.

You can sort through the listing to have it show only places near you that may offer classes.

If you live in Brooklyn, New York and want to find a job there – then why would you need to see home health agencies in Philadelphia?

Well, that’s the point… you wouldn’t!

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For example, if you will be working in Brooklyn then select “NY” for the State and “Brooklyn” for the City/Town. Or you can simply do a search by ZIP code.

Go ahead try it out! It’s very easy to use.

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TRY IT!

(Make sure you select the “Clear Filters” button to look for training near YOU.)

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Making Contact

Now that you have a good listing of potential agencies to work for, you will want to reach out to them and ask some basic questions to learn more about them.

Here’s a suggested list of questions that you may want to have answered.

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What are the training requirements?

While you may know the HHA requirements for your state some employers may have their own requirements. You’ll want to know this upfront.

For example, your state may need 75 hours of HHA/CNA training. But an agency may add another 20 hours – that will make a big difference when you make your decision on where to work.

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Do you offer home health aide training?

You should ask this as one of your top questions. The agency may not offer it all all so you don’t want to waste your time.

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What is the cost of the training?

This question makes more sense than “Is it free?” as this sounds like you are more interested in something for free than working with/for the company. The agency wants to make sure you are the right fit for the company and you’ll be a great home health aide – that’s how you want to sell yourself.

Once you ask the question (“What is the cost of the training?) they will tell you is it’s free or if they charge anything.

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Who will do the training?

Registered nurses (“RN”) conduct home health training. Since the home health industry is growing so fast things slip through the cracks… agencies may try to use someone other than a RN to do the training – this way they can cut costs.

If you want to differentiate yourself from others you can acquire additional skills such as a CPR certificate, human anatomy lessons or hospice training/experience.

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Are you accredited and state approved?

This may not make sense now but as you narrow your selection it will. You only want to work for an agency that has a state approved curriculum. And if they are accredited, that’s even better. These employers will be funded by Medicaid / Medicare allowing you to work as a certified home health aide and make more money.

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Where does the training take place?

Silly question?  The headquarters of the agency may be a couple of miles from you house but the training itself could be at a centralized training classroom. That may be 50 miles away! And the skills part may be at another location. Better to know this upfront before you make a training commitment.

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How long is the training?

This can run anywhere from 3 weeks to 10 weeks; ask the companies on your listing how long theirs is. Some may be bound by state requirements. Also ask if it is full time or part time – some firms will allow you to take your time and take a few classes a week but these are few and far between.

Remember, the goal here is to find, and take advantage of, free training. When companies and agencies offer it for no cost they want to train you efficiently; which means you’ll be going full time for several weeks.

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Who covers the cost of the competency exam?

There may be costs associated with taking the competency exam, it may be anywhere from $50 – $200; ask up front.

Passing the exam is not difficult as long as you know what to expect. Being prepared and knowing what is on the test is the key to passing.

You do not want to worry about the money involved; many agencies will cover the cost of this for you.

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Are there any others costs I should be aware of?

There could be other expenses that are part of the training.

You don’t need specifics on all these items this early in the game but you should be aware of any extra costs such as:

  • Registration Fee
  • Textbooks
  • Backgrounds check / fingerprinting
  • Board of Nursing fee for HHA certificate
  • Nursing scrubs
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Is there any commitment to work? If so, for how long?

If the agency offers free training then they will most likely make you work for them; and for a certain amount of time.

Look at it from their perspective: they are providing you with approximately $1,000 worth or training for free.

They don’t want you to take advantage of this great opportunity, get your certification and then go work for a competitor up the street.

You may need to work for them for six (6) months. Signing a commitment letter even before you start will also be required. Read the letter and if you don’t understand something ask.

Start Applying

Now that you have a good idea on the places you may want to work, you should start (formally) applying.

Even though there may be a terrific need to aides there is still may take some time for the processing of paperwork and other requirements so start applying real soon.

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Don’t stop reading now…

Let’s recap what we just went over in a couple of bullet points.