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What Are the Skills Necessary to Become a Health Care Aide?

Dec 04, 2008

If you are considering a career as a health care aide, you may want to ensure that you have the necessary skills to excel in this job.

Since you’ll be working with people in a health care environment it is important that you have people skills, and are able to deal with the physical and mental rigors of working with patients who may have severe illnesses or disabilities.

Good Health

Working with people who are possibly sick, or have compromised immune systems, it is important that you are in good health. Most employers will require that you complete a physical examination as well as tests for communicable diseases before you start employment. When you’re working you’ll need to take precautions to ensure that you do not pass colds or other illnesses on to patients, and you may have to refrain from coming to work if you have a communicable illness that could endanger the health of your patients.

People Skills

Every single day you’ll be working with people. These may be patients, co-workers, or family members. It is important that as the health care aide you remain emotionally stable and always have a positive attitude.

Due to the nature of your work you may frequently be working with patients who are less than cooperative, particularly if you’re in a psychiatric environment. The health care aide role can be stressful at times, but it is important that you always remain in a good frame of mind and don’t let a bad day affect the care that you give your patients.

Communication Skills

Throughout the day, you’ll be interacting with many types of people. Since you’re working in a health care environment it is important that you always follow directions to the letter. If you do not complete tasks as they are assigned you could be affecting the health of the patient, or create more work for your co-workers. To be a successful health care aide, you need to be able to communicate clearly with your patients, their family members, your co-workers, and your employer, as well as following any direction you are given in a timely and effective manner.

Hardworking

A job as a health care aide can be very demanding. You may have many patients that need your help, and you may have to cover the other health care aides if they are away on break or on sick leave. There will be very little time for socializing as your patients will need 100% of your attention at all times. If you decide to work as a home health care aide, your job may not be quite so hectic, but you likely will not be earning as much as those who work in a hospital or nursing facility. As long as you can complete your tasks quickly and thoroughly you should have no problem being a successful health care aide.

Understanding

The people that you help during your tenure as a health care aide may not always appreciate it. They may feel embarrassed at the fact that they need help to complete mundane tasks such as bathing or dressing, and they may not appreciate your assistance. As a health care aide you must remain cheerful and helpful, no matter how difficult your patient is behaving. Usually after a few encounters your patient will realize that you are there to help them.

If you already have the skills then you are likely ready to train as a health care aide, and can start researching training programs in your area. Most of the skills can be learned on the job, or you can look for pointers on the Internet or through continuing education.

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