Starting a new career can be hard, no matter what industry you choose. But when you want to join an industry as competitive as home healthcare, the challenges you face will be harder. You’ll need to know what you need to learn, what certificates you need, and also how to target potential clients. Doing your research on all of this can take up a lot of time.
8 Things You Should Know About Becoming A Home Healthcare Worker
That’s why this list has gathered eight important tips that can help you get started in your home healthcare career.
1. Get Better Pay In Certain States
Within the US, home healthcare workers are paid more in certain states, like Minnesota and Massachusetts. States like Nebraska and Dakota actually spend less on home healthcare. Note that since the cost of living is higher in certain states, you’ll be earning more when you live there, but you’ll also be spending more money. Before you decide what state you want to work in, do your research regarding what home healthcare workers are paid in that state.
2. Get Certified
If you have completed formal training related to home healthcare, and are a certified HHA, then you gain the potential to earn more. Consider getting your NAHC certification, in order to increase your earning capacity. To complete this certification course, you’ll need to complete 75 hours worth of work that’s practical and hands on. You’ll also need to sit for an exam. If you do complete this course, you’ll be able to earn at least $5 to $15 more than what home healthcare workers without certifications make.
3. Get Registered
A vocational nurse license could be required in certain states, for home healthcare workers. The Medicaid offices in your local government or state government offices should be able to provide you with information on whether you need to register yourself as a vocational nurse or not.
There are also home healthcare workers who choose to work as independent workers, and there are others who work for a healthcare agency. Should you choose to work for a home healthcare agency, then your agency will help you regarding all the legal requirements you need.
4. Caring For Patients
When you work as an independent home healthcare worker, you can choose the patients you care for. But when you work for an agency, you can get help in the form of another home healthcare worker being assigned to help you. There could be certain tasks that you find difficult to do alone, such as lifting the patient and carrying them to places. For jobs that prove too difficult for you alone, you can ask for another home healthcare worker to be assigned to help you.
Consider investing in insurance for home healthcare workers as well. Your career leaves you open to malpractice and liability claims, as well as other career related risks. Should a patient be unhappy with the services you provide, they could even sue you. When you have insurance for home health care workers, you are provided with coverage. This can help you protect not just your career, but your finances as well. If you would like to learn more about insurance for home health care workers, then click here.
5. Broad Range Of Responsibilities
Your work may not always revolve around nursing or administering medications to the patient. You may also need to help them with grooming, shopping, meal preparation, and even transport. You should also know how to use medical equipment that the patient might require. For patients who are battling cancer, you could need to help them manage the effects of their chemotherapy while they’re at home.
6. Work Schedule
Depending on what condition your patient is in, you may need to work for them on a daily basis, on a weekly, or even on a monthly basis. There are families that hire home healthcare workers to ensure that someone is always around their loved one. You could find yourself watching the patient for some time, as their family members complete their daily work responsibilities.
7. Using Medical Equipment
Say you find yourself monitoring a geriatric patient after they’ve undergone surgery. In this case, you’ll need to check their vitals on a daily basis. You’ll need to use medical monitors to measure their blood pressure, temperature, and more. For patients who have respiratory disorders, you will need to help them with oxygen cylinders, nebulizers, cannulas, and more.
For patients with kidney issues, you could be asked to do dialysis. Remember that you should provide such services only when the doctor of the patient tells you to, and not when you think you need to.
8. Be Empathetic
Being empathetic and good at communicating can help you find success in your career. Communicate with your patients regularly. If you need to perform procedures on them, then inform them about what you’ll be doing beforehand. Talk to the patients about their lives outside of their health issues, and try to develop a bond with them.
If you’re caring for an Alzheimer’s patient, or a patient who has psychiatric issues, then building a bond with them is crucial. This will help you even more, to better care for them.
The home healthcare industry is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys taking care of others. It’s also possible for you to establish yourself in this career path quickly when you use the right tips and tricks. Use this guide to establish yourself as a home healthcare worker.
- Staff, ‘8 Tips To Get Started With Your Home Healthcare Career’, viewed October 27th 2022, https://daisylinden.com/home-healthcare-career/
- Staff, ‘How To Become A Home Health Aide In 5 Steps’, viewed October 27th 2022, https://learn.org/articles/Home_Health_Aide_5_Steps_to_Becoming_a_Home_Health_Aide.html
- Gaines, KG, May 21st 2021, ‘How To Become A Home Health Aide’, viewed October 27th 2022, https://nurse.org/healthcare/home-health-aide/
Staff, August 12th 2022, ‘How To Become A Home Health Aide’, viewed October 27th 2022, https://www.eaglegatecollege.edu/blog/how-to-become-a-home-health-aide/