As a home care aide, the expected duties may include caring for those who are physically or mentally ill, those injured or disabled or infirm patients confined to home or residential care facilities.
Home health aide is one of the top 10 occupations showing large job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Home care aides work under the supervision of a nurse, and work closely with family members to provide the care needed. Both men and women are sought after as home health aides.
Home health aides work to keep patients in their homes by monitoring them and providing services. Their primary responsibilities include:
Housekeeping, laundry, shopping, and errands
Keeping records of services
Recording patient conditions and notifies the supervising nurse of changes or unusual behavior
Changing dressings, assisting with bathing, and offering support
Preparing patient meals and following specific dietary guidelines
Training patients to use special equipment to care for themselves
Maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the patient by following specified standards and procedures
Ensuring proper security precautions are taken
Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.
Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.
Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making
Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one.
Complex Problem Solving
Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions.
Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.
Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it.
Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguishtruths from lies.
A 40 hour work week is standard for full-time employment as a home health aide. Because many patients may need care and assistance 24 hours a day, some conditions of employment may include night, weekend or holiday shifts. Some aides work on “live in” arrangements. Still others work on a part-time basis.
The nature of the work calls for aides to spend many hours standing and walking, and the work may include heavy lifting at times.
Aides are trained in proper body mechanics in how to move patients safely and care for them. Mechanical devices may sometimes be used to reduce the risk of injury when lifting or transferring a patient.
Employment as a home health aide can be emotionally stressful when working with patients who are disoriented, irritable, and uncooperative or in the terminal stages of illness.
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