Importance of Education & Training for Home Health Aides

Home Health Aides (HHAs) are a vital component of the health care industry. They are responsible for assisting clients with everyday tasks such as dressing and bathing, notifying their nursing supervisor of any changes in patient conditions, and must also ensure they are providing and maintaining a safe environment for these individuals. It’s absolutely critical for home health care agencies, companion care firms and Visiting Nurse Associations (VNAs) to have a well-documented employee training and certification program for aides. Obtaining the correct Home Healthcare Insurance Program is just one essential part of what it takes to run a responsible home health agency. Proper education and training of all staff should be a top priority as well, helping to mitigate exposure and reduce liability, while also providing the safest care environment for their clients and employees.

What Type of Training is Typically Provided for Home Health Aides?

While there are no national uniform educational requirements for HHAs, some states do require that these para-professionals attend preparation classes offered by community colleges and/or vocational schools before they begin working., Unless the home care firm has a formal training program, or works with a consulting firm or association to provide these services, in general HHAs learn from and are trained by other HHAs or health care staff. Oftentimes HHAs learn much of what they need to do while on the job, although some employers do provide and require training classes and testing before a home health aide begins their first assignment.

As mentioned, there are organizations that provide online training programs and certification, such as “Aide University” provided by Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, or the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Home Care Aide Certification Program.  Both of these organizations recognize the challenges in the increasingly popular home health care field, and provide advanced training on day to day responsibilities as well as patient chronic illnesses that many HHAs face, such as COPD, dementia, and more. Implementing this high level of training not only enables home health care agencies to offer higher quality service and improves employee retention, but also provides invaluable knowledge and special skills for the HHAs, providing a significant impact on a home health agency’s risk profile.

Education & Training Portrays Home Care Agencies as Capable and Reliable

Obtaining certification in the home health field has the potential to give HHAs more than just basic knowledge in patient care, basic medical care, emergency response, and housekeeping duties. Reputable programs also offer invaluable resources and training in medical terminology, accurately measuring patient vital signs, providing patient support and advocacy, and home safety and maintenance training.  The quality of the staff and the care provided is a direct reflection on the home care firm itself, and is good for the viability of the business, whether for-profit or non-profit.

Insurance providers look at a variety of factors when determining a home health agency’s level of risk; proper education and training is one of the numerous qualities that will be questioned in the underwriting and application process. Providing this training for your HHAs confirms that you hold your organization and staff to higher standards, which presents your agency as committed and dedicated to not only the end consumers and their families, but to the insurance carriers as well.

At Manchester Specialty Programs, you will find all the insurance coverage you need to operate your home health agency, and all in one program.  We deliver specialty insurance programs that are specifically designed for home care and hospice firms in both medical and support roles. Special rate consideration is given to those firms that make aide training and certification a top priority.  Our comprehensive home health care and hospice provider insurance program is designed to help these agencies continue to provide the important services they offer throughout our communities. To find out more about our operation and all our specialty insurance programs, you or your local insurance broker can give us a call today at 855-972-9399.