We all know the Big Apple is full of big opportunities, right?
Well, it’s no different for those looking to enter the healthcare field as a home health aide.
...yep, you read that right. Free.
In this article we answer all your “need to know” questions on how to become a home health aide in NYC so you can start your training right away.
How is free HHA training in NYC really possible?
It may sound crazy, but:
Your chosen career field is in such high demand that agencies need people willing to undergo the training - even if it means offering free home health aide training in NYC!
Home health agencies in NYC that receive their approval through the state of New York’s Department of Health are not allowed to charge tuition for their training programs.
It is also not uncommon to find home health agencies willing to provide free training to eligible participants, as long as entrance requirements are met and they can agree to an employment contract upon successful completion.
What are the requirements to register for free HHA classes in NYC?
Items you may need to begin home health aide classes may vary depending on where you decide to register, but often there are several common qualifications that agencies offering free HHA training in NYC look for in their candidates.
Example qualifications include:
- To accommodate 100% training attendance. Agencies often have a zero absence policy that must be signed prior to the start of class.
- To accommodate future work schedule, which could include nights, weekends, and holidays.
- Clean toxicology screening
- A negative TB test within the last six months
- Current immunizations
- The state of New York participates in a process called “rap back.” By matching fingerprints on file, the state is automatically notified of arrests that may occur after a home health aide is hired which may disqualify them from further employment.
Do I need a high school diploma or GED?
No, as neither are required by the state of New York to enroll in an approved training program or be employed as a home health aide, however:
- They want to make sure future home health aides are mature and equipped to handle patient needs.
- This helps them to know their patients will be given the care they have been prescribed.
Do any of the programs in NYC offer free home health aide certification online?
No, at the moment there are no programs offering free HHA training online in NYC…
The first step in requesting information from an agency that offers free training is often completing an online request form.
But there's usually a catch:
You will likely be unable to complete your entire home health aide training online application. Remember that agencies offering free training are looking for future employees!
Programs like Best Choice Health Care, who offer free HHA training in Brooklyn, require potential students to attend an informational meeting in person after they submit their online request.
First Care of New York offer free home health aide training in Queens NY, and they utilize an online interview questionnaire to determine whether applicants are eligible for their program.
Do any of the programs offer free home home health aide training in Spanish?
Yes! - ¡Sí!
Here is the list of programs that offer free HHA training in Spanish:
- Cooperative Home Care Associates
- Caring Professionals, Inc
- Selfhelp Community Services, Inc
- Sunnyside Citywide Home Care Services, Inc
What will I learn in my HHA classes in NYC?
To make sure all home health agencies in New York are teaching comparable content, the Department of Health recommends agencies they approve base their HHA training and lesson plans on the Home Care Curriculum and Health Related Tasks Curriculum they have standardized.
This means that, while class style and content may vary a little by the agency you attend, you can generally expect topics to include the following:
- Introduction to home care
- Working effectively with home care clients
- Including theories of basic human needs, diversity, and interpersonal skills
- Working with the elderly
- Working with children
- Including family situations in which children may need home care workers, problems that affect family dynamics and how children can react to stress, and your role in strengthening families through work with parents or caregivers
- Working with people who are mentally ill
- Working with people with developmental disabilities
- Working with people with physical disabilities
- Food nutrition and meal preparation
- Including major nutrients, meal planning, shopping, storage, and food safety
- Family spending and budgeting
- Specifically the role of the home care worker in family spending, and ways to make the most of family finances
- Care of the home and personal belongings
- Including the importance of housekeeping in home care
- Safety and injury prevention
- Personal care
- Including hand-washing, infection control, freedom from pain, urinary system, digestive system, integumentary system, musculoskeletal system, bathing, grooming, dressing, and the clients environment
- Personal care for the well baby
- Special equipment use by home care clients
- Assisting with the self administration of medication
- Orientation to health related tasks
- Performing simple measurements and tests
- Complex modified diets
- Assisting with a prescribed exercise program
- Assisting with the use of prescribed medical equipment, supplies, and devices
- Assisting with special skin care
- Assisting with a dressing change
- Assisting with ostomy care
What will the home health aide test be like?
In simple terms:
Your final HHA test will sum up everything you learned in class!
If your training is received through an approved free HHA training program, the DOH states that a student’s competency may either be evaluated throughout the program or after the classroom and practical training have been completed, and will be measured using two methods:
- Written and/or oral exams demonstrating knowledge of the information presented during classroom training, and
- Observation of the student’s demonstration of required skills learned in the laboratory or patient care setting
Your agency will be required to rate your performance using standardized evaluation checklists prepared by the DOH as well as written tests obtained from the publishers of the textbooks you utilize in class.
A minimum score of 80% will be required for you to be considered mastering the subject material.
No need to stress yourself out, though:
You will have plenty of chances to take a home health aide practice test prior to the final exam, and may even retake your competency evaluation if needed.
How long will it take to complete my HHA classes in NYC?
The Department of Health for the state of New York very clearly outlines your rights as a home health aide trainee. They specify that a student has 60 days from the day they enter a program to complete the required minimum 75 hours of training, which includes:
When contacting agencies for information be sure to ask about their attendance policy and whether they offer free HHA training in the evening or free HHA training in NYC on the weekend, for example.
And remember, 60 days is the maximum timeframe allowed. Don’t be surprised if you find that many programs offer to complete your training much faster, even making it possible to receive free 2 week HHA training!
Take a second to think about that...
in less than two short months, you could be on your way to the health care career of your dreams. Your goal is in sight!
Will I receive HHA certification after I finish my free HHA training in NYC?
Enrolling in an approved free HHA program requires students to be entered in the Home Care Registry managed by the New York DOH.
Once you successfully complete your training and home health aide competency test, your information is updated in the registry and your HHA certification in NY is generated!
The state mandates that your certificate must be executed (printed, signed, and notarized) within 10 days of your completion, and must then be issued to you within 10 days of execution.
Per state regulations, your HHA certificate will remain valid for as long as you are employed with a DOH approved home health agency.
If you choose to work privately in the state or leave employment in New York for an agency elsewhere, your NY HHA certification will expire two years from the date you left employment at an approved agency.
What can I expect my HHA salary in NYC to be?
The news is even better for those seeking employment in New York, though, with their average annual pay in 2016 listed at $24,150.
Glassdoor.com indicates the HHA jobs in NYC posted on their site list salaries averaging 23.2% higher than job postings nationwide - with HHA salaries in NYC, specifically, averaging $24,887 per year!
Will it be easy to find HHA jobs in NYC?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that, in addition to the highest average national pay, the state of New York also boasts the highest employment level for this occupation!
With more than 173,830 jobs available it is easy to see why home health aides are in such high demand in your state.
Since many opportunities for free HHA training in NYC come by agencies looking for future employees, your enrollment in their program is basically your job interview, too!
You will want to ensure your talents and abilities suit what they are offering, while also seeing that your needs and wants are met in your future career!
To make your journey a little bit easier, below we have listed where you can find HHA training that is located nearest you. Good luck!