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The type of home health aide certification you need will likely dictate where and how you go about acquiring it. In some cases, little special training is needed. Other workers need specialized skills to assist with sick or elderly patients who may need help in an emergency situation, should one arise.
In some cases, no training is needed to get certification. This may be the case if the person being cared for has no severe health problems and primarily needs companionship and help doing everyday things. Although some health-related tasks, such as checking blood sugar and giving medication, may be required, it is often not necessary to have special training to do them. These situations are generally used for family members or friends.
If you are being hired by someone you do not know to care for his or her loved one, you will likely need to meet several home health aide certification requirements. You will probably need to become CPR certified, as well as learn the Heimlich maneuver and other lifesaving techniques. Most of the time, additional training will also be needed.
To get certification to do this job, the first place to go is the nursing school is your area. These schools generally have aide programs available within the nursing program. Generally, licensing can be obtained by completing specified courses.
Nursing schools may be located in technical or community colleges. You can begin by visiting these locations and asking about any home health aide programs they offer. Fill out an application and speak to student advisers at each school. They will be able to give you further information regarding prerequisites, the time it takes to become certified, and information regarding financial aid and class schedules.
Be sure to apply as early as possible, as nursing and aide programs generally fill quickly. Often, if general studies courses will be needed, you can take these while you wait for nursing classes to become available. You should consider taking these classes, even if you don't need them right now, if you intend to pursue nursing later on.
Once you have finished all the necessary classes, you will usually be required to take a government mandated exam in order to obtain certification. This test can take several hours, and it is required in order to work in the field. If you do not pass the first time, find out if another test will be given. In some cases, certain classes may have to be re-taken. Additionally, certification often has to be renewed either annually or within a certain period of time specified by the government.