In order to receive your home health aide certificate in California you need to follow their specific home health aide education requirements.[Non certified home aides cannot be employed by a Medicare-certified home health agency.]
How To Be a HHA in California
The steps to be a HHA in California are not complicated. You do need to remain focused on the end game: getting your HHA certificate so you can jump right in and make a living in the medical field helping others in their home.
California home health care has tremendous opportunities for those seeking to enter the medical field as a home health aide, personal care aide or certified nurse assistant.
The requirements are fairly typical of many other states though it’s worth going in some of the details and the actual steps to be a home health aide in California.
A Home Health Aide is an essential member of the home care team.
Under the supervision of a licensed nurse, they bathe, dress, feed, mobilize and transport people clients in their home.
Other responsibilities include preparation of equipment, care of the client’s home and record keeping.
Become a Certified Home Health Aide (HHA) in California in Three (3) Steps.
Home Health Aide Training Programs In California
Training programs can be provided through community colleges, home health aide agencies, or numerous state programs, many of which are free.
Looking for home health aide (HHA) programs in California?
Here’s a listing of all HHA Training Programs.
And here’s what the site looks like.
California Criminal Record Clearance
HHA candidates must obtain a criminal record clearance which needs to be completed upon enrollment into a training program; home health agencies will take care of this for the HHA candidate.
[The applicant will be fingerprinted for the criminal record clearance; if convictions exists and this prevents certification then the applicant will be notified.
No HHA certification will be granted until the candidate receives a criminal record clearance.
Contents of the California HHA Training
HHAs are required to take a state-approved program to get certified and licensed in the state of California.
California 120 Hour Home Health Aide Training Program
The basic training program for certification shall be a minimum of 120 hours and consist of at least the following:
- Introduction (4 hours)
- Interpretation of medical and social needs of people being served (20 hours)
- Personal care services (70 hours). Personal care services include those supportive services which are required to help provide and maintain normal bodily and emotional comfort and to assist the patient toward independent living in a safe environment.
- Cleaning and care tasks in the home (10 hours) which includes at least:
- Home safety measures
- Economical cleaning materials and method of use
- Maintenance of cleanliness where dishes and food are stored
- Principles of general cleanliness of environment
- Handling of laundry
- Nutrition (16 hours) which includes at least:
- Basic principles of diet
- Meal planning and serving
- Food purchasing
- Food preparation, sanitation and storage
- There shall be a minimum of 20 hours of clinical experience of which 15 hours are in personal services, 2 hours are in cleaning and care tasks and 3 hours are in nutrition.
The 3rd and final step is obtaining the formal certification and registering with CDPH.
Home health aides shall be certified by the Department.
To qualify for certification the following shall be met:
- Completion of a Department approved training program as outlined above.
- Submission by the home health agency to the Department of satisfactory evidence of completion of an equivalent home health aide training program on forms furnished by the Department. The Department may certify the home health aide as meeting the equivalent training requirement and shall maintain records on the aides certified through this method.
When the student successfully completes the HHA competency exam they will receive their state certification within a few weeks from the California Department of Public Health.
HHA License Renewal
HHA certification needs to be renewed every two (2) years.
In California home health aides must obtain twenty-four (24) hours of In-Service Training/Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) within their certification period.
Twelve (12) of the twenty-four (24) hours are required in each year of the two (2) year certification period; online CEU’s cannot be used meet this requirement.
One last thing…CEU’s must be taken with providers that are approved with the California Department of Public Health.
California HHA Resources
- Medicare has a website (Home Health Compare) that allows you to search for home health agencies and see which ones are Medicare certified.
- Here's a great booklet about HHA job training from the U.S. Department of Labor.