Títulos similares

Caregiver, Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA), Certified Medical Aide (CMA), Certified Nurses Aide (CNA), Home Attendant, Home Care Aide, Home Health Aide (HHA), Home Health Provider, Hospice Aide, In Home Caregiver, Personal Care Assistant

Descripción del puesto

Home Health Aides (HHAs) provide in-home care and support to patients of all ages who are chronically ill, disabled, recovering from surgery or hospitalization, or have special needs. They can even assist mothers of newborn children in situations where extra support is needed.

Known as Personal Care Aides in some states, HHAs ensure the patients under their care are safe, comfortable, and well taken care of without having to stay in a healthcare facility. Because care is given in homes, patients may be referred to as “clients” instead. Duties include assisting with mobility and exercises, personal hygiene, dressing, and eating meals.

As frontline members of a patient’s larger healthcare team, a Home Health Aide can directly observe behaviors and changes which they can report to nurses, doctors, and other providers. These actions can lead to timely medical interventions, which can significantly increase a patient’s lifespan. HHAs also perform basic medical tasks like monitoring vital signs or helping with medications in some cases. They act as caring companions, helping to alleviate potential loneliness and boosting patient quality of life! 

Aspectos gratificantes de la carrera profesional
  • Making a direct impact on the health, lifespans, and daily quality of life of patients
  • Demanda creciente en el ámbito sanitario
  • Numerosas oportunidades de crecimiento personal y profesional
La primicia
Responsabilidades laborales

Working Schedule
Home Health Aides work part-time or full-time. Schedules can include early mornings, late evenings, weekends, or overnight shifts.

Tareas típicas

  • Help patients (aka clients) with personal hygiene, grooming, and dressing  
  • Assist with meal preparation and eating, while maintaining dietary needs  
  • Aid with mobility, such as helping patients get out of bed, sit in chairs or wheelchairs, or walk around
  • Guide patients as they do prescribed exercises and learn to use medical aids  
  • Perform general housekeeping tasks like doing laundry and dishes
  • Observe patients and maintain their care records. Monitor vital signs. Track progress and problems. Report condition changes to providers 
  • Offer companionship and emotional support. Engage in chats with patients, read books or news aloud to them, play music, and participate in fun or intellectually stimulating activities with them
  • Arrange for social interactions and help facilitate trips
  • Arrange transportation and accompany clients to appointments and outings
  • Organize schedules, set up appointments, and run local errands  
  • Give medication reminders and administration meds if trained, certified, and authorized  
  • Collaborate with family members and other caregivers to ensure consistency of care  
  • Support and instruct patients in safe independent behaviors, as well as how to adapt to life changes  
  • Apply simple treatments and change bandages or dressings, as directed
  • Provide help with braces or prosthetics

Responsabilidades adicionales

  • Colaborar eficazmente con el equipo sanitario más amplio de los pacientes o las agencias de cuidadores.
  • Manténgase al día sobre las mejores prácticas
  • Assist with training new HHAs
  • Ayudar al personal de enfermería a instalar el equipo médico. Realizar la limpieza básica del equipo.
Habilidades necesarias en el trabajo

Habilidades sociales

  • Adaptabilidad
  • Atención al detalle
  • Trato en la cama
  • Compasión
  • Compostura
  • Fiabilidad
  • Orientación al detalle
  • Destreza
  • Resiliencia emocional
  • Empatía
  • Coordinación óculo-manual
  • Integridad
  • Habilidades interpersonales
  • Metódico
  • Observador
  • Paciencia
  • Resistencia física
  • Creación de relaciones
  • Fiabilidad
  • Seguridad
  • Buen juicio
  • Gran capacidad de comunicación
  • Trabajo en equipo y colaboración
  • Gestión del tiempo

Competencias técnicas

  • Ability to use healthcare equipment specific to patient needs
  • Basic medical knowledge, including terminology, common signs and symptoms of medical illnesses and injuries, and how to take vital signs (heart rates, temperature, blood pressure, etc.)
  • First aid and CPR certification. Emergency response procedures
  • Familiarity with personal care techniques, such as safely moving patients
  • Familiaridad con las funciones de otros profesionales médicos
  • Conocimiento de las prácticas de higiene, esterilización y control de infecciones
  • Updating patient records using medical records software
  • Understanding of basic nutrition and meal preparation, including cooking
Diferentes tipos de organizaciones
  • Residencias privadas
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Group homes
  • Adult daycare centers
Expectativas y sacrificios

Home Health Aides work within the homes of their patient clients, which is very different from working in a medical setting. The job can be physically and emotionally demanding, with sometimes irregular hours depending on work schedules. Patients may range from children with special needs to elderly persons with chronic illnesses. Each patient has their own unique needs, preferences, and level of self-sufficiency.

HHAs must strive to adapt to the personalities of the people they care for while ensuring a sensitive and respectful approach at all times. Because they work in homes and get to know their patients well, they must be vigilant to maintain objectivity and professionalism. In addition, they should practice self-care to avoid job burnout and stay focused on providing top-notch compassionate care. 

Tendencias actuales

The healthcare industry is surging with demand for home healthcare services as the population ages and patients desire home-based care over institutional settings. In the US, the population of persons over 65 is expected to nearly double by 2060, with longer life expectancies thanks to medical advancements. As a result, there will be far more patients with age-related health issues and chronic conditions requiring HHA and other healthcare support.

Home care offers such patients more independence in a familiar environment, which can improve quality of life and impact longevity. It also removes some of the strain on healthcare facilities and can be more cost-effective than prolonged stays in hospitals or nursing homes, which is important for families who may be paying large co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses. 

¿Qué tipo de cosas le gustaba hacer a la gente de esta carrera cuando era más joven...

HHAs often have a natural inclination towards caregiving, perhaps having previously cared for family members. They typically have a deep desire to make a positive impact on others’ lives. In school, they may have been outgoing and physically active, enjoying social activities and being helpful to classmates. 

Educación y formación necesarias

Educación necesaria

  • Home Health Aides usually need at least a high school diploma or GED; however, entry-level workers can begin at age 16 in some states, and thus don’t need a diploma or GED yet
  • A college degree isn’t required, but each state has its own requirements for HHA workers to meet
  • Note, that federal law requires that “Medicare-certified home health agencies employ home health aides who are trained and evaluated through training programs approved by their states.”
  1. Federal law also requires HHA training programs to consist of “at least 75 hours of training, including at least 16 hours of supervised practical or clinical training and 12 hours of continuing education per each 12-month period”
  • HHAs who work for non-Medicare-certified agencies (or who are employed privately by a person or family) may have less formal requirements, but it depends on the state and employer
  1. Agencies offering medical services have stricter requirements
  • Some states may require more than the federal-mandated 75 hours of training (for Medicare-certified agency work)
  1. For example, California requires 120 hours—the minimum level recommended by the Institute of Medicine—for HHA state certification. 
    Those who already have an active Certified Nursing Assistant certificate would only need to complete a 40-hour hour
  2. Check out PHI’s HHA Training Requirements by State list to learn more
  3. Programs may need to be accredited by the Joint Commission or the Community Health Accreditation Program. Check your specific state’s or desired employer’s requirements!
  • In addition, workers may need to pass a criminal background check
  • HHA training programs are offered at community colleges, vocational schools, and sometimes through licensed home healthcare agencies. 
    Instructors may include registered nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists, and social workers
  • Programs include both classroom instruction and practical hands-on training. Common course topics include:
  1. Basic caregiving skills
  2. Common medical conditions
  3. Primeros auxilios y RCP
  4. Control de infecciones
  5. Nutrition and meal preparation
  6. Patient rights and ethics
  7. Personal hygiene care
  8. Safe transfer techniques and basic mobility assistance
  • Training can last from a few weeks to many months. Some states require HHAs to pass a competency exam to become certified
  • In addition to formal training, on-the-job training is common to learn about unique clients needs
  • Las certificaciones opcionales incluyen:
  1. American Board of Wound Management - Asociado certificado en cuidado de heridas
  2. American Council on Exercise - Functional Training Specialty Certification
  3. Board of Medical Specialty Coding and Compliance - Home Care Coding Specialist
  4. Centro Nacional de Pruebas de Competencia - Técnico de Atención al Paciente Certificado a nivel nacional    
  5. National Certification Board for Alzheimer Care - Cuidador certificado de Alzheimer
  6. National Council of State Boards of Nursing - Medication Aide Certification    
  7. National Healthcareer Association - Patient Care Technician/Assistant
  8. Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America - Assistive Technology Professional
Lo que hay que buscar en una universidad

HHA training programs are available at community colleges, vocational/technical schools, and licensed home healthcare agencies.

  • Revise los requisitos exactos de formación y certificación/licencia del estado en el que piensa trabajar.
  • Consider tuition costs, discounts, scholarships, and course delivery options (on-campus, online, or hybrid program).
  • Busque programas acreditados con buena reputación y altos índices de aprobados en los exámenes de certificación estatales.
  • Review the available options for hands-on training in local settings.
  • Check out online reviews from previous students, and browse online forums to ask questions and get advice. If the program is offered by a for-profit school, look it up on the Better Business Bureau’s site to see if there’ve been any major complaints
  • Considere la duración del programa y la flexibilidad de los horarios de clase, especialmente si tiene que compaginar otros compromisos.
Cosas que hacer en el instituto y la universidad
  • Volunteer at community centers, nursing homes, disabled veterans centers, special needs camps, or healthcare settings to gain exposure and pick up practical skills
  • Engage in a good exercise program to build strength and stamina
  • Take classes in high school related to anatomy, physiology, biology, health sciences, nutrition, home economics, and first aid
  • Join health-related clubs in school to learn and network
  • Earn good grades so you can get accepted into a suitable HHA training program
  • Participate in school activities where you can hone your soft skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, project management, and time management
  • Consider learning a second language such as Spanish
  • Knock out your first aid and CPR courses  
  • Think about the format you want to take classes in. Some topics are fine for online study, but others need to be learned in person
  • Research the HHA certification requirements for your state. Keep in mind that you may have to pass a criminal background check
  • Request an informational interview with a working Home Health Aide to learn about their duties
  • Echa un vistazo a los artículos y vídeos en línea sobre el campo profesional, los distintos entornos en los que podrías trabajar y las certificaciones adicionales que podrías obtener.
  • Mantener una lista de contactos (con números de teléfono o correos electrónicos) que puedan servir como futuras referencias laborales.
  • Mantén un borrador de tu currículum y actualízalo a medida que adquieras experiencia.
Home Health Aide Roadmap
Auxiliar sanitario a domicilio
Cómo conseguir tu primer empleo
  • Home Health Aides can explore job postings via sites like Indeed, and Glassdoor, healthcare-specific job search sites like and CareListings, and the websites of applicable agencies. You may also find posts on Craigslist
  • When possible, upload your resume to job portals and sign up for alerts
  • Consider doing a Home Health Aide apprenticeship!
  • If you do your training with a home healthcare agency, they may offer a job upon graduation or once any state certification exams are completed
  • Note, that agency recruiters may have connections with local community college/vocational school programs. Talk to your school’s program manager or career center about job placement assistance
  • Establezca contactos con otros profesionales sanitarios para conocer las oportunidades de empleo. No subestime el poder de la contratación "boca a boca ".
  • Anúnciate en LinkedIn y mantén la profesionalidad en tus redes sociales. Los posibles empleadores suelen examinar las actividades en línea de los candidatos
  • Check out Home Health Aide resumes for ideas on formatting, phrasing, and keywords to use, like:
  1. Activities of Daily Living
  2. Bathing and Dressing
  3. Behavioral Management
  4. Care Plan Implementation
  5. Companionship
  6. Compassionate Care
  7. Family Liaison
  8. Healthcare Documentation
  9. HIPAA Compliance
  10. Housekeeping
  11. Infection Control
  12. Meal Preparation
  13. Medication Reminders
  14. Mobility Assistance
  15. Nutritional Guidance
  16. Personal Hygiene Assistance
  17. Safety Protocols
  18. Transportation Coordination
  19. Vital Signs Monitoring
  • Review potential interview questions to expect like “How would you respond in a situation where you are caring for a grumpy patient who does not think they need an aide?”
  1. Do several mock interviews to practice your responses
Cómo subir la escalera
  • Establish clear, respectful communications with patients, nurses, and other healthcare team members
  • Maintain patient confidentiality, protect privacy records, and display integrity and professionalism at all times
  • Build a strong, empathetic rapport with patient clients and a reputation for providing outstanding care
  • Let your supervisor know your career goals. Ask for their advice and mentorship
  • Master your bedside manner and follow instructions carefully
  • Learn all relevant employer policies and procedures. Stay up-to-date on best practices related to Home Health Aide duties
  • Be diligent when it comes to sanitation and hygiene to avoid exposing patients to bacteria, viruses, mold, and germs
  • Pursue continuing education and training opportunities to learn new skills and competencies
  • Knock out some optional certifications in a hard-to-fill or in-demand area of specialization
  • Consider going back to school to become a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse
  • Demonstrate your leadership capabilities by training new HHAs and setting the bar high!
  • Stay engaged with professional organizations such as the National Association for Home Care and Hospice to grow and network
Plan B

Being a Home Health Aide is a rewarding but sometimes demanding role. It also happens to be a fantastic way to gain experience to prepare workers for advanced opportunities. But there are dozens of additional healthcare careers to explore, too. Below are just a handful of them:

  • Childcare Worker    
  • Asistente dental    
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Asistente médico
  • Enfermera Matrona
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Auxiliar de terapia ocupacional
  • Asistente de Optometría
  • Asistente de fisioterapia
  • Asistentes médicos    
  • Psychiatric Technicians and Aides    
  • Enfermera titulada (RN)
  • Enfermeras tituladas    
  • Asistentes de servicios sociales y humanos


Cursos y herramientas en línea