In Penn Foster College’s Home Health Aide courses, you will learn about the duties of a home health aide, as well as the different skills required to work in the home health care setting. Our program consists of nine courses designed to help set you on the right path towards your career goals, as well as an externship to help you gain valuable hands-on experience working in the home health care field.
To prepare students to assist clients with Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living, monitor and report changes in a client’s health, and be an instrumental part of a Home Care Team in the role of a Home Health Aide working in home or community settings.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
Students will receive an introduction to the role of the Home Health Aide working in the home or community setting, explore current trends and career options, and discuss professionalism, regulations, responsibilities and standards.
Through this course students will examine the importance of human interaction, including verbal and nonverbal communication, the communication feedback loop, barriers, cultural competence, and effective communication techniques. Students will learn communication skills to assist in caring for patients and families to meet health care needs, therapeutic communication skills, and unique practices involved with caring for special populations. This course also introduces students to basic medical definitions and abbreviations, including word analysis, word usage, roots, prefix and suffix, with an emphasis placed on spelling and constructing medical terms. Students will be given an introduction to the positional and directional terms used to describe the human body.
This course will familiarize students with various body systems including structure, function, diseases, disorders, and treatments. Students will also learn drug delivery systems, drug administration routes, drug classifications, and commonly used medications for various organ system disorders.
This course is a continuation of Body Systems and Medication 1. Students will continue to learn about various body systems, drug delivery systems, drug administration routes, drug classifications, and commonly used medications for various organ system disorders. They’ll also learn basic medication calculations, storage, how to assist patients with administration, and proper documentation.
This course is designed to train you in providing personal care to patients to meet their physical, psychological, and mental needs. You’ll develop homemaking and organizational skills as well as a working knowledge of IADLs. You’ll learn to apply standard practices and safety procedures. The course demonstrates how to take vital signs. You’ll learn to perform a basic health assessment with concentration on observing patients for condition changes. This course discusses basic infection control and prevention strategies, with emphasis on handwashing and bag technique. You’ll explore how to prevent spread of infection as well as special precautions. The course also demonstrates safety precautions and procedures for maintaining a clean and safe environment for the worker (aide), for patients in the home, at outside locations, and while transporting, along with proper body mechanics.
Textbook: Mosby’s Textbook for the Home Care Aide, Third Edition, Elsevier
This course encourages students to develop healthy eating habits for themselves and their clients. It provides an overview of nutritional and hydration needs. Students will learn meal planning, preparation, and food safety. The relationship between nutrition and health is explored. Maintaining a balanced diet is discussed, and is linked to appropriate physical activity and fluid balance.
Textbook: Nutrition for Life; Pearson
This course provides an overview of various dimensions of aging, including the aging process and how to provide competent care to the aging patient. It explores normal biological aging, attitudes toward aging, myths of aging, and how to monitor and assess for changes in psychosocial and functional status. It teaches how to develop an instructional plan for families to effectively manage physiologic and/or psychosocial changes. It also discusses end of life issues. Finally, it covers how to identify and handle emergency situations.
Textbook: Mosby's Textbook for the Home Care Aide, Third Edition, Elsevier
In this course, students will learn how law affects healthcare practitioners, the origin of law that affects medical professionals, the basics of the process of litigation and its alternatives, the common-law basis for the confidentiality of healthcare information, and the laws regulating healthcare information collected and maintained by government agencies.
Students are required to perform a 40-hour externship prior to completing this program. While Penn Foster provides students with the tools and resources to obtain an externship through our partnerships with Home Health Care agencies, it is the student’s responsibility to ultimately find and secure the externship at a site in their area.
All students are required to have a minimum cumulative grade average of 65% in this program in order to participate in an externship. Externship requirements vary by agency and state but will generally include a Criminal Background Check; a 2-Stage PPD Test showing negative results for TB; Child Abuse Clearance (PA State required); a Valid Driver’s License and Proof of Auto Insurance; and access to a functioning vehicle that is available for use during scheduled work hours. Additional items may be required of the student based upon the agency where they choose to do their externship. Any costs associated with these requirements will be the responsibility of the student.
The goal of the externship is to produce competent home health aides by developing the essential skill sets through practical experience. The externship process and requirements are discussed in the course materials. Further information is given on home health aide regulations and requirements as applied to each state.
There are also some states that require Home Health Aides to be a Certified Nursing Aide in order to complete the required externship in this program and or for employment in that state. Please click here to refer to state-by-state training requirements for the state where you plan to work to learn more before enrolling in this program.
Equipment: Blood Pressure Kit for the Home Health Aide