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How to Find Career Prosperity in Home-Based Health

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With the upcoming increase in the aging population, the job growth in this field is expected to be excellent, with up to 50 percent more jobs by 2018, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That translates into roughly half a million new jobs, which is faster growth for the occupation of home health aide than most other jobs.

The outlook…

A home health aide usually works in a residential care facility or the home of a patient with age-related challenges, chronic illness, or disabilities that require care under the supervision of a medical professional.

Whether this is an entry level position or a stepping stone to a more specialized medical career, if you’re passionate about having a positive impact on the lives of others and want to work in health care, you can find career prosperity as a home health aide by following the steps below.

What you need to do it

Although home health aides change dressings and bandages, check and record vital signs, and administer medication, you do not need a degree or diploma to work in this field.

You can receive specialized training and certification through a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) or certified nursing assistant (CNA) program, usually available at a community college.

But most home health aides are trained on the job by a nurse or other medical personnel.

How to prosper in this field

Make sure you take a position in this field that pays well, and pays extra for overtime.

If you work privately for a family, or are paid jointly by more than one family member, or spend more than eighty per cent of your work-week providing companionship services, you may be exempt from overtime pay protection.

As of January 1, 2015, home health aides, certified nursing assistants, and personal care aides working for a health provider agency or other third party will have overtime protection as a result of a change to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

A stepping stone to higher pay

Working as a home health aide offers limited advancement as a career and can be physically demanding because of the nature of the job: cleaning, moving patients, and other physical tasks.

One advantage here is that you can work full-time while training for a more specialized position or studying to complete a higher level degree in health care.

Many home health aides obtain more education to become a licensed practical nurse, registered practical nurse, or registered nurse.

Are you or anyone you know in the field of Home Health Care? Have you been able to advance in this field? Weigh-in via the Comments area below.

Contributor Tera Rowland

Tera Rowland is the vice president of Soliant and has worked in the healthcare staffing industry for almost 20 years in public relations, social media, marketing and operations. In addition to Soliant, Tera worked at the Mayo Clinic as an internal communication manager and for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is a member of the American Marketing Association and the American Staffing Association. Also, Tera has served on the board of directors for the Jacksonville Women’s Leadership Forum as part of the communication committee. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations as well as a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of North Florida and has been published in the Huffington Post, Healthcare Finance News, Healthcare Traveler Magazine, and Scrubs Magazine. Make sure to read the rest of Tera's blogs!