Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies
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Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies Overview

Do you want to work closely with patients or clients in a home or hospital setting helping them perform basic tasks? This is where a major as a health aide comes in. Health aides, home health aides, and orderlies work with their clients to perform basic life tasks. While orderlies and health aides typically work in a clinic or hospital setting, home health aides primarily work one on one with clients in their homes.

Health aides work under the direction of nurses and perform basic tasks like helping take care of patients who are unable to perform these tasks themselves. This may involve assisting patients to get out of bed, taking care of personal hygiene, cleaning the patient area and changing bedding. Aides may also assist in taking vital signs and reporting these back to the assigned nurse.

Home health aides typically perform many of the same services as a health aide but may extend out of the home by running errands for their client in addition to the in-house tasks. They will also help their clients perform basic housekeeping duties like cleaning, vacuuming and doing laundry.

Some states require aides to become certified, while others only require a high school diploma. Many community and vocational schools offer training to become a health aide. Courses may include housekeeping, record keeping, and safety in addition to basic health and medicine management.

Required Skills

In order to be a successful aide, you must have excellent interpersonal skills - you will be working directly with clients or patients and you must be able to effectively communicate with them and make them feel comfortable. You should also have a good set of knowledge about basic housekeeping tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Because aides may be required to lift or assist their clients into sitting or standing positions, they should have good physical stamina. Lastly, aides need to have good attention to detail. You may be responsible for administering or reminding your clients about medications, so you must be able to accurately dose and record when medications were given.


Both health aides and home health aides are expected to experience significant demand for their services over the next ten years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of health aide positions are expected to grow about 11% while home health aides are expected to grow 40% in the same timeframe. Health aides can expect to earn an average salary of $27,000 while home health aides can see a median salary of about $23,000.

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