Find a School >
Healthcare Colleges Home > Healthcare Programs > Home Health Aide Programs

Home Health Aide Programs

Home Health Aide Programs

What Are Home Health Aides?

Home health aides work closely with clients to provide assistance with day-to-day activities, such as bathing, dressing, grooming and eating. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides can work with many different types of individuals, including those who are disabled, cognitively impaired, elderly, chronically ill, or otherwise need regular assistance. In some cases, home health aides might provide light housekeeping services, or monitor vital signs and administer medication under the supervision of a nurse or physician (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). For more information, see our home health aides career page.

Home Health Aide Program Information

Working as a home health aide generally has no formal educational requirement, according to the BLS. Career skills are often learned on the job, and this experience can often count towards becoming certified in states that require it. However, there are formal postsecondary programs available, and some states and employers require, or at least prefer it. These programs can be found at community colleges, technical schools, nursing homes, hospitals, online schools and health organizations.

Students who enter home health aide programs receive instruction in a number of areas, including safety, basic medical care, basic anatomy and physiology, effective communication, personal care, proper nutrition, and other points of care that might be necessary for the home health aide. Some programs are designed specifically for certified nursing aides who are looking to work in home healthcare settings.

Home Health Aide Program Types

The following programs are available to those who want to work as home health aides:

  • Certificate/Diploma: These home health aide programs vary greatly in length, with some potentially taking as little as a month to complete and others taking six months or more of full-time study. They focus on the basic knowledge and skills required to become a home health aide, including points about personal care, basic medical care, emergency care, communication, rehabilitation, safety and physical assistance. Diploma and certificate programs can be taken entirely online, in person or in a hybrid format.

Home health aide programs may help students prepare for state exams, as well as a separate exam (in lieu of other training requirements) that allows them to work in facilities that accept Medicare. State health boards can provide detailed information about what courses, exams, and training are required for home health aides.

Home Health Aide Course Descriptions

While every program is different, basic courses at home health aide schools generally cover the same knowledge and skills. These are some of the typical courses one can expect from home health aide programs:

  • Safety: Assessing safety concerns such as trip hazards, transmittable diseases, safe bathing, bloodborne pathogens and the like.
  • Home Care Basics: Providing care in the home, from grooming to bathing to feeding.
  • Communications: Learning to communicate effectively with patients, families, insurance companies, etc.
  • Skin Care: Treatment of ulcers, bed sores, radiation and chemotherapy side effects, and other personal care issues.
  • End of Life Care: Understanding DNR orders, states of grief, living wills, legal issues, and palliative care.
  • Body Mechanics: Learning proper alignment and posture, techniques for moving patients and more.
  • Medical Maintenance: Handling catheters, oxygen therapy, blood sugar testing, cast care and other medical care issues.

Related Career Options

Those who choose to complete home health aide courses might choose to pursue further education that allows them to work in related careers. Career paths that might interest those in home healthcare include but are not limited to:

  • Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses: Working with patients to monitor vital signs and provide basic nursing care. Requires one year of formal postsecondary training and state licensure.
  • Nurse Assistants: Providing basic day-to-day care for patients, such as bathing or grooming, in medical or nursing facilities. Requires postsecondary training and completion of a state proficiency exam.
  • Medical Assistants: Handling administrative and clinical tasks in offices of physicians and similar settings. Formal education is not a requirement in most states, but postsecondary programs can favor those who have it.

Links to Sources and Associations

Visit the following websites to find out more about working as a home health aide:

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Home Health and Personal Care Aides

National Association for Home Care and Hospice

Explore these online and campus healthcare programs

Refine School Matches
Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
Clear All




Results:  7
Matching School Ads
Certificate - Medical Assistant
  • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
  • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
  • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
  • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
Medical Assisting
Good for Working Adults
  • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
  • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
Show more [+]
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Medical Specialties (AOS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Show more [+]
Patient Care Technician

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

Respiratory Therapy
Good for Working Adults
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
Medical Assistant Program
  • Offers training in various types of massage therapy, physical therapy/sports rehab, and personal fitness training & wellness.
  • Teaches in an environment that promotes learning and encourages empathetic and compassionate therapists.
  • Career service professionals work directly with students from the start of their program, and help them pursue employment in day spas, luxury hotels, cruise ships, and other locations.
  • Students can work in the SOCHI Massage Clinic to gain experience and build their career skills.
  • Financial aid representatives help students develop a personalized financial plan to finance their tuition.
Show more [+]
  • Financial Aid
Professional Medical Assistant
Good for Working Adults
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits