Now that you’ve completed your CNA Training and are actively pursuing employment, you may want to consider working as a Home Health Care Assistant. Your Nursing Assistant Certification is generally all you will need to qualify you to enter into this type of work.
A home health care assistant’s job description is, in many ways, very similar to that of a CNA working in a hospital or senior care center. The obvious difference is the fact that you won’t have to deal with the stress of caring for more than one patient at a time. If you think that a career as a home health aide could be the right match for you, let’s first take a look at the pros and cons of this type of career.
Career Outlook of the Home Health Care Assistant
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for qualified home health care assistants is expected to grow at a much more rapid rate than the average occupation. By 2018, the need for home health aides is projected to increase by 50%.
This growing trend is due to the projected increase in the elderly population, along with the fact that many families are now looking at home health care instead of opting for a nursing home environment for their loved ones. Many seniors are not at the point where they need to be (nor do they desire to be) in a health care residential facility, although they do recognize their need for some level of daily assistance.
Plenty of Jobs, But Potentially Lower Pay for Home Health Care Assistants?
Another reason why families are looking toward home health care is due to the fact that many seniors now find themselves without the necessary funds needed to meet the rising costs of nursing home care. While the home health assistant may be an ideal option for the family struggling financially, it may lead to a lower rate of pay for the home health assistant.
Because privately hired home health aides become independent contractors, unless hired through an agency, the salary negotiations will be left between the family and the certified nursing assistant who is looking for work.
With this in mind, if you are unable to find gainful employment as an independently hired home health aide, you may want to look for Home Health Agencies in your area. They will place you in the home of a client and handle the weekly salary. You will, in fact, be an employee of the agency and not have to directly deal with pay negotiations.
Your CNA Training Can Land You a Long Term Home Health Care Assistant Position
On the other hand, if you happen to live in an affluent area, you may be able to land a position as a home health aide that will work out excellently for your employer and for yourself. If the rate of pay, or weekly salary is agreeable, you can work in the comfort of the patient’s home, caring for their needs, doing some light cooking and cleaning, and possibly duties such as:
- Checking the mail
- Taking your client outdoors for some exercise
- Watering the plants and feeding the pets
Depending on the disability of your patient, or if they suffer from dementia or mental instability, this can be a very rewarding and stress free environment. While using your CNA training skills for range of motion exercises, sanitizing, assisting with bathing and dressing, and keeping track of vital signs and eating habits, you could realistically end up becoming a companion to your patient. This is not for everyone, but in the right situation, it can be extremely rewarding for both the patient and the nursing assistant.
Multiple Clients, Even for Home Health Care?
If you choose to work for a Home Health Aide Service or agency, you may be required to visit more than one patient per day. A typical shift may require the CNA to arrive at a residence and complete bathing, feeding, and cleaning duties for one patient and then drive to another location to complete similar duties for another.
Whether you choose to work for an agency or as an independent contractor, be sure to carefully weigh out your options before committing to a patient. Your patients will grow attached to you and depend on seeing you on a daily basis. Change is sometimes unpleasant for the elderly, so making a commitment and sticking to it is also part of responsible nursing.
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