Home health aids play a very important role in the health care system. They are responsible for taking care of patients who may be suffering from a chronic illness or disability. They are also responsible for taking care of elderly individuals who are unable to care for themselves and need care while living at home. Some home health aids work very closely with nurses. They keep a record of the patient's progress to alert the physician or nurse of any sudden changes in the patient's health. A home health aid is in charge of of many basic care tasks, such as giving medicine, changing bed linens, washing and ironing the patient's laundry, and cleaning the patient's quarters. Home health aids also make several checks of the patient's pulse, temperature, and respiration. They help direct patients in simple prescribed exercises or in the use of braces or artificial limbs. They also try to entertain, converse with, play games with, and read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert. Home health aids provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs, and automobiles, and assist them with dressing and grooming. Earning a certificate from a recognized program can be done in as little and one and one-half semesters at any community college. This certificate qualifies graduates to work in entry-level positions as aides. Being a home health aid can be a very challenging, ambitious, and rewarding career. Those who choose this career path need to have patience and have an understanding of what the patients may be going through. They will need to know how to handle many different situations that may arise when working as a home health aid.
Home Health 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.