A Home Healthcare Aide monitors a patient's condition, checks vital signs, and assists with daily activities. They also provide personal services such as bathing, dressing and grooming. They typically work with elderly Australian’s and people with disabilities. A Home Healthcare Aide supports a patient by enabling them to remain in their own home rather than living in an assisted living or long-term care facility. Their average yearly median wage is $61,970.
A Personal Care Aide assists patients with errands, cooking and housekeeping. The average median wage for this role is $57,384 (Source). The role differs slightly from a home healthcare aide due to the level of training required. Although both jobs involve personal care, the home healthcare aide receives specialised training. They generally focus more on the health and safety of their patients, and don't always assist with errands or housekeeping activities.
A healthcare assistant provides care to patients in hospitals or other medical settings. They work closely with patients and perform some clinical tasks under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. Some of their duties include observing, monitoring and recording patient’s conditions by taking temperatures, pulse, and weight. The average medium wage for a healthcare assistant is $55,720. (Source)
The number of healthcare workers are expected to grow over the next five years, according to Job Outlook. Plus - a career as a healthcare support worker is very rewarding, and the job outlook is stable.
What are the top qualities of a successful healthcare aide?
When dealing with elderly or injured patients, it’s important to constantly monitor their progress. It’s just as important to not overlook minor symptoms, which could be an indicator of a more serious problem. That’s why attention to detail is such a critical quality in a successful health care aide. A good healthcare aide not only checks vital signs, but takes the time to check over their patient thoroughly. It also helps put the patient’s main caregiver at ease. When they see that the health care aide is professional, meticulous and observant, they can rest assured knowing their loved one is in good hands.
Endurance and Physical Strength
A career as a Healthcare Aide can be physically demanding. They often have shift-based hours, which can extend longer than the regular 9-5. You will be on your feet a lot, performing a wide range of tasks, from assisting patients from one area to another, to supporting a patient’s body weight. This can be very physically taxing, so it’s important to look after your feet, and not neglect your own physical and mental well-being.
Home Care Workers have the rare privilege of being allowed into their patient’s home. So, it’s critical that the healthcare aide is trustworthy, and that the patient (and the patient’s main caregiver) feel comfortable having them there. A successful Healthcare Aide is reliable and uncompromising in their professionalism, no matter how demanding the job is. They can also be trusted with a patient and the patient’s property, treating both with the respect they deserve. They never cut corners, and they can be trusted to provide excellent personal care.
Communication and Interpersonal skills
It’s important to have clear communication when dealing with patients, particularly those with cognitive impairments, such as dementia. A successful Healthcare Aide speaks clearly, uses simple vocabulary, and remains patient and positive so that the patient can take direction and feel comfortable doing so. Active listening skills are also important. In order for a patient to feel like they’re being heard, it’s paramount that the healthcare aide actively listens and responds accordingly. Interpersonal skills are also paramount. A healthcare aide will be working with people on a daily basis, often for very long hours. You may be the only social interaction your patient regularly receives, so it’s important to make your interaction positive and rewarding for both your patient, and yourself.
Compassion, Empathy and Kindness
Perhaps the most important qualities a healthcare aide can have, are compassion, empathy, and kindness. Your patient may not receive the social interaction they need. Perhaps their friends and family live far away, or they don’t visit as often as the patient would like. This makes your companionship even more important. Your visits may be the highlight of their day. Empathy is key here. Make sure that your patient feels that their emotions are understood and that they are not alone. Listen, remain engaged and patient, and most of all, enjoy your time together! Why not ask your client what their favorite book is, and read it to them? Or spend a rainy afternoon playing cards and board games over a cup of tea? Whatever you do – make sure your visits are a positive experience for your patient, and you’ll both benefit from the time you spend together.
Some career outcomes are:
- Nursing Assistant
- Patient Care Assistant
- Patient Service Assistant
- Patient Support Assistant
Do you have any or all of these qualities?
If yes, you’d make an excellent Healthcare Aide! Check out our HLT33115 Certificate III in Health services assistance for more information.