The number of requests from employers for HHA in the United States is growing exponentially, as well as those wishing to master this challenging but vital profession for society. Before you try your hand as a home health assistant, you need to:
- find out if you can do this kind of work;
- what is required for successful employment;
- how to work productively for a long time.
Let’s talk about everything in order.
Assessment of your capabilities
To become a perfect helper for a pensioner or a person recovering from an injury, it is not enough to go through first aid and CPR training and get a certificate. It would help if you had certain internal qualities that would allow you to effectively fulfill your duties and receive good reviews from employers. You will be successful if:
- be a friendly and non-conflict character;
- do not smoke, drink or have other bad habits;
- be tolerant and free from prejudice;
- quickly navigate in unpredictable situations – the condition of the ward can deteriorate sharply, and your task will not only be to provide him with competent first aid but also to ensure the fastest possible receipt of qualified medical care;
- be able to find contact with different people;
- have a stable psyche and easily endure stressful situations;
- continue to improve skills to expand the quantity and improve the quality of services provided;
- be in good health, as specific duties, such as bathing and changing clothes, require physical strength;
- not to experience discomfort day after day doing the same work;
- be interested in providing comprehensive assistance to people who cannot take care of themselves due to age, illness, or other circumstances.
Organization of training
You can only legally be hired as a home health assistant if you have a valid HHA certification. You can get it if:
- Find a learning center with a program approved by the Department of Education.
- Complete a training course that will teach theory (offline or in the format of online lectures) and attend practical classes.
- Successfully pass the certification, proving that you can correctly and by the requirements established by the state to take care of people in need of help.
Challenges faced by those who work as home attendants and home health aides
Some people think that as soon as the home health aide training ma ends and the HHA certificate is in hand, they will immediately be hired, after which they will successfully fulfill their duties for a long time and feel gratitude from the wards. Problems can arise at each stage:
- it is not always possible to get certified right away – to avoid difficulties in passing the exam, devote maximum time to mastering the necessary knowledge and developing skills;
- Employers often require much more than what is written in the contract – it is essential to set clear limits and not do work for which you are not paid;
- it turns out that to get perfect money, you need to work a hectic schedule;
- it is not possible to find mutual understanding with all wards and their relatives;
- after some time, surrounded by sick and older adults, there comes a feeling of inner emptiness.
Finally, we will give a few recommendations on how not to “burn out” while working as a home health assistant:
- Avoid taking the ward’s problems too close to your heart. Understand that it is not your fault for the client’s condition; you are already doing everything for his well-being, so you don’t need to worry too much.
- Arrange your work schedule, so there is enough time for rest, meetings with friends, favorite hobbies, and personal life.
- Be sure to use your legal leave. Use your free days for a psycho-emotional reboot and get new impressions. The best option is to travel, and with the phone turned off.
- Do not go on about the ward. You are not a relative. Therefore, you should not indulge a pensioner, especially if he asks to do something contrary to the recommendations of a doctor or your employer. This is fraught not only with guilt but also with subsequent blackmail, deductions from wages, and dismissal.
- Develop both professionally and in creativity and sports to receive positive emotions and not be obsessed with the problems of the wards.
Suppose you feel that you can no longer cope with negative thoughts and have ceased to feel inner satisfaction from work. In that case, it makes sense to try yourself in related fields, for example, becoming an employee of a recruitment agency for hiring home staff.