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Career and Education Opportunities for Home Health Aides in Chicago, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for home health aides in the Chicago, Illinois area. Currently, 25,340 people work as home health aides in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 44% to about 36,410 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for home health aides are expected to grow by about 50.0%. Home health aides generally provide routine, personal healthcare, such as bathing, dressing, or grooming, to elderly, or disabled persons in the home of patients or in a residential care facility.

Home health aides earn approximately $9 per hour or $19,600 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $9 per hour or $20,460 yearly. Home health aides earn less than people working in the category of Nursing generally in Illinois and less than people in the Nursing category nationally. Jobs in this field include: residential assistant , home care giver, and home health provider.

The Chicago area is home to 180 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree as a home health aide. The most common level of education for home health aides is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a home health aide if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Home Health Aide

Home Health Aide video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, home health aides provide routine, personal healthcare, such as bathing, dressing, or grooming, to elderly, or disabled persons in the home of patients or in a residential care facility.

Home health aides furnish patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming. They also entertain or read aloud to clients to keep them mentally healthy and alert. Equally important, home health aides have to maintain archives of patient care and discuss observations with supervisors or case managers. They are often called upon to serve meals to patients or other family members, in line with prescribed diets. Finally, home health aides change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.

Every day, home health aides are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for home health aides to accompany clients to doctors' offices and on other trips outside the home, providing transportation, assistance and companionship. They are often called upon to execute a variety of duties as requested by client. They also check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration. They are sometimes expected to furnish patients and families with emotional support and instruction in areas such as caring for infants, preparing healthy meals or adapting to disability or illness. Somewhat less frequently, home health aides are also expected to serve meals to patients or other family members, in line with prescribed diets.

Home health aides sometimes are asked to direct patients in simple prescribed exercises or in the use of braces or artificial limbs. They also have to be able to administer prescribed oral medications under written direction of physician or as instructed by home care nurse and aide And finally, they sometimes have to furnish patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.

Like many other jobs, home health aides must be reliable and believe in an agile approach to problem solving and deal with change.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Certified Nursing Aide. Provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff. Perform duties, such as feed, bathe, or move patients, or change linens.
  • Psychiatric Aide. Assist mentally impaired or emotionally disturbed patients, working under direction of nursing and medical staff.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Home Health Aide Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a less than one year program in Home Health Aide/Home Attendant which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certification in Cardiac Medicine: Your pursuit of CMC® subspecialty certification reflects the dedication you exemplify as you provide direct bedside care to acutely and critically ill adult cardiac patients.

For more information, see the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses website.

Certified Home Care Aides: The Home Care Aide Certification Program establishes national standards for preparation of home care aides.

For more information, see the National Association for Home Care website.

Pharmacology: NAPNES Certification in Pharmacology allows LP/VNs to measure their knowledge against a national test and offers a national credential, post-licensure, that many employers require.

For more information, see the National Association for Practical Nurse Education and Service, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.