Why pursue a career as a home healthcare professional?
We all need a hand sometimes - some of us more than others. That's why there are ample opportunities to work as a home care professional, such as a Home Health Aide (HHA) and a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). These professionals come into the homes of people who need a little extra help to offer quality in-home care, so that their clients can recuperate and do what they need to do daily.
If this sounds like a career you’d like to pursue, keep reading to learn what home health caregivers do and how you can pursue a career as one – from the requirements needed, to tips on how you can land the best jobs.
The professional home care sector is growing in leaps and bounds. With a projected growth rate of 38% from 2014 to 2024, this is a fulfilling and rewarding industry to be in – and with the right knowledge and training, you’ll be putting yourself in the best position possible to land your dream job.
First things first, what exactly does a home care professional do?
A Day in the Life of a Home Care Professional
As a professional caregiver, you'll be required to offer short-term or long-term care to sick, disabled, old, or cognitively impaired patients. You'll provide them with the help and independence they need to live comfortably at home. Here are some responsibilities you can expect as a home care professional:
- Accompany patients for their medical visits
- Assist patients who are unable to handle the daily homemaking duties at their homes
- Provide social and emotional aid to patients regularly
- Monitor and record patient information
- Help clients to dress
- Depending on training, administer medications and injections as prescribed by the client’s doctors
In most states, certifications for a career in caregiving are optional. However, some states do register, license, and otherwise, certify their professional home aides. It is prudent to check out your state's caregiver requirements before applying for jobs.
Here in New Jersey, you must receive proper training to become a certified home care professional. Your options include:
- Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) - These professionals learn to provide top-notch, safe patient care. To become a CNA in New Jersey, you'll need to enroll in a state-approved training program. Most programs are a combination of 40 hours of hands-on clinical time and 50 hours of classroom work. You'll then need to sit for a certification exam endorsed by the state of New Jersey.
- Home Health Aide (HHA) - Home Health Aides are also state-certified professionals who undergo extensive training to offer the best in-home care. While HHAs do not require formal education, they must meet similar requirements as CNAs. HHAs need to complete 16 hours of clinical training and 60 hours of classroom instruction through a CHHA training program as well as a competency test administered by the Board of Nursing.
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) - A prospective LPN learns how to collect essential signs, take samples, administer medication, and ensure patient comfort. Once you become a CNA, this program is your next step. Vocational schools and colleges offer approved LPN programs that usually last between 7-24 months. Once you complete a program, you'll have to apply for a license from the state of New Jersey and pass an endorsement exam.
Your work schedule will vary widely with each client. While some clients only need a few hours of care, a few days a week, others may need around-the-clock care. When you work with Carnegie Healthcare, you have the flexibility of creating your own schedule and only picking up the shifts that you want.
The average rate for a professional caregiver is $11.75 per hour in New Jersey, or an average salary of $34,310 per year. Keep in mind that you can certainly earn more than this, depending on the job title and company.
Working with Carnegie Healthcare
As a Home Health Aide (HHA), Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), you will be more than just a helping hand. You will be a source of stability, comfort, and companionship for patients and their families. At Carnegie Healthcare, we strive to connect patients with caring, compassionate aides to help maintain a safe and fulfilling daily life.
Just some of the benefits when you work with Carnegie Healthcare include:
- Highest pay rates in your industry
- Access to more shifts, with flexibility to work when you want
- Weekly, on-time paychecks
- Supplemental, ongoing training opportunities
- Comprehensive healthcare insurance
- Referral bonus program
Ready to move to the next level of your healthcare career? Apply now and let us be part of your success story.