Are you interested in becoming a Health Care Aide (HCA)? HCAs are a rewarding career choice, and they’re becoming more important.
The US population is aging, and the demand for daily and in-home health care assistance is increasing. Working as a health aide can be challenging. It requires resilience, physical stamina and emotional stamina as well as a thorough understanding of safe and effective patient-care.
Discover the 10 most important soft and hard skills that you will need to succeed.
- PROFICIENT IN SAFE PATIENT CARRIAGE TECHNIQUES
To safely and effectively provide care to their patients, health care assistants need to master a variety of technical and mechanical skills.
Transferring and positioning patients safely with or without equipment
Applying topical medication, dressing wounds and changing bandages
Noticing and recording patient behaviour
Administering medications as prescribed by your doctor
Perform CPR and First Aid
HCAs are taught these crucial patient care procedures and techniques during their training as health care assistants and continue to improve them through work experience.
- Accepting different cultures
Health care assistants come into contact with people of all backgrounds, whether they are working in long-term care facilities or in the homes of patients. HCAs cannot do their jobs well if there is prejudice towards patients of different backgrounds.
To work in this area, you must have a high level of social acceptance and be open-minded. Health care assistants should strive to understand cultural norms and practices, and treat each patient equally.
- Compassionate and patient
HCAs work closely with patients suffering from cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. They may also work with young people and children with disabilities.
HCAs are bound to encounter patients who refuse or cannot participate in their care or follow instructions.
Compassion and patience, two soft skills that are essential for health care assistants who are responsible for supporting patients while meeting their health and safety requirements are both fundamental.
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Montana’s natural beauty is unmatched. The property taxes are very low. There are plenty of wide-open spaces. Montana has the lowest population density of all the states. Montana is a state that has everything you need to live. Local amenities are plentiful and the healthcare is excellent. The economy is flourishing.
Consider Montana home health aide insurance. You can protect both your career and finances by knowing what type of coverage a home health aide needs.
- EXCELLENT COMPUTER COMMUNICATOR
A successful career as a health care assistant is built on effective communication. Both “hard” as well as “soft” applications are equally important.
First, there is the practical component (hard skill), which is the ability to read, speak and write English. HCAs should be able communicate with patients, their family members and other members of the health care team.
It is also important that they are able to follow and read instructions, and make clear observations about the patients in their care.
Second, the second communication skill (soft skill) is the ability of building rapport with patients and their families. Health care assistants provide so much more than basic daily care. They provide emotional and companionship support to patients and their families who are struggling to cope with the illness of loved ones.
- FLEXIBLE & ADAPTIVE UNDER PRESSURE
Unpredictability is an important part of being a health care assistant. It is not uncommon for an emergency patient to occur, which can disrupt the schedule of home visits.
A HCA could call in sick and leave the residence with a shortage of staff. The remaining health care assistants will have to pick up the slack.
HCAs need to be able to adjust and regroup no matter what unexpected events occur during their workday. This role requires flexibility, calmness under pressure and quick thinking.
- FAMILIARITY WITH MEDICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL VOCABULARY
HCAs, who may not work in hospitals all the time, are still very important members of patient care teams and should be able to speak the “language of medicine”. HCAs need to be able to use medical and pharmaceutical terminology when presenting patient observations or prescribing medications.
This includes anatomy, physiology and common illnesses and disorders, as well as common prescription drugs. The training of health care assistants will provide a solid foundation in medical terms.
- PHYSICALLY Fit
Physical stamina is required to work as a health-care aide. HCAs are on their feet for long periods of time and must lift, move and support patients. In busy nursing homes they may be caring for up to six patients simultaneously.
- EMOTIONALLY FIT
For HCAs, emotional fitness is as important as physical health.
Health care assistants often have to deal with families and patients who are dealing with the loss of a loved one. They must also know how to deal with anxiety and grief.
HCAs can be a support to families and patients but they must also take care of their own emotional wellbeing.
- PROFICIENT IN SECURITY AND SELF-CARE
Self-care, both physical and emotional, is vital for health care assistants. HCAs who do not replenish themselves can experience chronic fatigue and burnout.
Health care assistants who are successful have routines for coping with stress, dealing with loss and reviving the mind, body and spirit.
- RESPONSIBLE & HONEST
Families and patients place a lot of trust in HCAs. Health care assistants are welcome in hospitals, homes and personal lives.
For the patient to feel protected and safe, honesty, good judgement, and reliability is absolutely essential.