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What You Need to Know to Start a Career in Home Health Care

by sophiajames

Work in home health care has never been more desirable. As the baby boomer generation ages and more people choose home-based care as an alternative to nursing homes or hospitals, there is an increasing need for qualified home health providers.

Home health nursing offers the right healthcare professional both promising job prospects and a satisfying career path. Working in home health enables you to interact personally with your patients in their own homes, where you can frequently better understand their requirements.

In return for leaving behind the setting of a facility, home health workers can benefit from an exceptional degree of autonomy and flexibility in their schedules. 

Home health workers should consider getting home health aide insurance. These types of insurance provide you with a layer of protection if you are providing care as a freelancer or self-employed individual. 

What does a nurse in home health do?

Home healthcare workers provide nursing care for patients who wish to be cared for in their own homes. While patients of any age may be treated at home, home health professionals frequently work with elderly people and help them live as independently as possible and experience a higher quality of life.

A wide range of medical specialists, many of whom have overlapping duties, are involved in home health nursing. As a result, depending on your job title and the patient’s demands, you can expect a range of duties and levels of care. Interested in becoming a home health care? You can learn more here.

Aides in home health and certified nursing assistants

Become a certified nursing assistant (CAN) or home health aide to work in the field of home health care (HHA). In these roles, the following duties are typical:

  • Assisting patients with activities of daily living, such as dressing and undressing, walking, and feeding. The role can also involve personal care and hygiene. Additionally, you could implement behavioral programs that have been suggested or are already in place for people with developmental difficulties.
  • The provision of basic medical care: Under the supervision of a nurse or another healthcare professional, certified nursing assistants deliver fundamental medical care. They might collect vital signs, help with movement, aid in performing exercises or medical regimens, and report any issues to the supervising nurse.
  • Assist with laundry, dishwashing, vacuuming, and other minor household tasks.
  • Home health aides are frequently primarily responsible for scheduling and assisting patients to attend medical appointments. This assistance can be crucial for patients, especially those with complex medical requirements or cognitive limitations. 
  • Organize transportation to medical facilities or other outings: In addition to managing their patients’ schedules, they may also arrange transportation or other means of getting to and from appointments.
  • Shop for food and prepare meals: Patients’ medical conditions may prevent them from eating specific items or food groups. A specific texture of food may be necessary for those with eating or swallowing difficulties to eat comfortably.
  • Continue to involve patients: In addition to providing general companionship and taking patients out into the community, certified nursing assistants also keep their patients interested by assisting them to participate in their favorite pastimes and activities.

Certified Nursing Assistants and Registered Nurses

The home healthcare team is made up of a number of additional healthcare specialists with higher levels of education and license.

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), which are also referred to as licensed practical nurses (LPNs). These individuals can deliver home-based nursing care when instructed to do so by a registered nurse (RN) or other medical experts. LVNs can administer specific drugs and provide wound care in addition to providing basic medical support. They can also gather data and submit it to the supervising RN.

In a home health setting, RNs are often in charge of providing more complex care and managing nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses. They create treatment plans, check on client progress, and give any medication that falls inside their purview of practice.

Pursuing a Career in Home Health Care

You must satisfy the following criteria in order to work as a home health nurse:

  • Qualifications: CNAs and HHAs are entry-level workers in home health care. Typically, applicants must have a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, to be eligible for the programs.
  • The nursing curriculum must be completed by LVNs and LPNs working in home health, which is often offered through a community college or vocational school. Having a completed bachelor’s degree in nursing is also increasingly becoming a prerequisite for RNs.


The training that home health nurses get covers specific housekeeping duties, fundamental safety procedures (such as how to react in an emergency), personal cleanliness, reading and recording vital signs, and fundamental nutrition. Both on-the-job training and formal, specialized programs are options. For state certification, further education can also be necessary.

Accreditation and Licensure

To become certified and licensed, all home health nurses must successfully complete a test of eligibility. A CPR certification is also required. State-by-state variations apply to additional requirements, including formal training and background checks. Contact the health board in your state for further details if you’re curious about the precise requirements.


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