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Home Health Aide Worker

Home health aide workers (or home health care aides) work in patients’ homes providing support services to the elderly, clients with disabilities, or clients with chronic illnesses. If you are a home health care aide worker, you will have some clearly defined and repetitive tasks (e.g., washing dishes, making meals, changing bed linens), however the tasks required of you may change daily, depending on the patients’ needs. 


This job usually requires a high school diploma and/or a GED certificate. In addition, a license or certification to be a home health aide worker is typically required by employers. Job qualifications can also be state specific, so you will want to carefully check your state’s requirements to be a home health care aide.

Previous Experience

Previous experience working for one year as a home health aide worker is usually preferred. Even without one years’ experience, if you have the other required qualifications according to the job advertisement, it is strongly encouraged that you apply anyways - everybody has to start somewhere!

Job Duties

  • Routine housekeeping tasks - including changing bed linens, making the bed, doing laundry, ironing, washing dishes, housecleaning, etc.
  • Personal care for the client - including bathing, personal hygiene (e.g., brushing teeth, brushing hair), other grooming, dressing, undressing, etc.
  • Assisting in the client’s physical activity (e.g., helping them walk, get out of bed, get into wheelchair).
  • Shop for food and plan, and/or prepare meals for patients.
  • Serve food, feed patients or give them assistance during meal times.
  • Health-related tasks - including changing dressings, administering medications, checking their pulse and temperature, etc.
  • Provide clients with conversation and companionship - this can include taking them for walks, reading to them, talking to them, and/or entertaining them as required.
  • Report any observations or concerns regarding patients to supervisors or case managers.
  • Run errands that the patient requires of you or accompany clients on errands.
  • Your employer may also ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work "In the Scene." If you are working as a home health aide worker, you will be working with patients on a regular basis.  You will be speaking with and interacting with patients daily and must have relatively strong social skills. 

Skills / Abilities

Customer Service Skills  - You will need to know how to provide excellent customer service.  This includes being able to determine if the patient is satisfied, and to meet their needs. It requires the ability to accept complaints from patients, and to calmly deal with high stress situations.  Many patients may feel tired, sick, and/or frustrated.  It is important for you to display a pleasant and cooperative attitude.

Oral Expression - You will be required to speak clearly and effectively.

Reading Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to read, and follow written instructions and ideas.

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to understand and follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Attention to Detail - It is important that you are able to be accurate and precise for this job because you are addressing patients’ health care needs.

Integrity - This job requires that employees are honest and ethical. 

Ability to follow Health and Safety Procedures - Working in the healthcare industry requires that you closely follow health and safety rules and procedures. You will need to be able to carry out these procedures and follow these rules for the safety of your patient and for your own safety. Cleanliness is an important part of following health and safety codes.

Environmental Demands

Location – This job will be located indoors in a climate-controlled setting (e.g., a house or apartment), however, they may be occasions when you will need to go outside (e.g., taking a client for a walk, running errands).

Noise Level - The noise level will be low (fairly quiet) as it will typically be just you and the client together.

Lighting Level - Since this job will usually take place indoors in someone’s home, lighting will usually consist of regular lighting (e.g., lightbulbs). However, if you take your client for a walk or run errands, you will be working outdoors, and mostly likely in the sunshine or exposed to other elements of the weather.

Work Hours- This job will have varying work shifts. It will depend on your employer how many hours per day or week you are employed. You may work full time hours (8 hours a day) or part-time hours (4-6 hours per day). Additionally, you could work during the day time (9am-5pm), evenings (5pm-7pm) or even nights (7pm - 9am) and you will have to let your employer know what types of shifts you can work (e.g., mornings, afternoons, nights).

Amount of Movement –You will need to be able to sit, stand, walk, bend, reach, lift, carry, and push items for this job. For example, you may need to help a client get out of bed, or push them around in a wheelchair.

Cleanliness and Odors– Cleanliness is an important part of this job, as you are required to follow certain health care codes.  Cleaning may also be part of your job duties.

Work Attire - Work attire will typically be a uniform (e.g., medical scrubs), latex gloves, and certain types of shoes (e.g., tennis shoes or other easily washable shoes).

Structure and Predictability - This job will typically have a moderate degree of structure and predictability.  This means that you might complete the same tasks each day, or you may have different tasks each day.  These tasks might not be done in the same order each day.  You might not always know ahead of time how long each task will take to complete.  You might work in the same areas each day, and you might interact with the same people each day.

What's the Pace?

    • Steady:  In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that you will always have some work to do.  When the work pace is steady, you are working at a level “5” on a scale of “1” (nothing to do) to “10” (extremely busy, rushed pace).

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