Health Aides/Attendants/Orderlies

A home health aide is a professional who cares for patients who are home bound. A health aide attendant may work with an elderly person who has difficulty getting around the house. A health aide attendant also may help a disabled person with basic care, such as bathing or feeding. They also provide vital care to the people who need it the most.

Health aide attendants are sometimes referred to as home health aides. They also may become orderlies. Those who want to become a health aide attendant have the option of earning a home aide attendant degree. This degree program will focus on educational topics as well as skill development.

Home Health Aide Training Course Samples

If you enroll in a home health aide training program, these are a few of the courses you may be require to complete.

Basic Hygiene

A home health aide should have a general understanding of basic hygiene. This course discusses simple preventative measures that can be taken to keep a patient clean and healthy. It also talks about the importance of the health aide attendant being hygienic. There are a variety of topics discussed in this course. Proper hand washing techniques is a large priority in the course. Sterilizing equipment and surface areas also is discussed. Other topics may include the basics of bathing or how to safely assist a patient in the bathroom.

Introduction to Nutrition

If you want to pursue a career as a health aide attendant, you will want to have an understanding of nutrition. The nutrition course that might be part of the health aide attendant degree program discusses the importance of a well-balanced diet. Students could learn about the nutritional needs that various types of patients have. They may learn about techniques they can use to teach their own patients about the importance of good nutrition. They will likely take an in-depth look at how nutrition impacts a person's overall health and development.

Medical Terminology

Health aide attendants work in the medical field. This requires them to be familiar with medical terminology. The medical terminology course will introduce students to common words and phrases used in the medical field. They will likely learn how to define those terms and how to use those terms in a professional setting. The goal of this course is to provide students with the foundation that they need to begin a career in the medical field.

Patient Care and Transfer

The patient care and transfer course is an important part of the health aide attendant degree program. Health aide attendants provide care for a variety of types of patients. Some of their patients are ill. Other patients are unable to leave the home due to a disability. This course might cover the types of patient care plans that health aide attendants will develop. The course may also address different techniques that health aide attendants need to use when working directly with patients.

It also aims to teach students about which symptoms to monitor. Throughout this course, students enrolled in a health aide attendant degree program could learn when they need to call for extra support and what steps need to be taken in order to transfer a patient to a health care clinic or hospital.

Home Patient Support

The home patient support course introduces students to additional responsibilities that they may have as a health aide attendant. In some cases, health aide attendants must provide services beyond basic care. Health aide attendants may need to connect their patients with resources in the community that can provide additional support.

The home patient support course may touch on a variety of topics. For example, the course may cover community services that help patients with mental illness. It also may discuss the importance of keeping the patient's family informed of life inside the home. This course also may talk about the importance of patient privacy, and the need to support a patient's emotional health as well as their physical health. Tips and tricks for connecting with patients on a personal level are often included in this course. 

Home Maintenance Skills

The home maintenance skills course is a hands-on class. Students in a health aide attendant program could learn about the importance of home maintenance. They may have to help a patient with basic home care, such as cleaning or organizing. This course may talk about when it is appropriate to clean or maintain a patient's home. It also may provide tips for helping a patient learn to perform home maintenance tasks on their own.

Accreditation for a Home Health Aide Training

Currently, the health aide attendant degree programs or certification courses are not accredited. However, most students who complete this type of degree program will have to pass a licensing exam in their state. Each state has different license requirements for health aide attendants. It is important that students verify the requirements in their individual state. The instructors in the program also may have more information about what is required to become a licensed health aide attendant.

Possible Careers with a Home Health Aide Training

Home Health and Personal Care Aide 

  • Typical Minimum Education Level: A high school diploma, GED, or health aide attendant degree or certificate. 
  • Median Annual Salary: $24,060 (2018) 
  • Projected Job Growth: 36 percent (faster than average) 
  • Number of Jobs: 3,253,000 (2018)

What Does a Home Health and Personal Care Aide Do? 

A home health and personal care aide works directly with patients in their home. In many cases, these patients are confined to their homes. They need help with basic activities, such as cooking, cleaning, bathing or feeding. They may work with patients who have a chronic illness. And, they also may assist elderly patients who require extra support in the home.


  • Typical Minimum Education Level: High school diploma, GED, or health aide attendant degree or certificate. 
  • Median Annual Salary: $29,640 (2019) 
  • Projected Job Growth: 9 percent (faster than average) 
  • Number of Jobs: 1,564,200 (2018)

What Does an Orderly Do?

An orderly works to transfer patients within a health care facility. Orderlies also clean hospital rooms or treatment areas. They help prepare a room so that it is ready for the next patient.

Colleges With A Home Health Aide Training Program

Source for school statistics and data is the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.