No matter which job you choose in the field of medicine and healthcare, it can prove to be a highly rewarding career path. If you are looking for a hands-on job in the healthcare field that allows you to make a difference in someone’s life, then Home Health Aide (HHA) is the right job for you. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that HHA is one of the leading occupations in the country.
The role of an HHA is to provide care and assistance to the elderly and mentally or physically challenged. They might also be required to provide support to people who are disabled, injured, and in need of care. These people can be confined to their residences, so the HHAs are required to help them with simple tasks of daily activity, besides keeping track of their health. If you are thinking of starting a career as an HHA professional, it is important to obtain a Home Health Aide Certification. You should also consider getting Home Health Care Provider Insurance to protect yourself from different types of claims.
In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about the HHA certification requirements in California and the process of obtaining them. Let’s get straight to it.
HHA Requirements in California
The direct care professionals in California usually have varied requirements which are dependent on the circumstances of their work. The state code of California defines home health aides (HHAs) as professionals that are usually employed by hospice programs and home health care agencies. They essentially work to provide services related to personal care and assistance to the patients in their own residence. The HHA requirements in California state that a healthcare professional must have relevant certification to provide direct care and treatment through a home health care agency.
California also sets pretty high training requirements for HHA – around 120 hours of training. This standard is significantly higher than the federal govt mandated requirements for Medicare or Medicaid-certified home care agencies. Besides, the HHA certification is also dependent on whether an individual meets other mandates, like clearing a background check. The training requirements, on the other hand, are lower. However, the home health care agency is required to ensure that an HHA meets the minimum standards.
HHAs working with registered home health care agencies are usually added to a registry, known as the Home Care Aide Registry. If you are not working with a regulated agency, you can still choose to be added to the Home Care Aide Registry. If your name features in the registry, it can be a form of reassurance to your clients about your authenticity.
Home Health Aide Training in California
All the HHA training programs taking place within the state of California have to follow the minimum requirements for curriculum set by the state code. The course should ideally include a 4-hour introduction, which covers the policies and functions. Thereafter, the training should commence, which includes content covering the areas of –
- Interpretation of social and medical needs of people receiving direct care services. A total training of 20 hours is provided for the same.
- The majority of the training time (almost 70 hours) is taken in covering the topic of personal care services, like assistance with mobility, grooming, hygiene, etc. Mobility would also include positioning patients, besides providing them assistance with a variety of exercises.
- Another 10 hours of training are provided in care-related and home cleaning tasks. This topic comprises of content related to home safety, laundry, and maintenance of cleanliness.
- The topic of nutrition is also covered, which comprises of 16 hours of training.
Training for personal care services is usually delivered by registered nurses. The state of California specifies that the trainers preferred for delivering training on these services will be public health nursing staff. Besides this, other training modules are covered by individuals working in the roles of a physical therapist, nutritionist, and social worker. Since the student will have to be in a clinical environment for some amount of time, they would also have to take a physical examination prior to it.
The Public Health Department in California has listed the training programs approved by the state on https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/LCP/Pages/HHA.aspx. These training programs are usually offered by career colleges, community colleges, adult schools, nursing schools, and also healthcare organizations. If you are already a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), the state allows you to enroll in a total of 40 hours of the Home Health Aide (HHA) training program. As an HHA, education will be an ongoing process. HHAs are usually required to complete around 12 hours of on-the-job training in a year. The continuing education units (CEU) can be obtained through the approved training centers.
Process of Obtaining HHA Certification
One can download HHA certificate forms from the Public Health Department website – https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/LCP/Pages/HHA.aspx. An HHA would need to get their fingerprints made since the state of California uses the process of Live Scanning. When you enroll in a training program, the request for a Live Scan is redirected to the Public Health department, with other materials for the application. The renewal for the same is biannual.
How to get registered as an HHA?
The home health aides’ registration began from the year of 2016. If you want to register as an HHA in California, you would have to undergo a background check. As for the registration, it is done by the Social Services Department https://secure.dss.ca.gov/ccld/hcsregistry/registration.aspx?Action=New.
By choosing the career of an HHA, you will get the opportunity to work directly with the patients. It is a great option for anyone who wants to take up a job in the medical and healthcare field. The biggest advantage of taking up an HHA career is that one does not need to have specialized education to qualify for the job. All you need is a GED or high school diploma, after which you can obtain the HHA certification. Additional information about the home health certification California can be obtained from the department of public health website’s section on Technician Certification https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/LCP/Pages/HHA.aspx.