difference between HHA and CNA

  1. I would like to know. What is the difference between HHA and CNA and which would give you a have a better overview and understanding of what being a LPN is all about.
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    About nats

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 12


  3. by   liveyourlife747
    HHA is a Home Health Aide, they are trained by the company they work for and do not have a state license

    CNA is a certified nurse aide, they have been trained by a state regulated school and are licensed by the state

    I had my CNA before becoming an LPN and it really helped me. I guess because I got my basic grooming and bed making skills down in the CNA class, it allowed me to focus more on the nursing things during school.

    edit: This is the case in VA.
    Last edit by liveyourlife747 on Dec 17, '08
  4. by   nats
    Thank for the advice but do you get any accreditation when entering nursing school for LPN. Will i be at an advantage due to training as a CNA as i am novice to CNA Nursing as i am coming from security as a police officer so that a new and different field. I need to succeed so i am looking for a great start and i want to know that CNA is a plus for LPN course work. Thank for your reply really apprecaite.
  5. by   caliotter3
    In my state the HHA is certified by the state after taking another week of training after the CNA course. There are some nursing schools that require their students to obtain a CNA certificate prior to applying to nursing school. This is not prevalent. It is to your advantage to get your CNA certificate because some nursing programs will give you points in the admission process for being a CNA. If you are working as a CNA it is beneficial, particularly if you have to interview as part of applying to the program.
  6. by   nats
    Thank very much, I am from New York i hope that the same where i get state license and points when i entered nursing school to start LPN
  7. by   nats
    Thank very much for all the advice
  8. by   kat7ap
    From what I understand, the two are very similar but work in different settings. I'm pretty sure a CNA work as a HHA if they want to. I found this on the U.S. Dept of Labor site - http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos165.htm :

    "Nursing aides also known as nurse aides, nursing assistants, certified nursing assistants, geriatric aides, unlicensed assistive personnel, orderlies, or hospital attendants provide hands-on care and perform routine tasks under the supervision of nursing and medical staff. Specific tasks vary, with aides handling many aspects of a patient’s care. They often help patients to eat, dress, and bathe. They also answer calls for help, deliver messages, serve meals, make beds, and tidy up rooms. Aides sometimes are responsible for taking a patient’s temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, or blood pressure. They also may help provide care to patients by helping them get into and out of bed and walk, escorting them to operating and examining rooms, or providing skin care. Some aides help other medical staff by setting up equipment, storing and moving supplies, and assisting with some procedures. Aides also observe patients’ physical, mental, and emotional conditions and report any change to the nursing or medical staff.
    Nurse aides employed in nursing care facilities often are the principal caregivers, having far more contact with residents than do other members of the staff. Because some residents may stay in a nursing care facility for months or even years, aides develop ongoing relationships with them and interact with them in a positive, caring way.

    Home health aides help elderly, convalescent, or disabled persons live in their own homes instead of health care facilities. Under the direction of nursing or medical staff, they provide health-related services, such as administering oral medications. (Personal and home care aides, who provide mainly housekeeping and routine personal care services, are discussed elsewhere in the Handbook.) Like nursing aides, home health aides may check patients’ pulse rate, temperature, and respiration rate; help with simple prescribed exercises; and help patients to get in and out of bed, bathe, dress, and groom. Occasionally, they change nonsterile dressings, give massages and provide skin care, or assist with braces and artificial limbs. Experienced home health aides, with training, also may assist with medical equipment such as ventilators, which help patients breathe.

    Licensure and certification. The Federal Government has guidelines for home health aides whose employers receive reimbursement from Medicare. Federal law requires home health aides to pass a competency test covering a wide range of areas. A home health aide may receive training before taking the competency test. In addition, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers voluntary certification for home health aides. Some States also require aides to be licensed.

    Similar Federal requirements exist for nurse aides who work in nursing care facilities. These aides must complete a minimum of 75 hours of state-approved training and pass a competency evaluation. Aides who complete the program are known as certified nurse assistants (CNAs) and are placed on the State registry of nurse aides."

    I have never heard of a licensed CNA or HHA. There is a pretty big difference between holding a license and a certification, most people get them confused. I was a CNA while I did prereqs for nursing school and I would really only recommend it if it is required, or if it will give you an advantage on admission, or you need work while you are in school. My LVN school was not competitive to get into so it made no difference. I was fortunate to not have to work while I was in nursing school, which I would recommend if you can. The pay for CNAs is fairly low like in my area about $8-12/hr. I really didn't think that I had a much advantage over my classmates who had never worked in healthcare. It did help me become more accustomed to bodily fluids and relating to pts (especially the elderly). So the first clinicals in nursing school were not quite as "shocking" to me - LOL!
    Last edit by kat7ap on Dec 17, '08 : Reason: huge paragraphs
  9. by   nats
    Thank very much, lots of information and enlightening information very detailed. I really appreciate the energy you put in answering my question to the inside out out. Good job thank very much.
  10. by   pagandeva2000
    I would be very leery, however, of home health aides having the permission to administer medications. Generally, they are not taught anything on the 5 rights, side effects, etc... Problem is, however, in most cases, the familes of the patient usually work, or are not efficient in administering meds, either, so, it is sort of a dicey situation. If I had ever needed to have a home health aide assist a family member, I would take on the responsibility of the medication administration myself.
  11. by   liveyourlife747
    our hha cannot give meds. they have to hand the bubble packs or the pill box to the client and the client removes the pills and takes them. i know there are some situations where this does not happen, but for the most part out hha and cnas do not administer meds.