The Home Healthcare Vocational Aide Certified program’s mission is to provide post-secondary educational vocational training to individuals who wish to become gainfully employed in the field of home health care. The graduate will be able to perform tasks such as changing occupied and unoccupied beds, homemaking services, elder care, infection control, bathing, female/male perineal care, routine oral hygiene, denture care, applying a transfer or gait belt, positioning bedridden clients, wheelchair transfers, dressing/undressing clients, range of motion exercises, assisting clients with the use of mobility aids (e.g. crutches, walkers, and canes), using bed pans/portable commodes, and taking and recording vital signs. An ATC Home Health Care Vocational Aide student will also acquire skills that will assist them in performing a variety of duties that may be assigned to them, under the supervision of a doctor or nurse, including measuring blood pressure or pulse, measuring weight and height, caring for a patient with a urinary catheter, and assisting with finger stick blood sugar tests. The graduates will also be educated in how to work with clients who are terminally ill, or suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Module: Introduction to Home Health Aide and Law & Ethics
Course topics: Development of home health services, increase in need for home care services, types of home care workers, the health care team, health care workplaces outside the hospital or long term facility, adult day care centers, assisted living facilities, homemaker/homecare agencies, home health care agencies, self-employed, reimbursement issues influencing health care, Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, long term care insurance, managed care, the client.
Skills and qualities of the home health aide, responsibilities of the home health aide, working hours, variety of assignments, variety of settings and equipment, ability to follow instructions, willingness to follow instructions, constructive criticism, legal terms, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, situations for home health aides to avoid, organizational skills, interpersonal skills, good personal health and hygiene, guidelines for personal appearance of the home health aide, ethical behavior, ethical standards, professional standards, clients rights, home health aide’s rights, client abuse.
Module: Communication and Interpersonal Skills, Safety and Emergency Situations
Course topics: Cultural diversity, stressful conditions in the home, communication in the workplace, send a clear message, observation, positive feedback, putting thoughts into words, message delivery, receiving messages, barriers to the communication process, changing the subject, using clichés, giving advice, talking about yourself, asking “why” questions, effective listening skills, active listening behaviors, observing skills, reporting, documenting, answering the phone, assessment and admission, plan of care.
Common hazards, falls and risks, risks for burns, fire, safety checklist, tips for handling oxygen equipment, tips for home safety with client with dementia, safety outside the client’s home, do’s and don’ts, safety when walking, safety when driving.
Module: Homemaking Services and Digestion & Nutrition
Course topics: Household management, planning and organizing, basic cleaning supplies, combining client care and household tasks, maintaining a clean home environment, client laundry, drying clothes, ironing, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen, dishes, cleaning kitchen countertops, cleaning kitchen and bathroom floors, cleaning cabinet exteriors, cleaning safety tips, cleaning tasks if there are pets in the house, daily cleaning tasks, weekly cleaning tasks, periodic cleaning tasks, variables when changing bed linens, linens, guidelines for bed making, bed terminology.
Digestive system, common disorders, ulcers, hiatal hernia, heartburn/acid reflux, nutrition, dietary guidelines for Americans, food labels, eating a variety of foods, smart eating choice, importance of water, developing good eating habits, empty calorie foods, obesity, malnutrition, general guidelines for meal planning, eating patterns, shopping and meal preparation, menus and shopping lists, purchasing food, meal preparation, food allergies, food preparation and appeal, special diets, feeding the client.
Module: Older Adulthood and Alzheimer’s
Course topics: The aging population, increase in number, developmental tasks of older adults, characteristics of aging well, depression, leisure time activities, physical changes due to the aging process, hearing loss, vision changes, common diseases of the eye, digestive system changes, urinary system changes, immune system changes, musculoskeletal changes, reproductive system changes, integumentary system changes, endocrine system changes, respiratory system changes, circulatory system changes, nervous system changes in sleep patterns, pain, medication, special precaution for a client with low vision. Caring for clients with Alzheimer’s.
Module: Infection Control
Course topics: Infectious disease, chain of infection, causes of infectious disease, immunizations, agency requirements, infectious control measures, standard precautions, other wastes, transmission based precautions, antibiotic resistant organisms, clostridium difficile (C-diff), bedbugs, tuberculosis, hepatitis, AIDS, caring for the client with AIDS, what a home health aide can and should do.
Module: Vital Signs, Elimination/Incontinence (2 weeks)
Course topics: Taking tympanic temperature, taking oral temperature, taking temporal temperature, taking radial pulse, counting respirations, taking blood pressure, measuring weight and height.
Urinary system, prevention of urinary tract infections, common disorders of the urinary system, types of urinary incontinence, cystitis, kidney stones, renal failure, common disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, hernias, gall bladder disorders, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, measuring and recording fluids, collecting a urine specimen, caring for urinary catheters, retraining the bladder, bowel movements, enemas and rectal suppositories, bowel regulating programs, adult briefs, collecting a stool specimen, caring for an ostomy bag.
Module: Dermal Integrity
Course topics: Applying clean dressing and ointment to unbroken skin, assisting with bath or shower, giving a bed bath, shampooing hair in bed, giving female perineal care, giving male perineal care, assisting with routine oral hygiene, caring for dentures.
Module: Body Mechanics and Restorative Care (2 weeks)
Course topics: Applying a transfer or gait belt, dangling a client, turning the client towards you, moving the client up in bed using a lift sheet, log rolling the client, positioning the client in a supine position, positioning the client in lateral/side lying position, positioning the client in prone position, positioning the client in fowlers position, assisting the client from bed to wheelchair, transfer with pivot disc, assisting the client from wheelchair to bed, transferring the client from wheelchair to toilette/commode, transferring the client using a mechanical lift, sliding board transfer, care for casts, applying a cold application to the client’s skin, dressing and undressing the client, performing active range of motion exercises, performing passive range of motion exercises, assisting the client to walk with crutches, walker or cane.
Module: Caring for Hospice Patients (the Terminally Ill) and Cancer
Course topics: Hospice program, advance directives, stages of grief, home health aide responsibilities in caring for the dying client, signs of approaching death, religious and cultural influences.
Nutrition, physical activity, dealing with patient anxiety, fear and depression. Communicating client needs to the care team, awareness of online support. Keeping track of prescriptions and treatments. Managing side effects of chemo therapy. Respect for patient’s need for privacy or venting.
Course topics: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation guidelines as set forth by the American Heart Association. Rescue breath for an infant, when there is no pulse or breathing, pulse but no breathing, chest compressions for infants, children and adults, choking victims (conscious and unconscious), Automated External defibrillator and AED pads, bag-mask