Home health aides or home caregivers care for clients
who are recovering from illness, those with terminal illness, or
children and adults with physical and mental disabilities in the
clients’ home settings.
They work under the supervision of registered nurses
in provision of personal care such as bathing, assisting with grooming
and dressing. They will also assist the client with basic nursing
care, including transferring from bed to chair and extremities exercises.
They assist with medication, and nutrition.
Aide/caregivers also perform various housekeeping
chores such as laundry, grocery shopping, and cleaning. Some assignments
allow the aide to take clients to their scheduled doctor's visits,
to pick up prescriptions, and to take the clients to other places
they wish to go. The home health aide is expected to look and act
professional, be reliable, compassionate, cheerful, and must enjoy
working with people. It is essential that the aide be able to work
independently with little direct supervision. The care provided
may require lifting, carrying, bending, and reaching.
Home Health Aide
Areas of Specialization
The home health aide may care for the following types of clients:
hospice patients; individuals with paralysis, stroke or heart disease;
the elderly with mental disabilities such as Alzheimer's disease;
or individuals with physical disabilities and long-term illnesses.
Working conditions depend on the home. Some may be very pleasant
while others may not. Home health aides are usually expected to
provide their own transportation. Some time will be spent driving
from one place to another. The work week is usually 40 hours, but
there is flexibility as some home health aides work part-time. Night
and weekend work is sometimes required. Home health aides usually
work for state or county welfare agencies, private home health agencies,
or on their own.
The number of home health aides employed in Florida in 2006 was
30,303 It is projected that in 2014 there will be 40,191. This represents
an annual average growth rate of 4.1 percent.
Length of Training/Requirements
A high school diploma is not required but desirable for those wishing
to enter this field. Most agencies provide training to home health
aides if they have no previous experience. Training courses are
usually two to three weeks long and focus on maintenance of a clean,
safe environment, basic nutrition, basic nursing procedures such
as taking and recording vital signs, infection control, recognition
of emergencies, communication skills, personal hygiene, range of
motion exercises, legal and ethical responsibilities, care of geriatric
clients, bio-psychosocial support, and supervised home management.
These are generally entry-level positions. Additional formal training
or education and a willingness to enter other health occupations
are usually necessary for advancement.
No license is required.
Home health aides earn an average hourly wage of $10.52.