The healthcare industry is diverse and if you would like to join it, there are several different ways you can do it.
My passion lays in the area of aiding which is why I put together these posts to help you find your path. There are several options for aiding in healthcare and two of the most common are CNA and HHA.
I have been trying to help young people make choices on what area of health care they should get into. During this time there is one question that nags many of them which are “What is the difference between CNA and HHA?” And today I will dive into it.
But before we get into the difference, let us first understand what each of them is.
HHA Vs CNA: What does it mean?
CNA is a mnemonic for a certified nursing assistant. CNA is the term most people use but if you come across Nursing Assistant (NA), and State Tested Nurse Assistants (STNA), they all mean the same thing.
HHA stands for Home Health Aide.
Both of them are involved in helping patients who cannot help themselves. They also help their patients get back to a state where they can live their lives independently if it is possible.
CNAs and HHAs also have overlapping employment options. They can both work in patient’s homes and nursing care facilities.
What is the difference between CNA and HHA?
While these career paths are very different, the slight differences between them set them apart, let us look at some of them.
|HHA( Home health aide)||CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)|
|Training||Most states do not require any formal training. The only time you will require some training is when you work for institutions that receive funds from Medicare or Medicaid. Otherwise you can get on the job training. There are a few State certified courses that they you can take in a vocational or community college.|
A majority of the time however, the courses are theoretical at best.
|A CNA must undertake a State Certified course to begin working. Their courses are more detailed and take longer as well. It also includes HHA training.|
|Responsibilities||Their responsibilities are geared to not only helping with the patient’s health but also with running errands for them. Some of their duties include cooking as per the patient’s diet instructions and help feed them, a few housekeeping duties, ensuring the patients take their prescribed medication, grocery shopping among others as seen on this lifespark.com job description.||CNAs main responsibilities are centered on the patient’s health rather than their personal life. They take care of the patients’ personal hygiene, they help with administering medication and controlling infections. Additionally, they also document and report on the patient’s progress to their supervising nurse.|
|Places of work||Due to their limited scope, which is purely on personal care, HHAs are mostly found in places where their patients reside.||CNAs have a larger job scope and can work in hospices, hospitals, rehabilitation and daycare centers, doctors’ offices, retirement communities and so on.|
|Certification||A certification is not a prerequisite for being a HHA. In some cases it is required and if you need one, you can get it by taking the Medication Aide Certification Exam.||Just like training, you will need to have State approved certification to start working as a CNA.|
|Salaries||They can earn an average of $22,000 a year but this may not be the same for all states.||Their average earnings are between $27, 000 and $32,000 per year. This is dependent on the state they are in.|
|Career advancement opportunities||HHA’s scope of training and jobs is very limited. Consequently, they do not have many options for career advancement.||CNAs have a wide scope and as a result they also have a myriad of options for their career advancement.|
|The number of patients at each given time||Since they mostly work in patients’ residences, they can only serve one client at a time. If they have more than one, they will most likely have a schedule made by their agency like premierhomehealth.com if they work for one, or by themselves if they are independent.||CNAs work in hospitals and other places that have many patients. They therefore end up dealing with several patients at once moving from one to the other.|
HHA vs CNA: Final Thoughts
Choosing the right career is an important decision to make. The healthcare sector is one that requires passion and commitment as most importantly a willingness to want to help others like you can see on getcnajobs.com you are likely to quit early.
Despite the differences between HHAs and CNAs, they are both out there helping their patients have the best quality of life.
What are most curious about when it comes to HHA and CNA? Tell us all about it in the comments section.