How to Become a Health Care Aide

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How to Become a Health Care Aide: Career Path Guide

If you want to become a health care aide, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. If the following description sounds like you, then you’re probably well suited for a career as a health care aide:

 

Those who become health care aides are compassionate individuals who are interested in helping people. They enjoy work that involves physical activity and allows them to work with people on a personal level. Health care aides must have a natural aptitude for personal care, and be able to deal with sensitive situations with good judgment and tact.

 

Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career as a health care aide. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!

 

 

Education Needed to Become a Health Care Aide

Although educational requirements for becoming a health care aide vary by employer, you typically only need a high school diploma to enter this profession, as health care aides are often trained on-the-job.

 

On-the-job training typically includes instruction in housekeeping tasks, such as cooking for clients who have special dietary needs. They also learn basic safety techniques, such as CPR and how to respond in an emergency.

 

Some employers however, require health care aide candidates to have a university degree in a field such as nursing, or a college diploma in a health care aide training program. 

 

 

 

Health Care Aide Job Description

Health care aides are responsible for providing short and long term personal care to individuals who are disabled, chronically ill, cognitively impaired, as well as older adults that require assistance. They provide assistance with such activities as bathing, dressing, meal preparation and light housekeeping.

 

 

Health Care Aide Job Duties

• Observe changes in client condition

• Ensure the safety of clients

• Administer suppositories and enemas

• Collect stool samples and assist with toileting

• Implement therapeutic interventions for behaviour management

• Assist clients with basic personal care and hygienic activities such as bathing, grooming and dressing

• Assist with bed transfers, lifting, turning, walking and crutch walking

• Assist clients with therapeutic activities such as range of motion exercises, wound care and administering medication

• Liaise with other health care professionals, such as physicians, when necessary

 

 

 

Personal Characteristics Needed to Become a Health Care Aide

If you have the following personality traits, you may be well suited for a career as a health care aide:

 

• Compassionate and interested in helping people

• Enjoy working on a personal level with patients

• Understanding, patient and non-judgmental

• Able to work in a fast-paced environment

• Enjoy a job that involves physical activity

• Mature and dependable

• Able to communicate effectively and get along with people

• Able to keep personal information about clients confidential

• Able to use tact and judgment in dealing with difficult situations

• Sensitive to the physical, social, cultural, spiritual and psychological effects of illness and aging

 

 

Health Care Aide Salary

The salary level of health care aides can vary depending on such factors as their level of education; their level of experience; the organization that employs them; how many hours the work, and many others.

 

Health Care Aide Salary Alberta: According to the 2011 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Nurse Aides, Orderlies and Patient Service Associates occupational group earn an average wage of between $17.32 and $21.48 per hour.

 

Health Care Aide Salary United States: According to the Unites States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary of workers in the Home Health and Personal Care Aides occupational group is $20,560 (2010 figures). 

 

 

Who Hires Health Care Aides?

Health care aides are hired by organizations that provide personal assistance and support services for elderly, disabled, acute or chronically ill individuals; these organizations include:

 

• Self-employed (on contractual basis)

• Private health care agencies

• Continuing care facilities

• Senior housing facilities

• Government social service departments and agencies

• Non-profit charitable agencies

• Home care and family service associations

• Hospitals

 

 

Health Care Aide Jobs

Our job board below has "Health Care Aide" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

Working Conditions For Health Care Aides

Physical Activity: Since health care aides must assist people with activities such as bathing, moving, dressing, using the washroom and preparing food, there is a lot of physical activity required to properly perform this job. Health care aides may also spend long periods of time on their feet during their workday.

 

Work Environment: Health care aides may find themselves working in institutional settings or in homes, some of which may be comfortable settings to work within, while others may be quite uncomfortable and undesirable. Health care aides may provide care for clients that are quite pleasant and cooperative, although some may be quite difficult and uncooperative.

 

Working Hours: The hours of work for health care aides can vary, typically depending on where they work. Since many agencies offer 24-hour health services, health care aides often have to work shifts that involve irregular hours, includes early mornings, evenings and weekends.

 

Careers Similar to Health Care Aide

Listed below are careers in our database that are similar in nature to Health Care Aide, as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.

 

Developmental Care Worker

Elder Care Worker

Geriatric Care Manager

Orthopaedic Technician

 

 

References: How to Become a Health Care Aide

Please consult the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a health care aide.

 

Alberta Health Services website: www.albertahealthservices.ca

Alberta Learning and Information Service website: alis.alberta.ca

United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bls.gov

 

 

Scholarships for Becoming a Health Care Aide

Scholarships listed for majors that apply to becoming a Health Care Aide can be found on our All Scholarships by Major page.

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!

 

 

Becoming a Health Care Aide: Applicable Majors

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a health care aide. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!

 


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