HHA vs CNA: 15 Key Differences in 2022
It gets asked a lot, yet continues to remain one of the top questions of those considering a career in the healthcare industry:
When it comes to home aide services for older adults, there is a plethora of options. Home Health Aides (HHA) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) can both assist in the daily lives of their clients but differ in the type of training, credentials, and care they provide. The difference between an HHA vs CNA is in their duties. A CNA can perform a variety of medical tasks.
What’s the difference between a HHA and CNA?
The reason for the question is that while Home Health Aides (HHAs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) play very similar roles in patients’ lives, there are many more differences than folks think.
TO THE POINT
HHA’s will be assigned greater responsibilities in 2022 such as administering medicine, giving insulin injections, etc. And CNA’s will be taking on added roles as well.
The pandemic has highlighted the value of HHA’s and CNA’s.
Learn more about the differences between CNA’s and HHA’s.
The Difference Between a Home Health Aide and a Certified Nursing Assistant
You may be looking for a new career in the medical/healthcare industry and considered being a nurse. Then, you realize that obtaining a Registered Nurse (RN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certification can be a long and very expensive process.
If you are looking to start quickly and with very little time and money invested, you should consider becoming a Home Health Aide or a Certified Nursing Assistant – or BOTH!
Knowing the contrasts between these two positions will help you now and as you head down the path of your training and entry into the workforce. Some of the lines between the two fields can be blurry and confusing as you look further at individual state requirements for HHA’s and CNA’s.
What is a Home Health Aide?
A home health aide (HHA) typically works in the homes of a patients. The patient may be chronically ill, elderly and in need of supervision, or they may be an otherwise healthy individual recovering from an illness or surgery.
He/she can be responsible for basic healthcare tasks that can include checking vital signs, helping with medications, or helping patients use wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility aids.
Their job is to help the patient remain at home where they are most comfortable. This often involves helping them with tasks of everyday living that may not be medical in nature. These tasks include bathing, help with laundry, transportation, prepare meals, etc.
What is a Certified Nursing Assistant?
A certified nursing assistant (CNA) works in a wide variety of environments that can include assisted living centers, nursing homes, and hospitals. They perform many of the same duties as the HHA, including assistance with medical devices, helping with medications, bathing and dressing patients, checking vital signs, and reporting any changes in the patient to the medical team.
They may also work with patients who have dementia, who need respite care, or who are in hospice care. CNA’s, unlike HHAs, usually care for a group of people instead of individuals.
What About Training?
These two roles do require unique training. For example, a CNA must go through a formal training program and pass a state exam, while HHAs can be trained on the job by RN’s. Further, passing a test to demonstrate proficiency may not even be required.
The graphics below go into more detail about the differentiation between a HHA and CNA. It’s important to know the details of each as you do not want to put down the money for HHA training only to learn that perhaps being a CNA is a wiser choice.
HHA: agencies for home care provide services. CNAs work at client homes, retirement homes, hospitals, rehab centers, hospice care centers, assisted living facilities, adult daycare centers, and more.
There are several training programs necessary to become an HHA, including an educational program that includes classroom time and on-the-job training. Various assessments also are required, including an test administered by a registered nurse. These tests measure your level of competence and identify in case you are capable of carrying out the duties for a HHA.
Every CNA needs to have a state-issued license to provide care. The specifics vary by state, but most states require training and completion of supervised care. Training typically covers standard responsibilities and the fundamentals of nursing. Some CNAs may also have classes on specialized skills such as dementia care that they may need to develop for their elderly patients.
Home Health Aides may not need a certification to carry out their duties. Certified Nursing Assistants must have a certification and a license for performing their duties, and some states require specific ones.
HHA: There is no conventional medical training for HHA qualifications, so there may be little upward mobility. It’s not impossible to utilize HHA expertise to ascend into an administrative role, but there are a great deal of studies and classes involved. CNA: Since CNAs spend a lot of time in medical settings, like hospitals, they’re usually esteemed as professionals hierarchically.
Summary of HHA vs CNA
HHAs and CNAs more often than not provide similar assistance for patients and customers, but which option is the best will depend on your needs. Both aid with creating day-to-day living simpler. However, if you want extra assistance with recovering from illness or injury, a CNA’s help is likely to work best.