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Home Health Aide

What Does a Home Health Aide Do?

Home health aides do the kinds of things that a nurse might do in a hospital—while helping out in ways that a traditional nurse in a hospital might not. Specific tasks include:

  • Giving medicines
  • Checking vital signs
  • Helping clients with exercises
  • Doing housework
  • Shopping for groceries and other items
  • Driving clients to and from appointments
  • Helping with bathing and grooming
  • Keeping records and writing reports about their clients' condition

How Do I Become a Home Health Aide?

Most home health agencies in Virginia require home health aides to be CNA.'s--certified nurse aides licensed with the Virginia Board of Nursing. Most home health agencies also carefully screen applicants. In addition, home health aides whose employers get Medicare funds, as most do, must pass a test. Training programs for this exam vary in length, but federal law suggests they include at least 75 hours of combined classroom instruction and practical training supervised by a registered nurse. The National Association for Home Care also offers certification programs for home health aides.
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