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Important Job Skills for Home Health Aides

Home health aides may come across as any other caregiver, but they are more intimately involved in the lives of patients. There are many senior people who are suffering from various health ailments—both physical and mental—and are in need of help. These are pretty independent individuals and wish to carry out their daily activities without involving family or friends. However, they require help when their condition debilitates them.

This is where home health aides come forward as their helping hand. From doing regular household chores like cleaning and tidying up wardrobes to paying utility bills every month to giving them medications on time, home health aides are very closely working with patients to help them lead their lives normally and healthily.

When home health aides are so involved in the lives of patients, there certainly appears a level of risk in their profession. Any negligence on their part while delivering their services—something that jeopardizes patients' health and well-being—can elicit costly, expensive lawsuits against them. Therefore, home health aide should consider getting home health liability insurance which cover the home health aide from these risk exposure.

Must-have job skills for home health aides

Although home health aides may not be as skilled as professional nurses, but they are certainly required to have certain skill sets to deliver the high-quality service that patients expect. Below are a few skills that are crucial for home health aides to have:

  1. Life-saving skills

First and foremost, home health aides should know that they are life-saviors to patients, especially during emergency situations, until more qualified help arrives. There may occur instances when the patient may suffer a sudden injury (a cut or a bruise) or a cardiac arrest. It’s only the home health aide who can provide the necessary assistance during such an emergency. As such, they should be skilled at providing first-aid and CPR treatments to patients in order to prevent any fatality.

  1. Time management

Given the fact that home health aides work for limited hours (some do provide full-time service), it’s important for these people to have a good sense of time. Some patients have to follow a strict timing for everything—be it their meals, exercise, or medications. It’s the home health aide who needs to ensure that these aspects are taken care of in a timely manner. Time management is an important skill that home health aides should have to ensure the wellbeing of patients.

  1. Empathy

When one pursues a home health aide profession, they are actually signing up for an emotionally challenging job. They are required to be extremely compassionate towards their patients. There may come times when the patient may not be able to function as expected. It’s those times that demand a good degree of sensitivity and care from the caregiver. So, home health aides should be like a companion to their patients so that they feel positive, despite their tough times.

  1. Communication

Home health aides are required to be excellent communicators. Firstly, they need to feel comfortable speaking to patients and listen to their grievances. They also need to communicate actively with patients’ family members and relatives and keep them in the loop regarding everything. It’s the home health aide that maintains close contact with doctors and informs them about the patient’s condition. They should be quick to take notes about the patient's health and communicate their observations to the doctor to take timely action.

  1. Motor skills

Home health aides are required to perform a variety of physically-demanding activities on their job. They might have to work with patients who require help while getting up and sitting down. Also, there might also be a need to move around furniture here and there and lift heavy objects. Performing these tasks properly will require home health aides to have good physical stamina and strength. They will have to do a lot of running around, completing errands on behalf of patients. So, home health aides should always maintain their own physical health to be able to provide their services in the best way.

Closing lines

These are some of the many skills that are extremely significant to the job of home health aides. No matter what, they are required to have them perform their caregiving role like a dedicated, specialized professional. Having these skills will ensure that the patient is getting much-needed assistance in maintaining their health and well-being.

Although there are no stringent educational requirements for becoming a home health aide, anyone pursuing the profession should consider getting proper training and certification to know the job's nitty-gritty. Once they acquire it, they can surely enjoy a rewarding career.

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