Home Health Aide U.com
The career field for the home health aide will focus more around the satisfaction of helping those in need then from a high annual salary. The education for the home health aide will require the minimum of a high school diploma or GED and will also require additional certifications that will be paid by your employer. Here we will find out more regarding the career of the caregiver, their role and responsibility and the job outlook for this field.
Home Health Care Services Training
The training for this type of position will be learned on the job and will consist of five to ten days before the aide is working on the floor on their own. As a caregiver you can work in an assisted living facility, nursing home, hospice, adult foster care or you can provide services in a client’s home. The caregiver will typically work with individuals that suffer from physical or mental disabilities or they will work with the elderly.
The job responsibilities of the caregiver will vary, depending on the type of environment in which they work. The training for this type of position will usually involve shadowing an experienced caregiver for the first few days, and then the caregiver will shadow you for the remainder of your training.
In these types of settings it is required by law for the caregiver to be CPR and First Aid certified. When working in this type of environment, it is imperative that a caregiver know more about each individual’s medical history and resuscitation requirements. In an assisted living, rehab center and nursing home each elderly resident will have what is referred to as a resuscitation form. On this form it will say whether the person is a DNR or an R. DNR stands for do not resuscitate, the R stands for resuscitate. If a caregiver performs CPR on a patient that is a DNR, that patient’s family has grounds for a lawsuit.
Why a Caregiver needs to know their Patient’s well
Other areas for concern are for such medical conditions as diabetes. In this type of setting, only the RN can perform the trimming of a patient’s nails due to even the smallest cut causing the elderly patient to lose blood and the area could become infected.
The caregiver will also learn about administering medications. Each patient in an assisted living or nursing home will most likely be on a medication schedule. Some patients can take medications as much as twelve times a day. This is all kept track of in a patient’s medication administration record, also referred to as a MAR. During training the caregiver in training will watch medications being administered to patients and how the procedure is done.
Residents in this type of setting will also have what is referred to as PRN medications, also known as “as needed” medications. These medications will have parameters such as “ if patient is complaining of headache, mild pain or has a fever of 99 degree or higher, administer two tablets of 325mg acetaminophen”. It’s important for all caregivers to read the parameters of these medications before administering. At the end of your training the RN on site will give you a medication administration exam which will typically consist of 25 to 50 questions. Failure to pass will result in an extra two days of medication administration training.
Part of your training will also consist of learning how to transfer patients that are unable to walk or bear weight, to and from their wheelchairs, the bed and other surfaces. This can consist of several different techniques, all of which should not be attempted alone unless instructed by the RN.
Each patient will have a service plan that will detail what the patient is capable of as far as ambulation and will also detail their cognitive abilities and what their care needs are.
By reading a service plan you will be able to find out how many times a day a patient takes medications, allergies they may have, if they are on a special type of diet, doctor information, medical history and whether they are a DNR or an R.
For those just beginning their career as a home health aide, it can be scary being responsible for someone that has significant needs, for the first time on your own. In assisted livings and nursing homes the resident will have an alert that they can press that will summon a caregiver. When a caregiver hears this they must respond immediately as it can be due to the resident needing something to eat or drink or it can be due to a patient having a fall. Once you become elderly your bones become thinner and more brittle. Because of this a simple fall that would no more than bruise the average adult can cause significant injury to an elderly patient.
The Level of Care in an Assisted Living
Some residents in this type of environment are fairly independent and require no more than assistance with putting on their shoes, while there are also the elderly patients that will depend on the caregiver to assist them with every need. When working as a caregiver you will spend a significant amount of time on your feet, transferring patients, dressing and undressing them, assisting with showers and administering medications.
You can expect an average hourly rate of 8.50$ to 9.00$ to start with. The maximum salary in this field will range from 12$ to 13$ an hour, depending on the type of facility in which you work. When working for an agency as a caregiver, you can make up to 25$ an hour.