HHA training programs must consist of:
- at least seventy-five (75) hours of training
- which needs to include at least sixteen (16) hours of clinical training
- plus, there is a requirement to complete twelve (12) hours of continuing education for every twelve (12) months
There is no law that requires the licensing or certification of home health aides in Florida.
However, if you intend to work for a Medicare or Medicaid home health agency then you’ll need to follow the minimum [federal] home health aide education requirements.
In order to work at a licensed-only agency you will need just 40 hours minimum of training or successfully complete a HHA competency test (details below).
Why Be a Home Health Aide in Florida!
There are many reasons to be a certified home health aide in Florida – here are just a few.
While the steps to be a HHA in Florida 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.
Florida 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 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 Florida.
Florida HHA Training Requirements
There are different training requirements depending on who you work for – a Home Health Agency or a Nurse Registry.
It sounds confusing but it really is not; here’s a simple explanation on the differences.
In order to be a HHA in Florida you’ll need at least one of the following:
- 40 hour HHA certificate
- 75 hour HHA certificate
- diploma in home health aide
Home Health Agency
- To work at a licensed-only agency (i.e. agency is not reimbursed by Medicare/Medicaid) you will need just 40 hours minimum of training or successfully complete a HHA competency test.
- The test for state licensed home health agencies is the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) home health aide test.
- Working for a Medicare or Medicaid home health agency you will need to have successfully completed the 75 hours of healthcare training in a qualified home health aide program and/or pass a competency evaluation given by the home health agency.
- The AHCA test does not meet this regulation. You must follow the federal requirements (42 CFR 484.36(b))
- To work for a nurse registry you will to have successfully completed at least 40 hours minimum of training.
Here’s an easy-to-follow infographic on how to be a HHA in Florida.
What’s the difference between a Nurse Registry and Home Health Agency in Florida?
Nurse Registry: An agency that offers health care related contracts for nurses, home health aides, certified nursing assistants, homemakers, and companions in a patient’s home. Registries refer, but do not hire, home care workers. Once the worker is hired by the client, the relationship usually ends.
All individuals who enter the home of patients to provide direct care must be independent contractors.
The registry’s role is to secure licensed, capable direct care providers, who carry out the services in accordance with the professional standards of their profession, whether medical or quasi-medical.
In addition, the registry is required to advise the patient that all care and services will be provided by an independent contractor.
Home Health Agency
Home Health Agency: An agency that provides skilled services (by nurses, therapists, social workers) and/or unskilled services (by home health aides, certified nursing assistants, homemaker, companions) to patients in their homes.
Agencies are licensed and regulated by the state. They recruit, screen, hire, train and supervise HHA’s and they are employees of the agency and are bonded and insured. The agency handles all payroll taxes and other human resources tasks.
As a home health aide in Florida do I need to know the difference between a Nurse Registry and a Home Health Agency?
Yes, you do and here’s why…
Home health aides should know who the employer is, how and who will be paying them, insurance coverage as well as liability insurance, how they will be trained, etc.
You must have answers to these questions before you start home health aide employment with either a Nurse Registry or Home Health Agency in Florida.
Here’s a comparison of a Nurse Registry and Home health Agency in Florida (from the perspective of a home health aide).
Comparison of a Nurse Registry and Home Health Agency in Florida
|Nurse Registry||Home Health Agency|
|Employment||No “employees” other than administrator and office staff||HHA’s are “employees” as required by FL law|
|Hiring||Hired by, and work for, the client||Hire by the Agency|
|Quality Assurance||No required programs||Quality Assurance Program required by Florida|
|Training||No training or education provided.||Agency provides training and continuing education|
|Background Checks||None required; very wide latitude||Thorough background checks|
|Payment||Paid as an independent contractor by the client||Paid by the Agency; including payroll taxes and unemployment|
|Insurance||None; responsibility of HHA and client||Full insurance coverage including Workers Compensation|
|Supervision||None, other than client||Supervised by a RN; member of a home care team|
|Services to Patients||Same||Same|
Additional HHA Training
Home health aides (whether employed by a agencies or registry) must complete an HIV/AIDS training course; in addition they must also haven a current certificate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Since HHA’s need to complete twelve (12) hours of continuing education for every twelve (12) months the HIV/AIDS training and CPR training can counted toward meeting this requirement.
HHA’s in Florida are required to have a background screening by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will determine eligibility of applicants. Home health aides cannot provide care until a final screening determination has been made.
Contents of the HHA Training
Home health aide training programs need to clearly state its goals and objectives and must include measurable performance criteria.
The curriculum must include the content outlined below:
- orientation to home care and the role of home health aides;
- understanding basic human needs of individuals and families including understanding the elderly, infants and children, persons with physical illnesses, persons with physical disabilities and persons with mental disabilities;
- communication skills;
- basic elements of body function;
- patient rights and HIV confidentiality;
- safety, accident prevention and responses to emergencies;
- infection control and universal blood and body fluid precautions;
- personal hygiene and grooming including bed, sponge, tub or shower baths; skin, tub or bed shampoos;
- nail and skin care; oral hygiene; toileting and elimination;
- use of prescribed medical equipment and supplies;
- rehabilitation including safe transfer techniques and ambulation; normal range of motion and positioning;
- assistance with use of crutches, walkers, and hoyer lifts; and prescribed exercise programs;
- nutrition and fluid intake, to include preparation of meals for simple and complex modified diets;
- temperature, pulse, respiration, and blood pressure;
- simple test and measurements;
- maintaining a clean, safe environment;
- assistance with medication administration;
- special skin care;
- simple dressing changes;
- handling patient’s money; and
- observing, reporting, and recording.
The HHA Competency Exam
Your goal is home health aide certification for Florida, right?
Well, the training program is responsible for ensuring that each HHA trainee is competent in each skill and procedure taught in the training program.
This ensures that what’s learned in the classroom and clinical setting can be applied in the course of a day as you’re out seeing patients – you want to make sure they get the best care possible from you.
Learn how to pass the Florida HHA Test!
Keep in mind that home Health Aides are not licensed or certified by any Florida state agency or federal agency.
For exam requirements please see “40 Hour HHA Certificate vs. 75 Hour HHA Certificate“.
Florida 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.
- Florida Agency for Health Care Administration is the first place to stop by for all things home health related in Florida.
- Looking for information about health care services in the home? Check out Home Health Care in Florida; this also has a link (Facility/Provider Locator) for finding home health agencies, homemaker services, hospices, or nurse registries.
Florida HHA Training
- You can get you home health aide training in Florida at public vocational technical schools and private career education schools.
- Private schools must be licensed by the Florida Department of Education: a guide to licensed private education schools in Florida.
- Florida Department of Education has a listing of adult education public schools.
- Beeline Medical Training has a couple of locations in Florida and is highly rated
- Marlene’s Training Center is a top-rated company to be trained as a HHA in Florida