Duties and responsibilities
A hospice health aide provides end of life personal care to patients in their own home. They may be hired privately by the patients families or by a hospice agency. Their typical duties and responsibilities include:
- Showering, tub bathing or bed bathing the patient
- Dressing the patient
- Helping the patient with oral care or denture care
- Helping with toileting or incontinent care
- Caring and cleaning the patients foley catheters
- Massaging the patient where necessary
- Turning and repositioning bed bound patients
- Transferring patients from beds to chair or chair to bed
- Helping patients with range of motion exercises and daily exercise
- Changing the patients bed sheets
- Being responsible for light housekeeping
To become a healthcare aide you normally will need a high school diploma or equivalent (some positions do not require this, however). Hospice health aides will receive training in housekeeping tasks, such as cooking for clients who have special dietary needs and aides may learn basic safety techniques, including how to respond in an emergency.
Skills and relevant work experience
Hospice health aides will need skills and talents such as:
- Emotional stability, as working with people at the end of their life can be challenging and emotionally draining
- Communication skills, as hospice health aides must be able to communicate with clients and discuss their problems with them
- Compassion and empathy, as hospice health aides will work closely with their clients and must be understanding and relatable
- Organizational skills, as hospice health aides may be responsible for scheduling a clients appointments. They may also be responsible for multiple clients and must therefore manage their schedule
- Physical fitness, as hospice healthcare aides must be able to lift and turn patients
Hospice health aides will work full time hours, although part time work will be available. Hospice health aides may have to work evenings or weekends to accommodate the clients needs.
According to salary.com, the average annual wage for a hospice aide in the United States was $34,093 in 2020. The salary ranges from $28,429 to $41,814.
The employment of health aides is expected to grow hugely over the coming decade, offering lots of exciting employment opportunities! Hospice aides may progress to supervisor roles, where they will manage a team of other health aides. Alternatively, with additional education, hospice aides may progress to becoming nurses.