A career as a homemaker-home health aide can be a very rewarding experience. Aides provide a variety of services and assistance that allow elderly and disabled residents to live comfortably. An aide not only helps an individual but also provides peace of mind to family members who are concerned about a loved one in need of personal care. Aides are naturally compassionate and, as one aide said, will try to help patients so that the patients can help themselves. Individuals enter into the field for a variety of reasons; some do so after caring for a family member or loved one while others are retirees looking to stay active.
Homemaker-home health aides offer a wide range of services including personal care assistance such as bathing, grooming and transfers. They also assist with assigned daily exercises, medication administration and accompaniment to clinic visits or physician appointments. An aide can provide meal preparation, feeding assistance, light housekeeping, aid with social activities and companionship. An HHHA can be available to provide hourly or live-in patient care.
Entering into this field and becoming a certified homemaker-home health aide is not as difficult as it may seem. Those interested in a career need no prior experience. An individual must complete a required training program, a competency evaluation and a criminal history background check to become a certified HHHA. The training program is a 76-hour course offered by one of the many certified schools or home health service agencies throughout the state. A list of certified HHHA training schools can be found through the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs website.
The training program is divided into two sections, 60 of the program hours are assigned to classroom instruction and the remaining 16 hours are for clinical instruction in a skills laboratory or patient care setting. After completing the program the aide is awarded certification through the New Jersey Board of Nursing. Certified HHHAs must be employed by a New Jersey licensed home health care service agency; aides may not work privately. Often, the school that provided the training also offers job placement. A HHHA career offers a flexible schedule and local cases. Once employed through an agency, the aide is assigned responsibilities and tasks after a registered nurse designs a plan of care for each patient.