A Home Health Aide is an integral member of the health care team. They make a positive impact in the lives of the sick, disabled, and elderly by assisting patients with completing everyday personal tasks such as dressing, bathing, and maintaining hygiene. Sometimes HHA’s even cook and clean, adding an extra level of comfort and safety to the care of their patients. They serve to provide overall comfort to patients and peace of mind to the patient’s family. All this makes becoming an HHA a great option if you are looking for a rewarding career assisting others. To do this, it’s important to complete all the requirements outlined by the state in which you wish to work. Each state has varying requirements so let’s discuss below what two key components are needed to become a Home Health Aide, specifically in the state of Florida.
Minimum Training Hours Required for HHA
There is no state law that requires the licensing or certification of home health aides in Florida; however, Florida requires for Home Health Aides to complete 75 hours of training in order to work for a Medicare and Medicare home health agency. It requires 40 hours of training to be completed in order to work in a licensed-only agency. This training can be done at a public vocational school, at a private career college, or the hiring agency may offer training at its facility as well. You may be awarded a certificate or diploma upon completion of these hours. It is important to keep this proof of the completion of these hours in a safe place since there is no state test or registry that can otherwise be used as verification of your newly acquired qualifications. Keep in mind that these are the minimum requirements as set forth by the state but a home health agency may have its own additional requirements for home health aides.
In-services and Continuing Education Units
In addition to completing your 75 hours of training, HHA’s must also complete smaller course modules known as In-Services. These modules cover specific topics within the healthcare field and must be renewed on a yearly or biyearly basis in order to ensure that the healthcare provider (the HHA, in this case) is up to date on the most current information regarding that topic. The “refresher” modules are known as Continuing Education Units or CEU’s. Home Health Aide’s employed by Medicare and Medicaid home health agencies are required to have a total of 12 hours of in-service training during each 12-month period starting from the date of hire. For example, HHA’s must initially complete two hours of HIV/AIDS training. Then, every two years they need to complete 1 hour of HIV/AIDS of CEU’s. Other topics that must similarly be covered are HIPAA, Domestic Violence, Medication Administration and Alzheimer’s training. Home health aides also are required to obtain and maintain a current certificate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid.
Once you have completed your initial training and completed your in-services, you are well on your way to jumpstarting your new career and securing a job as a home health aide in Florida.