Home Health Aide Skills List

Home Health Aide Skills for Resumes, Job Applications, and Interviews

Caregiver talking with older woman
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A home health aide’s first duty is to meet the basic health needs of their patient, but the skills required don’t stop there. A home health aide enables an ailing person to stay in their home, rather than move into a facility. So, the job of the aide is provide all sorts of support to make that possible.

Sometimes that support may come in the form of monitoring the patient’s condition, and teaching them (or their families) how to adjust to their current reality - either by teaching them how to bathe or walk with a walker, or whatever their current needs demand.

Sometimes the support required may be a bit of shopping or housework. Overall, a home health aide will create a space for the patient that’s safe, healthy, and that fosters comfort and recuperation.

Below is a list of the four traits that will best serve a person who wishes to become a health aide worker, as well as a longer list of other skills employers seek in candidates for home health aide.

How to Use Skills Lists

You can use these skills lists as you search for jobs. For example, apply the terms in your resume, especially in the description of your work history. You can also incorporate them into your cover letter.

Mention one or two of the skills mentioned here, and give specific examples of instances when you demonstrated these traits in prior work.

You can also use these words in your interview. Hang onto the top skills listed here, and be prepared with examples of how you've exemplified each.

Each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Also review our lists of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Top Four Most Important Skills for a Home Health Aide

Patience
A home health aide may have to deal with situations that are uncomfortable and challenging.

Patients with dementia may be critical or irrational. Incontinent patients may require cleanups. All sorts of unforeseen inconveniences may pop up, and the patient’s overall well being—including their emotional well being—is of the utmost concern. So a home health aide should be calm, even tempered, and largely unflappable.

Compassion
Like patience, a home health aide worker must be empathetic and caring. Growing old or ill or becoming injured (or, in some cases, all of the above) can be scary and lonesome. A home health aide is on the front lines with patients in vulnerable states, and to take proper care of them, to make them feel safe, a home health aide should have a natural tendency toward compassionate care giving, even under duress.

Honesty
When you become a part of someone’s world and life in the way that home health aides do, honesty is a critical trait. You’ll be in people’s homes in extremely intimate ways. You may be asked to clean patients, or change their adult diapers. You may assist with all manner of life’s details in ways that will give you access to parts of their lives that only their most intimate companions do. An honest comportment is essential so that you can communicate effectively and clearly with the families and healthcare providers of your patient.

Likewise, if a family or if the patient themselves cannot trust you, it’s unlikely that you’ll maintain employment for long. Honesty will be the foundation upon which you’ll build long-term employment.

Flexibility
Being a home health aide worker is about more than just the patient’s health. You’ll be asked to meet many of the various needs of your ward, beyond the medical needs. Some of these tasks may involve grocery shopping, and household chores like laundry and cleaning. You may be asked to monitor a patient’s vitals, and you may also be asked to provide companionship and conversation. The skills or tasks required of you might change as the patient either declines or recuperates, and what’s needed of you will certainly change from patient to patient. You should be able to meet their changing needs by remaining flexible and open.

Becoming a home health aide worker can be rewarding and gratifying, both financially and emotionally. It’s a good career choice, as are most healthcare jobs, in that you're not likely to run out of patients in need of care anytime soon.

Home Health Aide Skills

A - C

  • Abiding by Safety Protocols
  • Ability to Read, Write and Speak English
  • Accuracy
  • Active Listening to Family Members
  • Alzheimer and Dementia care
  • Assist With Daily Living Tasks
  • Assisting Patients with Haircare, Dental Care and Shaving 
  • Assisting Patients with Toileting
  • Attention to Detail
  • Basic Care Services
  • Bathing Clients
  • Caring for Clients with Impaired Memory
  • Changing Adult Diapers and Cleaning Patients 
  • Changing Simple, Unsterile Wound Dressings
  • CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) Certification
  • Communicating Medical Information to Family Members after Doctor's Visits
  • Compassion
  • Compassionate Care
  • Coping with Bodily Fluids and Excretions
  • Customer Service

D - K

  • Dependability
  • Dressing Patients
  • Driver’s License
  • Driving an Automobile
  • Ensuring that Patients Take Prescribed Medications at the Right Time
  • Establishing a Rapport with Patient
  • Feeding Patients
  • Flexible
  • Following the Directions of Nurses and Doctors
  • Helping Patients to Utilize Adaptive Devices   
  • Helping Patients with Exercises
  • HHA (Home Health Aide Certification)
  • Honesty
  • House Cleaning
  • Interacting with Clients in Pain
  • Interacting with Distressed Patients
  • Interviewing Family Members and Patients to Assess Preferences

L - Q

  • Laundering Clothing
  • Learning and Remembering Medical and Pharmaceutical Terms
  • Light Housekeeping
  • Maintaining Confidentiality
  • Maintaining Records of Visits
  • Meal Planning and Preparation
  • Monitoring Changes in the Physical and Psychological Condition of Patients
  • Observational
  • Organizational
  • Patience
  • Personal Care Assistance
  • Providing Companionship
  • Punctuality

R - Z

  • Receptive to Training Sessions
  • Reliable
  • Reliable Transportation
  • Representing Patient during Visits to Healthcare Providers
  • Running Errands
  • Safely Transferring Patients from Bed to Chair/Wheelchair and Toilet
  • Strength to Lift Clients
  • Taking Temperature, Pulse, Respiration, Blood Pressure
  • Teamwork
  • Transporting Clients to Appointments
  • Treating Patients with Respect
  • Working Independently 
  • Writing Notes and Emails about Clients

Read More: More Healthcare Skills Lists

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