Here are all the reasons you need to become a home health aide (HHA) in 2024.
Starting a new job or career in 2024 can be challenging at best. But how about finding something you like, doesn’t cost a lot to get the education or training, plenty of opportunity and can start within a few weeks?
There are very few of these in .
Jobs in the medical professional are just exploding – and not just for doctors and nurses.
A HHA is a perfect place to start or continue your career. Sure, there are pros and cons of being a home health aide but combine the explosive demand in home care with the minimal barriers to entry and you have a career with tons of job security.
Home health care providers cannot meet the demand for these jobs and there is no end in sight.
But first… a profile of a HHA
Reasons To Become a HHA?
Here are 35 reasons to become a home health aide in 2024 – there’s has never been a better time than right now!
You will push yourself to new heights and challenge yourself each day.
As the HHA in the home, you will soon realize that the client is very dependent on all that you will do for him/her and, as you push harder each day, you will find great satisfaction.
No Place Like Home
Most people who need care generally prefer to receive assistance in their own home; plus it’s more cost-effective than the same level of care in an institutional setting (e.g. nursing home).
In home care for seniors is the first choice for the client, family, and medical professionals.
You work in the client’s home in an environment that is comfortable for them and for you.
Perfect For You?
There’s never been a better time to become a home health aide. They are in big demand as the health care industry continues to grow to meet the demands of the aging population.
People, mostly older, are in need of needing of help with basic home health care.
What does home health care do? Is this a good fit for me? If you have the compassion and patience to help others then, yes, this is for you.
What skills do you need to be a home health aide?
You can be a HHA in a matter of weeks with training and testing – the training is thorough, for sure, and you will have these skills for the rest of your life.
If you decide to further your experience / education in the healthcare industry being a home health aide is a fantastic way to start.
There are shortages through the health care industry – among them, in addition to home health aides, is a shortage of certified nursing assistants (CNA).
Turns out this is good for you as HHA’s are being asked to assume greater responsibilities – this usually translates into more money and improves your chances of advancing.
Health agencies and job recruiters have open postings all the time – it just seems endless.
The demand is super strong and will be for years.
Lets’ not over exaggerate this… yes, being a HHA is a job and many times it feels overwhelming.
Yet, many HHA’s get tremendous satisfaction helping others that they don’t even think of it as a job at all.
In fact, many retirees are HHA’s – not really for the money but to help others.
Free HHA Training
If you do your homework and ask other HHA’s you’ll find that there is plenty of free HHA training in all states. You may have to pay for some training material or a uniform but these are items you can use well beyond your training.
Home health agencies are the first place to start to seek free training.
Why Get Certified As A HHA?
It all comes down to options, and nowadays, you can never have too many.
If you are NOT certified this means you may be limiting your employment options.
Employers who do not require certification will be private duty assignments (few and far between) and agencies that do not care for clients whose services are not reimbursed by the government.
Imagine your potential employer thinking about hiring you or another person for an open position; you are not certified but the other person is.
All things being equal the other person will get the job and you won’t… get the training, get certified and get the job!
If you get HHA certified in your state, chances are very good that you can transfer this to another state if you need to relocate for some reason.
Even if you just spend a couple of months in another state you may be able to pick up hours at a home health agency for some extra money. Can’t have too many options.
Chances are very high that you will be working for an agency that accepts Medicare and Medicaid payments for the care of clients – this is great news for you.
The agency, in turn, will require that you have certification as a home health aide: it’s the law.
Having your home care aide certification means that your skill level will be greater allowing you to make more and advance faster and further.
All By Yourself
As a caregiver, of course you will be a part of the home care team, but most of your time will be spent on your own with your client – no bosses or coworkers; this is great for those who have excellent work habits.
Many aides find great satisfaction being part of a team yet working independtly.
Lots of Responsibility
Customers in their homes depend on you alone, and they see you throughout the day. Many times, you are the only person clients will see all day long.
Whether taking blood pressure or simply consoling a client – home health care aide duties vary greatly from client to client and with each day.
The job description for home health aide can be very detailed – once you’re aware of the expectations of the agency and client you’ll be more prepared.
Good HHA’s are very proactive and you will have great exposure to managing situations you never thought you’d be in.
Your home care team will be at your beckon call but you are on the front-line all the time; a good deal of your client will require 24 hour home care.
Out And About
In the course of a day you may get more than one assignment which means you’ll be on the road just a bit between these job – nice to get out and recharge your batteries between clients.
Practice and Practice
You’ll be doing, for the most part, just about everything you learned during your training – mostly the skills portion. No working on dummies here – working on real people performing real tasks and making on impact on many lives.
As a HHA you will get great satisfaction from helping people. At times, the work can be challenging though seeing the many benefits your client is receiving is very rewarding.
Being compassionate is just one of many qualities that will need to be a great HHA.
There’s no place like home for your clients and the same holds for you. HHA’s prefer assignments in their own communities and agencies try to accommodate this.
Imagine caring for the elderly in your own community – pretty rewarding for some as compassion and caring as you.
You may be asked to do things differently by family members or even visitors to the home. Many times their way may be the unsafe way! As the HHA need to do job your job with diplomacy and tact and walk that fine line of caring for the client and dealing with others.
Older And Wiser
Many times your clients will be older people who need some help with daily tasks in their homes. What a great opportunity to assist someone who has so much wisdom to share?
Granted, all clients are not the same but many enjoy the company very much of a HHA and love to talk up a storm and share stories.
Easy Does It
Usually when you start as a HHA at an agency you “float” – meaning you go where the assignments are most needed – and this is a good thing.
You’ll get so see many different situations to get your feet wet and soon you’ll get more stable client(s). The experience you get will be great.
Something Different Each Day
There is never a dull moment as an aide; you will be doing something different each day and you will not be bored. From taking vital signs to light housekeeping there is something to keep you busy doing the multiple tasks for which you are responsible.
Fine Tune Your Skills
You will have plenty of opportunity and time to practice the home health care skills you learned in HHA training. You can polish your skills for advancing your career, if you wish.
The outlook is robust for health care related careers; they will grow at a higher than average rate in the foreseeable future. You should never run out of health care assignment and can expect a long-term career.
Home health assistance may over the years (e.g. HHA training, expense reimbursements, etc.) but there will always be a demand for the best home health care – you should be a part of it.
While you may not be a home health aide in 2050 (!), the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the population of people 65 and older will more than double by then.That’s a lot of people that will be needing care in their home. Home care for seniors will be in great demand for many years.
Supply and Demand
Since the employment is projected to grow 38% from 2014 to 2024 home health aides may be able to command higher wages and benefits; combine this with increases to the minimum wage and the salary outlook gets better all the time.
More than three-fourths (80%) of aides want to advance in the medical field and become a nurse. Being a home health aide is a great way to get your foot in the door if you would like to become a registered nurse, medical technician, phlebotomist, etc.
Don’t limit yourself – you may want to advance as a HHA sooner than you think!
Many states require that HHA’s be licensed as a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
That’s perfect! If you will be working in one of such states having these additional skills will make you even more marketable, allow you to make more money and you will have these skills forever. Think how handy this will for you and your family.
Paying The Bills
Becoming a HHA can be very rewarding and gratifying, both financially and emotionally. For many it’s a good career move, as are most health aide jobs – you will never run out of clients who need care in their homes.
As you gain experience and develop and nurture relationships you may be able to work either part time of even full time as a private duty home health aide. This means you may be able to make more money.
Part Time / Full Time
If you work for an agency you may be able to work as little or as much as you’d like.
Kids home from school as a result of the pandemic? Well, you can spend time with them by giving advance notice to the agency so they can have another aide fill in for you.
Working part-time as HHA may be perfect for you and your busy life.
Minimum Wage Increases
Many states have made tremendous strides in increasing the minimum wage for home health workers – many are at the $15 per hour rate!
This is a substantial increase, making the jobs even more attractive.
The cost of home health aide is increasing all the time. How much you make an hour will increase also – agencies need your expertise; if they are not paying a competitive salary they will soon or they’ll be out of business.
You may be working part time or full time – this may afford you a scheduling that most folks don’t have if they work 9-5PM every day; this could free up some time for you to complete personal obligations or even take additional nursing classes to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA).
As a result of the high demand for home health aides many home care agencies are finding it difficult to fill open positions. Bad for them and good for you. This allows you leverage you position by asking for a well-deserved pay increase or something else like more vacation.
If you do not get the result you were hoping for you can look for another agency to work for. The demand is very strong for your talents.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the employment of home health aides is growing 38% from 2014 to 2024. This is the fifth fastest growing job! Others in the top five include: occupational therapy assistants; physical therapist assistants; and physical therapist aides – all in health care.
There are many rewards to being a caregiver and these are just scratching the surface; once you start you’ll discover many more!