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Basics of Home Health Aide Training

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HHA Training Programs

Home Health Aide training usually consists of at least the federal minimum of 75 hours of combined coursework and hands-on instruction, but may be slightly more depending upon regulations in your state. Regardless of the total number of hours required to complete a training program, however, the same basic material is usually covered in all home health aide classes. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at exactly what you will learn while pursuing HHA certification, and how much time you should expect to devote to each area of study.

About Home Health Aide Training Programs

Before we get into the specific material that is usually covered in HHA courses, it is important to note that there are two different types of home health aide programs that students will likely come across – those designed for current CNAs and those for people who are new to healthcare. The following summaries discuss the differences in greater detail.

Programs for CNAs

Because there is already a great deal of crossover between their duties as CNAs and those of HHAs, some certified nursing assistants pursue an additional certification in home healthcare to enhance their resumes. Programs intended for current CNAs usually feature a total of about 40 hours of training, and omit the general health care material that one would have already covered in his or her certified nursing assistant program.

Programs for New HHAs

By comparison, programs designed for those who do not have any previous healthcare training or certification are significantly longer in duration and cover quite a bit more material. The average Home Health Aide program of this type will include a minimum of 75 hours of training and will include both supervised home care work and basic healthcare principles.

What Is Covered In Home Health Aide Classes?

Moving on to the actual material covered in HHA courses, you should expect to spend at least 15 hours of your time in personal care services training (i.e. the clinical portion of the course) and approximately 20 hours in the classroom studying various aspects of home care. If you are not already a CNA, you should expect to augment this home care-specific study with a minimum of 35 additional hours of general health study (e.g. biology, anatomy, etc.).

The following chart provides a sample recommendation for how Home Health Aide training programs should allot their 40 hours of instruction to different subjects. This particular example is pulled from the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) guidelines for HHA courses, but is very similar to what one would find in most states around the country.

Additional Hours for Non-CNAs

As mentioned, for HHA training enrollees who are not currently certified nursing assistants, there is an additional requirement for at least 35 hours of study in general health topics. These hours will generally be devoted to a cross-section of topics including:

  • Biology
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy
  • Safety and Infection Control
  • Medical Terminology and Ethics

What to Look for in HHA Programs

When choosing an HHA training program, it is important to not only make sure that it meets the aforementioned, minimum federal requirements for class hours, but also that it is properly accredited. In most instances, this means accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) or another nationally-recognized body.

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