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What does home health aide certification qualify you to do?

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Quick Answer

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, certification does not qualify home health aides to perform duties or tasks beyond those that all home health aides perform. However, employers prefer to hire home health aides who are certified.

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What does home health aide certification qualify you to do?
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Full Answer

Becoming a home health aide does not require formal education, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, though most aides do have a high school diploma. Aides often work for home health agencies or hospices that receive government funding. If the agency receives Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, aides must receive home health training and pass a competency exam.

Minimum training involves learning how to maintain a patient's hygiene, read and record vital signs, control infection and provide basic nutrition, states the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Otherwise, training requirements vary by state. Typically, this training teaches aides how to provide housekeeping and safety services so they can help patients complete daily personal tasks and live independently. Working under the supervision of registered nurses or other medical professionals, home health aides might also provide basic medical services such as checking a patient's pulse, temperature and respiration rate. They might also help patients perform physical therapy exercises and take prescribed medications. Certification requires 75 hours of additional training, observation and documentation of skills, culminating in a written exam.

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