If you’re interested in pursuing an HHA career and would like to receive your home health aide training in New York, you would be in good company!
With many options for both paid and free training in New York, there are numerous opportunities for you to begin a program that is right for you.
Basic Entrance Requirements
Most programs will require:
- Potential students be at least 18 years old
- Valid forms of government issued ID
- A completed physical examination, which may include:
- Clean toxicology screening
- Rubella immunization or appropriate screening
- A negative TB test within the last six months
- Life time search of expanded criminal background check
- Fingerprinting, including “rap back” process
New York Department of Health (NYDOH) programs may ask you to:
- Provide verifiable work history
- Participation in a professional interview, either by phone or in person
- Provide personal and professional references
New York State Education Department (NYSED) may ask you to:
- Sign an enrollment agreement that binds you to the school’s standards of enrollment and training requirements
- Meet the program’s financial obligations
- Pass standardized entrance exams
How to Become a Home Health Aide in New York
1. Complete Required Training
Employment by any home health agency that receives patient reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid requires successful completion of a formal home health aide training program.
To obtain certification as a home heath aide in NY State, you must:
- Complete a training program approved by either New York Department of Health or New York State Education Department
- Pass a competency evaluation with a minimum score of 80%
Differences Between the NYDOH and the NYSED
The duration and exact curriculum of your training will vary slightly depending on who regulates your chosen program.
Arguably, the differences between the Department of Health and Education Department approved programs are most apparent in the processes that happen prior to enrollment.
Since NYDOH programs are not allowed to charge tuition and NYSED programs may charge any amount of tuition for HHA training, entrance requirements and enrollment processes, and training will be customized.
New York Department of Health approved programs:
- Are provided by any “individual or corporation licensed or certified as a home health care services agency in New York State and/or any other program that is not a secondary or post-secondary education agency”
- May not charge tuition, but may charge up to $100 to cover mandatory equipment
- Require applicants be able to read and write in English (at a 6th grade level), and carry out assigned instructions
- Students have a maximum of 60 days to complete the required 75 hours of training, which includes:
- 40 hours of home care curriculum in the classroom
- 19 hours of health related task curriculum in the classroom
- 16 hours of supervised practical training, 50% of which must be provided in a patient care setting
Pro Tip: It is important to note that these types of programs are looking to enroll students who will become future employees. Their application processes will be similar to a job interview, ensuring that potential students are able to meet not only rigorous training schedules, but company employment guidelines as well.
New York State Education Department approved programs:
- Are provided by any “secondary or post-secondary education agency seeking to sponsor a home health aide training program”
- May charge any amount of tuition
- Require applicants be able to read and write in English (at an 8th grade level), and carry out assigned instructions
- Students must complete 83 hours of training, which includes:
- 75 hours of didactic classroom instruction
- 8 hours of supervised clinical experience
Programs approved by NYSED often have involved enrollment processes. It would not be uncommon for potential students to meet with admissions representatives, verify previous education received, and be required to pass varying forms of entrance exams to ensure they are able to meet the stated educational goals of the training offered.
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
2. Complete Final Exam
Expect to have the following:
- 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
- Pass a competency evaluation with a minimum score of 80%
Again, students only have a maximum of 60 days to complete classroom and supervised practical training and competency evaluation.
What happens after the exam?
Once you have successfully completed the classroom training, clinical training, and certification exam you will be eligible to receive a home health aide certificate from the New York State Department of Health.
As of 2009, the Department maintains a registry of all valid home health aide certificates, so the certificate you receive will include a registry number, a certificate number, and an official signature.
3. Maintain Continuing Education
If you choose to pursue work at a DOH approved home health agency, your HHA certification in NY will remain valid as long as you are employed at an agency.
However, your employment at the agency must include the required nursing supervision and 12 hours of in-service training per year.
If you choose to pursue private employment or work at an agency outside of the state of New York, your NY HHA certification will expire two years from the date you last worked at a DOH approved home health agency.
Do I have to complete an approved training program in order to receive my HHA certification in New York?
There are individuals who are eligible to skip an approved training program and pursue an equivalency test instead.
Examples of individuals who may qualify to pursue the equivalency test include:
- “Applicants previously trained as nursing assistants in other health care settings with six months of documented home health aide/personal care aide experience
- Applicants with one year or more of documented nursing assistant or home health aide experience
- Applicants with documented home health aide training from other than New York State approved training programs
- Applicants who are personal care aides with certificates from programs approved by the State Department of Social Services who have worked a minimum of six months of employment is required
- Applicants who are nursing students and have completed the fundamentals of nursing
- Applicants who are LPNs or RNs”
Pursuing this alternate route requires proof of eligibility and a minimum score of 75% of the equivalency exam.
New York Department of Health
New York State Education Department