A health care aide is the person who is responsible for caring for patients who may be confined to their homes for various reasons. This person will generally work within a patient’s personal home. However, health care aides are also employed in nursing homes, assisted care facilities, or other healthcare environments. The hours for this position are varied, as healthcare is a 24/7 industry. The level of education is dependent on the organization in which the health care aide is employed. Many organizations require at least 75 hours of training, as well as passing a state-issued examination. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations will even provide or assist with the training. A clear and clean background check is often required for this position.
A health care aide has a variety of responsibilities and duties within their position, and the responsibilities can change depending on the particular patient or even the particular day of the week. Some responsibilities include assisting patients in hospice, providing healthcare in the residence, keeping records of all services, recording and noting a client's condition, administering medications, checking a patient’s vital signs, assisting with dressing and hygiene, massaging, assisting with medical equipment and physical therapy, preparing food, ensuring safety and performance of equipment, providing counseling and light house care, transporting a patient, assisting with errands, and tending to the personal needs of a patient.
A health care aide requires a person who is physically fit and capable of lifting heavy objects (such as patients). This person must be able to handle a difficult patient emotionally and mentally, so this job can be psychologically demanding. A genuine sense of compassion and understanding is required for this position.
Health Care Aide Tasks
Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.