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Thinking about pursuing your home health aide certification in California?
With some of the highest paying HHA jobs in metropolitan areas around (Santa Rosa boasts a mean annual wage of $39,210!) you could find yourself in a very rewarding career relatively quickly.
Basic Entrance Requirements to Receive Home Health Aide Certification in California
Just like with most forms of post-secondary education, there are typical requirements you can expect to be met in order to be eligible to receive home health aide training.
Examples of basic entrance requirements include:
- Interested applicants be at least 16 years old
- Ability to provide current government issued ID and valid social security card
- Proof that you are able to meet financial obligations of the program including tuition, book, and testing fees, if applicable
- Clear criminal background check, per state requirements
- Ability to provide complete and current medical report signed by a doctor or nurse practitioner, proving no active communicable diseases
- Signed entrance forms, detailing all requirements regarding the program, attendance, and testing needed to successfully complete
- Attendance at mandatory program orientation, if applicable
If you have already completed a CNA course and wish to complete the 40 hour HHA training, many schools may also require you to provide:
- Interested applicants be at CNA certificate or proof of successfully completing the State of California Nursing Assistant competency exam
- Current CPR card
How to Become a Home Health Aide in California
1. Complete Training Requirements
Home health aides must be certified in order to work in the state of California, and there are a few paths those interested in becoming a HHA can take to get there.
If you have never received any form of medical or homecare training you must complete a basic training course for HHA certification that is a minimum of 120 hours, including:
- 20 hours of clinical training
- No more than 75 hours of classroom lecture
If you have previously completed training to be a certified nurse assistant you must complete a 40 hour home health aide training course, which includes:
- 20 hours of classroom training
- 20 hours of clinical training
As one of only 16 states in the country that requires more than the federal minimum for home health aide training, you can be sure that the education you receive will start you off well-prepared for your career.
The 120 hour program will include:
- 4 hours introductory information
- 20 hours “Interpretation of medical and social needs of people being served”
- 70 hours “Personal care services” – Including 15 hours of clinical instruction
- 10 hours “Cleaning and care tasks in the home” – Including 2 hours of clinical instruction
- 16 hours “Nutrition” – Including 3 hours of clinical instruction
The 40 hour program will include:
- 2 hours “Introduction to Aide and Agency Role”
- 5 hours “Interpretation of medical and social needs of people being served”
- 20 hours “Personal care services” – Including 15 hours of clinical instruction
- 8 hours “Nutrition” – Including 3 hours of clinical instruction
- 5 hours “Cleaning and care tasks in the home” – Including 2 hours of clinical instruction
2. Complete the Final Exam
Once you have successfully completed your classroom and hands-on practical training, you will be eligible to take the final exam.
3. Be Placed on the California Home Health Aide Registry
After passing the written and skills portion of the exam, applicants are eligible to be placed on the California Home Health Aide Registry and begin their career as a certified home health aide.
4. Maintain Continuing Education Requirements
To keep your skills sharp and up to date, the state of California requires home health aides to renew their certificates every two years, with certificates expiring on the HHAs birthday.
24 hours of in-service training must be completed prior to submitting your renewal application, with no less than 12 hours of in-service training completed per year. It is important to note that HHAs may not count online CEUs (continuing education units) toward their required 24 hours.
If renewal requirements are not met within a four year period, applicants must re-take a home health aide training course if they wish to gain an active certificate again.
What if I received my HHA training in a state other than California?
Since California sets more extensive training requirements for their HHAs prior to certification, the state does not allow reciprocity for those who received training elsewhere but wish to work as a certified HHA in California.
Those interested must complete a state-approved training program in California.
How do I find a home health aide training program?
There is certainly no shortage of options for those looking for HHA training in California! Programs are offered at local community colleges, vocational schools, and state-approved home health agencies.
You can review a complete listing of all HHA programs currently available here.
Is free training available?
The list of available training programs provided by the state above includes many home health agencies that may provide free training to qualified applicants.
Be sure to inquire about program entrance requirements to determine if you may be eligible to receive free HHA training.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Under the Department of Health, The Professional Certification Branch, Aide and Technician Certification Section is responsible for ensuring interested applicants meet state requirements to become certified home health aides in California.
If at any time you have a question about your training or testing that cannot be directly answered by your training program, you can inquire using one of the contact methods below:
Aide and Technician Certification Section
P.O. Box 997416, MS 3301
Sacramento, CA 95899-7416
Ph: (916) 327-2445
Email: (916) 327-2445