Not all health care careers require years of schooling. Health care aides work directly with patients to help them with their daily needs, from grooming and bathing to mobility and exercise programs. As a health care aide, your main job is to help improve the quality of life of both your patients and their families. Discover if you have the traits to provide this essential service, and which part of this diverse field is the best option for you.

Necessary Traits

Working with elderly, disabled and chronically ill individuals first requires an innate urge to help others. Before beginning any training in health care field, you will need to do a thorough self examination to make sure it’s a good fit.

You will need:

  • Compassion and empathy. It’s vital that you feel an attachment to the well-being of your patients in order to give them the best care possible.
  • A gentle and patient demeanor. Your patients and their families need both kindness and understanding as they work through the health issues they face.
  • Good physical health. Working one-on-one with patients is very physically demanding. You will spend much of your day on your feet, and you will also need to lift and support patients that can’t move well on their own.

Workplace Options

Unlike some patient-intensive health care careers, you aren’t necessarily forced to work in a hospital day after day. You may provide hospital care, in-home care, hospice care, or work in a retirement or short-term treatment facility. Understand the different options so you can pick the best fit for you.

  • You are best-suited to hospital care if you enjoy working in a fast-paced environment and meeting new people daily. You will work side-by-side with doctors and nurses to provide the patients with the best care.
  • If you want time to get to really know your patients, while allowing them to enjoy a high quality of life in their own home, in-home care is the best option for you. You may have several patients that visit you regularly, or you may provide full-time service to a single patient.
  • Hospice care requires strong empathy and truly gentle demeanor. If you want to help smooth the end-of-life transition for your patients and family, this is the best choice for you. This can be an emotionally trying job, but also very rewarding for the right person.
  • Retirement and treatment facility care gives you the benefit of getting to really know your patients over a long period, while still providing the consistency of working in the same environment every day. Choose this option if you don’t enjoy the travel of in-home care but still want time to develop rewarding patient-practitioner relationships.

No matter which option you decide is best for you, you will need to complete a health care aide certificate program. Unlike many other patient-intensive career option, you can earn your certificate quickly. Both intensive four month and longer one year programs are available. For more information, contact the ABES Healthcare Aide Program near you.