More than three million Americans currently work as home health aides, and more than one million new roles are expected to be added in the coming years. This fast-growing field allows compassionate medical support staff to help patients complete daily tasks such as bathing,
Best in Class: Home Health Aide Certification Programs Online
Many online home health aide certification programs exist, making it necessary for prospective students to do their research and find a respected and effective course that meets their needs. Because it can sometimes feel overwhelming to review every program available, we’ve made it easier for you. In this section, students considering this path can review our list of the most affordable and comprehensive programs with the accreditation you need to begin a rewarding career as a home health aide. We’ve also spotlighted three programs in full so you can begin to visualize your journey from start to finish. Read about some of today’s best home health aide certification programs online.
Earning Your Home Health Aide Certification Online
Many home health aide certification programs now exist online to help busy students find the time to further their education and their careers without needing to visit campus multiple times per week. According to federal guidelines, home health aide programs only need to provide 16 hours’ worth of clinical experience (which requires in-person training). Because of this, the remaining portion of the program can exist fully online and meet all state and federal mandates. Most programs use a learning management platform such as Blackboard to organize readings, allow peers and professors to communicate, and administer quizzes and exams.
Why choose online training for HHA certification?
Online training for home health aide certification is becoming more and more popular as it makes it possible for learners to complete programmatic requirements at times best suited to their unique schedules without needing to drive to/from campus multiple times per week. Online learning offers numerous benefits for students determined to further their educations. Before committing to this option, however, individuals should do their research to make sure it’s right for them. Some of the components to consider include:
The In’s-and-Out’s of Home Health Aide Certification
As students begin researching and reviewing prospective home health aide training programs, they may wonder how long it typically takes to move from matriculation to graduation. Put simply, this depends on the state the student lives in. The federal government mandates that programs last at least 75 hours. 33 states follow this mandate. The remaining 17 states follow the National Academy of Medicine’s suggestion of 120 hours. Regardless of the path, home health aide programs can be completed relatively quickly – far more quickly than a traditional diploma or degree path. To begin working, students at bare minimum will need to meet federal training requirements and pass a competency examination.
What are the federal HHA training requirements?
In order to meet federal requirements, home health aide training programs must meet certain criteria. For starters, all programs must total at least 75 hours, 16 of which must be focused on in-person, hands-on clinical training. These hours focus on building the skills needed to interact with and care for patients and includes sessions on communicating effectively, observing and reporting the patient’s health status, taking and recording vital statistics, controlling basic infections, maintaining a clean and safe home, caring for physical, emotional, and developmental needs, attending to personal hygiene and grooming needs, improving range of motion, implementing safe transfer techniques, and providing adequate nutrition.
Understanding HHA training requirements by State
In addition to federal mandates, prospective home health aides must also familiarize themselves with the rules of individual states. As of 2019, 33 states follow the standard federal requirements that mandate 75 hours of general training and 16 hours of clinical training.
Some students may notice that HHA programs frequently mention becoming a certified nurse aide before becoming a home health aide. If you see this, chances are you live in one of the 11 states that maintains this requirement.
While 33 states follow the federal minimum, the remaining 17 states require even more coursework to meet the National Academy of Medicine’s suggestion of 120 hours. If unsure of what your state requires, review PHI’s map demonstrating home health aide training requirements by state.
If your state requires that home health aides receive certification as a nurse aide first, we can help. Check out our page dedicated to online CNA classes to learn more.
Course Overview: Online Home Health Aide Training
When reviewing home health aide curricula, prospective students soon notice that all cover specific clerical and clinical knowledge and skills. The majority of these courses are mandated by the federal government, which requires every program to provide at minimum 59 hours of academic coursework and 16 hours of clinical, hands-on training. The following two sections take a look at some of the skills gained in both online and classroom-based courses.
Home health aide classes that can be taken online:
Home Health Aide clinicals that must be taken in-person/on campus:
Salary & Career Outlook for Home Health Aide Professionals
Before committing to a career as a home health aide, many individuals want to learn more about how much money they can expect to make each year and whether the career offers stability in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roles for home health aides and personal care aides are projected to grow by 41% between 2016 and 2026. 2.93 million Americans currently fill these roles, and the BLS projects that 1.21 million new positions will be added during the same time frame.
In terms of income, the BLS found that the 2017 median pay for this profession sat at $23,210, although some industries pay
After working as a home health aide for a number of years, some individuals may decide to advance their careers. Some decide to pursue training as a licensed practical nurse by completing a postsecondary certificate/diploma. These individuals earn an average salary of $45,030. After working in this role for a few years, these same individuals may decide to complete an LPN to RN bridge program and become a registered nurse. These individuals earn $70,000 annually. By getting on the path to a career in healthcare by becoming a home health aide, many individuals pursue various paths that help build their skills while also growing their salaries.
Home Health Aide Resources
After reviewing the information provided in this guide, some would-be students may decide they need more information to make up their minds. The resources highlighted below exist to help make the decision easier.
- Five Reasons to Become a Home Health Aide. BAYADA lays out meaningful reasons to follow this career path for those who are still on the fence.
- Home Health Aide Profile – Bureau of Labor Statistics. Use this page to learn about what home health aides do, how to become one, pay, job outlook, and more.
- Home Health Aide Profile – Career One Stop. This page offers actionable and helpful information about what it looks like to work as an HHA.
- Home Health Aide Interview Questions. Glassdoor provides examples of real questions you may encounter on a job interview.
- 4 Tips for Becoming a Better Home Health Aide. The Harris Casel Institute helps individuals become the best HHAs they can be in this helpful resource.
- A Day in the Life of a Home Health Aide. Angeles Institute offers this insightful look at how HHAs spend a typical day at work.