Want to become a HHA? Here’s how – 3 easy steps!

Proven Steps to Become a Home Health Aide

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Steps to Become a Home Health Aide

If you’re interested in getting a career in the medical workspace, however, you don’t have the time to invest in training in order to become a healthcare professional, becoming a certified home health aide (HHA) is an alternate excellent option.

Many elder individuals prefer to reside in their homes rather than away from home in a nursing facility, and home health aide services provide this option, allowing anyone with a handicap or disability to maintain their own home.

Certified home health aides assist with such basic tasks as bathing, dressing, cleaning teeth, and basic hygiene and transfers. You may be counted on to tidy the client’s living space and do light housecleaning and errands. In some areas, you can also manage medication and administer vital signs under the supervision of a physician.

Home health aide responsibilities usually involve helping clients get to where they need to go, maintain hygiene, and feel comfortable. Your responsibilities involve more focus on ensuring that your patient can get around.

How and where do you actually begin to become a HHA in ?

3 steps to be a hha
hha steps

Home health aide training is required and varies by state.

Though not all states require formal home health aide training to work as a HHA, most do. But even if you reside in a state that does not require this type of professional preparation but plan on working for an agency reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid, there are still federal requirements you must meet.

Requirements to be a home health aide

  • Work Eligibility
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Type of Certification
    • Certification required if employed by agency accepting Medicare payments
  • Application Form
    • Application required; along with other information (e.g., proof of education, references, etc.)
  • Age
    • Usually no age requirements; states may require to be over 18 years old
  • Driver’s License
    • Driver’s license usually required
  • Education Level
    • Most employers will require a high school diploma / GED
  • Training
  • Exam
  • Experience
    • None required
  • Health Immunizations
  • Fingerprints
    • Fingerprinting may be required
  • Background checks
  • Other Requirements
    • Photo ID
hha steps

There are many ways in which you can get the proper home health aide training.

  • community colleges
  • night courses at a high school
  • elder care programs
  • home health care agencies
  • online training courses

As soon as you find the perfect training program, make sure that it meets your needs so there won’t be any problems when completing school requirements later down the road.

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Each state has minimum required by Federal law: at least 75 hours of training, including at least 16 hours of supervised practical or clinical training and 12 hours of continuing education per 12 month period; and most states insist on seventy-five (75) hours and you must pass an evaluation.

hha training minimum requirements

Training will most likely be $100 – $1,000; this is a lot of money for someone just starting out in the medical profession.

You may not have the money or the resources to take out a loan either.

HHA Free Training Near You!

If an agency offers free training they may ask for something in return such as a commitment from you that you work with their firm for a period of time.

hha steps

Preparing For The Exam

Once training is completed, you will be required to complete a competency evaluation (sometimes called a “test” or “exam”) to ensure they can properly perform tasks for your patients.

After your classroom (or online) and clinical training have been met you can apply for the examination.

Most likely you will complete this paperwork even before you start your training. Sometimes, too, the school in which you are training will take care of this paperwork – they are the experts in filling them out so ask if you have any questions. The application gets sent to your respective state nursing board.

Once the application is sent to the nursing board you will be notified of the place, date and time of your scheduled exam.

HHA Practice Tests

hha practice test quote

One of the best, perhaps the best, ways to prepare for the home health aide test is to take as many practice tests as you can.

It relieves any stress you may have now or will have on the day of the actual exam.

If you are familiar with what it looks like, how the questions flow and how to best manage your time then you will be stress-free when taking it on exam day.

Take as many tests as you can get your hands on –many, if not all, will be free so why not?

Passing The HHA Exam

hha ticket

Once you have passed, you may apply to your state’s board of nursing for certification as a HHA.

A home health aide certificate will be awarded to you when your application has been approved; your name will be placed in an online database.

Most states have the certificate expire after a set period of time (on your certificate) and make you renew – most have a year limit.

Your prospects are very good for getting a full time job and making money right away. The population continues to age and people are staying in their homes and are more independent. All this works in your favor!

What To Expect For Salary

With such a fast growing industry and low educational requirements the starting pay may be low and unless you advance you may be limiting yourself.

HHA salaries vary by state – what HHA salaries are the best?

There’s plenty of good news to go along with that:

  • certified home health aides may make more
  • a state’s minimum wage law may provide you with a substantial increase
  • working in an assisted living facility will earn you more

BONUS: Start as a HHA in 4 Weeks!

Can’t wait to start? You can start your new home health aide (HHA) career in about four (4) weeks.

Here’s a weekly breakdown on how to become a HHA in 4 weeks.

hha in 4 weeks

Qualifications And Application To Be A HHA

hha qualifications in 1 week

It may take up to one (1) week from meeting with the potential employer (usually a home health agency), filling out paperwork and accepted into a program.

The requirements are quite simple and once certified you can take your basic nursing and home care skills with you anywhere you go.

The Training

hha train 2 weeks

Home health aide training programs will take about two (2) weeks.

Your HHA training will be the single largest driver of how long it will take to become certified.

Every state must adhere to at least this training: at least 75 hours of training, including at least 16 hours of supervised practical or clinical training and 12 hours of continuing education per 12-month period.

State Training Requirements

Many states require additional training so know the specifics of your state before you begin planning.

The most common state rule?

Increasing the 75 hours to 120 hours and even 160 hours.

hha federal and state

Certification Upon Passing The Competency Exam

hha certification one week

It may take about one (1) week from the time you successfully pass the HHA test in order to get your certification.

Successful completion of a HHA program and passing the home health aide certification test are two huge accomplishments and bring you VERY close to getting certified.

The very last step is the formal designation of “certified home health aide”.

Some states certify you immediately after you pass the home health competency exam. Other states have you submit the paperwork (whether hard copies or electronic file) then notify you if you’re cleared to work in homes helping people.

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Easy Steps
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Be a HHA

Download, for FREE of course, this all new guide on how to become a home health aide. Tips and resources you can view or print for later use – all yours.

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