While looking for work in the US, many locals and ex-pats see offers for home helpers. These people provide permanent or temporary care for pensioners and those who cannot serve themselves at home due to injuries or existing diseases. They are also responsible for providing first aid. Every year the demand for those who have completed home health aide training will increase, but not everyone understands what is necessary for successful employment.
Key requirements for candidates
The mere desire to help other people who, due to age or for other reasons, need support is not enough to get a well-paid job. In the list of the most important requirements:
- age of majority – if you are under 18, you will not be able to obtain a certificate and legally work as a home attendant or home health aide;
- good learning ability, since you will have to listen to a course of lectures and confirm the acquired knowledge during practical exercises;
- availability of a document confirming higher education (not necessarily medical, unless the ward has serious health problems requiring highly qualified medical care);
- absence of bad habits and criminal record;
- availability of a driver’s license and own transport;
- physical health, as the range of services provided includes help at home (the complete list of duties is agreed upon at the agreement stage with the employer).
Personal qualities that a home health assistant should have to deserve special attention:
- The ability to empathize.
- The ability to listen and adapt to the client’s interests.
- Willingness to be near an elderly or sick person for a long time.
- Sociability. All people are different, and you need to be able to find the right approach. You should establish communication as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you will be cut off from contact.
- Patience and stress resistance.
- Loyal attitude to pets. Many wards have cats, dogs, fish, hamsters, etc. (sometimes even exotic animals) with which you will need to learn to coexist. In addition to essential services, assistants often care for animals, for which they receive an excellent supplement to the basic salary.
It will be a significant advantage if you can perform the duties of a housekeeper or cook food according to the client’s wishes.
Training and obtaining an HHA certificate or First Aid Certification is a prerequisite for legal employment
No helper can get a job unless they have a government-issued certificate. After passing a unique training course, which includes classroom and practical exercises, the local education department must approve the program. The cost of training varies depending on the number of lessons, the amount of knowledge and skills acquired, and additional options, such as arranging a meeting with a recruitment agency representative. As for the duration of the study, it depends on how quickly the future home health aide will master the material and take online tests.
Benefits of Working as an HHA
After completing CPR training and receiving a document that confirms your knowledge and skills, you can count on:
- salary in the amount of 30-40 thousand dollars a year;
- payment of sick leave and holidays;
- ample opportunities for establishing friendly relations with wards;
- daily improvement of medical and other skills;
- satisfaction from contributing to improving the quality of life of another person;
- free work schedule – in agreement with the client, services can be provided daily at certain hours, only on weekends or during the absence of family members who usually care for the sick or pensioner;
- there is an option of employment in a specialized company for hiring domestic staff.
What does an assistant do?
The list of duties of home attendant and home health aide may differ depending on the agreements with the ward or his relatives. There is a direct correlation: the more responsibilities you take on, the higher the salary will be, but it is essential to provide quality service. If you are unsure that you will cope with some types of work, limiting yourself to the main task – providing personal care is better.
Among the most common additional services, it is worth noting:
- easy cleaning around the house;
- cooking food;
- washing and ironing;
- feeding and walking pets;
- receiving calls, etc.