Have any doubts about how important health care aides are in the medical profession? Wondering exactly how you'll be supporting patients, and improving their quality of life, as a health care aide?
You've come to the right place. In this post, we'll break down 5 solid ways in which HCAs truly make a difference in the lives of their patients (and patients' families) in both practical and very personal ways. Let's get straight to it!
1. assisting Patients With Essential, Everyday Needs
Health care aides often work with elderly patients in long-term care facilities, and in private homes. The HCA steps in where family members and nursing staff cannot, to help patients with everyday practical needs.
The HCA supervises and assists with a wide range of tasks, all of which are crucial to maintaining the patient's physical health. These tasks include:
- ensuring prescribed medications are taken at the right time, and at the correct dosage
- helping the patient with bathing and grooming
- making sure the client eats well, and gets any help they need at meal times
- dressing wounds and making sure patients do doctor-prescribed exercises
- helping patients with mobility issues to move around safely
In most cases, spouses and adult children simply do not have the time or training to take on this level of responsibility. They rely on HCAs to protect their loved ones from harm, and wholeheartedly appreciate the detailed, daily attention they give to each patient.
2. ensuring Patients Maintain Independence & Dignity
More and more seniors are able to stay in their own homes for longer because of health care aides. Many graduates of health care aide training are snapped up by home care companies who provide full-service care to seniors in their homes.
Patients don't have to give up familiar surroundings and routines, and are fully supported by HCAs, who make regular home visits to prepare meals, take patients to social activities, manage the household, and ensure patients are maintaining good health.
This is life-changing for many seniors, who dread having to leave their homes, and want to remain as independent as possible, for as long as they can.
3. Helping Patients & Families Face Death
Few things in life are more devastating than losing a loved one. Watching a parent slowly slip away from a chronic illness is particularly stressful, especially when work and family responsibilities make it difficult to stay by their side, at all times.
This is where health care aides step in to provide compassionate palliative (end-of-life) care. HCAs help dying patients stay as comfortable as possible, and in many cases, play a key role in helping family members cope with the loss.
HCAs provide the kind of patient, kind, and empathetic support families so desperately need during these times of emotional upheaval.
4. Offering Patients Emotional Support
One of the most meaningful parts of a health care aide's work is simply providing companionship to lonely patients. Imagine an elderly person who lives alone, or a patient at a long term care facility who receives few or no visitors. Companionship is fundamental to our well being as humans—it is a core human need.
Nurses and doctors with over-booked schedules simply cannot spend extra time with the patients under their care. And even the most dedicated family members find it difficult to carve out time for daily visits with elderly loved ones.
While they're assisting patients with practical needs, HCAs are also chatting with them, telling jokes, and listening to stories. Health care aides are often the first to notice cognitive changes, like memory loss, or mood disorders, like depression. They provide holistic care, that acknowledges both the physical and emotional needs of each patient.
5. Standing by Challenging Patients
What if your elderly parent is sometimes difficult to deal with, or suffers from a condition that causes irrational behavior or angry outbursts? Who can you count on to care for him with patience and compassion? To give him the same level of attention as any other patient, despite the obstacles?
A health care aide. Talented health care aides know how to handle difficult patients. They use a range of techniques to diffuse tense situations, and earn the loyalty of mistrustful patients. Above all, HCAs are committed to the work they do and the patients they care for.
Their steadfast dedication to compassionate care is a pillar of our health care system—and a life-changer for countless patients and families.
Think you have what it takes to become a health care aide? Looking for quality health care aide colleges in Winnipeg?
Explore the 5-month Health Care Aide Training offered by Herzing College, at the Winnipeg campus.This program is accredited by the Canadian Support Workers Association. Courses include certificates in First Aid, CPR, Non-Violent Crisis Intervention, P.I.E.C.E.S, and Safe Resident Handling.
Click below to see a detailed list of health care aide courses, career options, admission information—or chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We're here to help!