The Role of a Home Health Aide and How to Be an HHA
September 15, 2021
For the elderly and people with ill health, performing day-to-day activities is a challenge. The role of a home health aide (HHA) is to assist them with their daily living. HHAs typically work in a client’s home, but they also provide their services in group homes and facilities with day service programs. This article will give you a brief walkthrough on how to be an HHA.

What Does an HHA Do

Similar to certified nursing assistants (CNAs), HHAs work under the supervision of a nurse or another healthcare practitioner. They are trained to help old, disabled, and sick people maintain quality life, particularly, in a home setting. Their responsibilities include:

  • Helping clients maintain personal hygiene (e.g., bathing, dressing)
  • Preparing their meals and helping them meet their dietary requirements
  • Monitoring vital signs and medical status
  • Giving medications
  • Notifying the clients’ family, nurse, or physician whenever there’s a change in their condition (e.g., the client has shown a lack of appetite)
  • Reporting the clients’ progress to a supervisor or case manager
  • Helping clients move around
  • Arranging their transportation to and from appointments
  • Performing housekeeping tasks (e.g., light cleaning, washing dishes, doing the laundry, and shopping)

Home health aides provide basic services that are tailored to the specific needs of a client. In other instances, they also undergo special training to help facilitate the use of certain medical equipment. For instance, they may learn how to operate ventilators to help clients with breathing difficulties. They also keep clients engaged in their communities and even in social networks.

How to Be an HHA

An HHA typically needs a high school diploma or any equivalent. However, educational requirements may vary depending on the employer.

Before becoming a certified HHA, you also have to undergo a state-approved HHA training program first. If you want to be an HHA in New York, you have to finish at least 95 hours of training, which includes a minimum of 30 hours of clinical training.

Home health aide certificates are issued by training institutions. To help increase their chances of getting a better job and raise hourly wages, HHAs can obtain national certification from the National Association of Home Care and Hospice. Requirements include completing 75 hours of training and passing a comprehensive exam.

What is the Job Outlook for a Home Health Aide

Home health aides are employed by home health agencies, hospices, and staffing agencies. They typically work in their client’s homes, but other work settings include:

  • Group homes
  • Residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities
  • Continuing care retirement communities
  • Assisted living facilities for the elderly
  • Mental health and substance abuse facilities
  • Nursing care facilities

In 2019, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that home health and personal care aides held around 3.4 million jobs. From 2019 to 2029, the BLS expects overall employment to grow 34%. The median annual wage is US$27,080 as of May 2020. In New York, an HHA typically earns US$25,642 to US$31,000.

How HHAs can Advance their Career

After at least a year of working as a certified home health aide, an HHA can become an advanced home health aide (AHHA). An AHHA can perform advanced tasks such as administering certain medications and giving emergency injections.

In New York, AHHA candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent, must be 18 years old or above, must have basic English and math skills, and must complete basic life support training. Only a New York-licensed Registered Nurse (RN) can supervise and delegate tasks to an AHHA in the state.

HHAs and AHHAs can further train to become CNAs, and later on, RNs or Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).

[READ MORE: What is a Certified Nursing Assistant, Plus a Quick Guide on How to Be a CNA]

Be a Qualified HHA in Three Weeks

Being a home health aide is rewarding. While it can be challenging, it provides the opportunity to be instrumental in bettering the lives of the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.

Do you have what it takes to be an HHA? Enroll in our HHA program today. Our course can be completed in three weeks and can be availed as a weekday or a weeknight training program. It also includes an eight-hour internship.

For more details on our HHA training program. You may also reach us at (718) 840-3366 or