How to Become a Home Health Aide in Florida
Home health aide jobs are a perfect fit for compassionate people who want to make a career out of helping others.
Developing effective patient care skills and learning the legal guidelines for this profession are essential if you want to qualify for home health aide jobs in Florida.
Depending on your career goals, earning an official home health aide (HHA) certification might also be necessary.
Education & Training
If you’re wondering how to become a home health aide in Florida, you essentially have two options to choose from. You can either find an entry-level position with a home health agency or enroll in an educational course at a Florida trade school or community college.
On-The-Job Home Health Aide Training
Some home health agencies hire inexperienced applicants and teach them the various skills they need for the job.
General Training Tasks
During training, you typically receive basic instruction on general industry guidelines, such as:
- Assisting clients with personal care needs
- Documenting clients’ daily activities
- Standard safety and sanitation practices for healthcare professionals
- HIPPA laws and client privacy guidelines
Home Health Aide School in FL
While on-the-job training can teach you how to become a home health aide in Florida, completing an educational course might make it easier to qualify for more advanced and higher-paying jobs in the industry.
Learning Additional Tasks
HHA programs also give students a more in-depth understanding of job-specific concepts like:
- Legal and ethical responsibilities of home healthcare professionals
- Preventing and reporting patient abuse
- Communication skills
- Promoting client independence
- Mental health awareness
- Preventing slips, trips, falls, and other accidents and emergencies in the home
- Infection control
- Fire safety and disaster preparedness
If you plan to work with clients with specific care needs, you might also need to undergo specialized training to learn the following skills:
- Medication Administration
- Certified Nurse Assisting (CNA) Skills
- Behavioral Health Practices
- Palliative or Hospice Care
- Dementia Care
How Long Does Home Health Aide Training Take?
Certified home health aides in FL must complete at least 40 hours of schooling to work for a state-licensed home health agency. To qualify for a Medicare or Medicaid-based home health aide job in Florida, your course must include at least 75 hours of in-home healthcare training.
Completing Your Required Hours
Depending on where you attend classes, you can complete your hours in two to four weeks. Training courses that prepare students for more advanced home health aide jobs in Florida might take six to eight weeks to complete.
How Much Does HHA Training Cost?
Some home health aide certificate programs in Florida cost between $300 and $800. However, students who enroll in longer courses that include theoretical coursework, laboratory exercises and clinical fieldwork through a local home health agency might pay anywhere from $3,000 to $40,000.
Florida Home Health Aide Requirements
Currently, there are no state-mandated licensing or certification requirements to become a home health aide in Florida.
Because of this, you might be able to qualify for home health aide jobs in Florida if you have the following qualifications:
- Be at least 17
- Have previous experience performing home health care tasks for a friend, neighbor, or relative
- Test negative for illnesses like hepatitis and TB
- Possess up-to-date immunization records
- Have CPR or Basic Life Support (BLS) certification through the Red Cross or the American Heart Association
While you can find work if you meet these minimum requirements, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an educational training program and earned an official certification from an organization like the American Caregiver Association or the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
To obtain your HHA certification, you must have a diploma or certificate from an accredited training program. After completing the required training hours, aspiring home health aides in FL must take the following steps:
- Take a competency test through the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration OR undergo observation and evaluation through a Medicaid or Medicare-based home health agency.
- Submit to a criminal background check and a care provider background screening
Once you pass your exams and evaluations, you’ll obtain your HHA certification and can begin applying for home health aide jobs in Florida.
Home Health Aide Salaries in FL
The average home health aide salary in Florida is about $23,857 per year. However, employees in this field might earn different wages depending on which part of the state they live and work in. Take a look at the following list to learn how much home health aides make in different Florida cities:
- Tampa $23,387
- Orlando $23,350
- Jacksonville $24,609
- Miami $23,406
- Naples $25,211
- Tallahassee $22,635
- Panama City $23,538
While these are the typical salaries for inexperienced, entry-level home health aides in FL, annual earnings also differ based on experience and certification. For example, home health aide companies in Florida pay experienced employees between $16.00 and $20.00 per hour or more. Because of this, you might be able to make about $40,000 per year, depending on the company you work for.
Employees working home health aide jobs in Florida perform various patient care tasks for clients living in their own homes. To keep their clients comfortable and ensure they receive proper care, home health aides complete the following duties during their workdays:
- Assist clients with bathing, dressing, and grooming
- Transport clients to and from beds and seats as needed
- Prepare meals based on the client’s preferences and medical or dietary restrictions
- Remind clients to take their medications
- Take clients to appointments and help them run other errands in the community
- Provide companionship
- Complete housekeeping tasks like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and routine pet care
- Document the client’s daily activities, including their food and fluid intake, medication refusals, and overall mood
Researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect a 25-percent increase in the demand for home health aides over the next ten years, meaning qualified candidates should have an easy time finding work in this field. Undergoing training and obtaining the proper certifications can help you stand out among other applicants and qualify for higher-paying home health aide jobs in Florida.