Home Health Aide Regulations in Utah
Home health care agencies operating in the state must be licensed by the Utah Department of Health. There are distinctions between what is considered a home health agency and a personal care agency, and separate legislation governing each.
Home Health Agencies
Home health agencies are governed by Utah Admin Code R432-700. Per these rules, a home health care agency is defined as meeting the following criteria:
- Provide services to patients in their home or in special circumstances (such as a place of employment).
- A licensed practitioner must supervise and direct all services.
- Personnel are responsible to the agency for any of the following services which they may perform:
- Skilled services authorized by a physician;
- Nursing services assessed, provided, or supervised by registered nurses;
- Any other health services approved by a licensed practitioner
Personal Care Agencies
There are separate rules for what is defined as a Personal Care Agency, which falls under Utah Admin Code R432-725. A personal care agency is defined as an organization only performing “personal care services,” such as the following:
- Assisting with self-administering medications; reminding the patient to take medications and opening pill bottles:
- Personal hygiene; including oral hygiene and denture care
- Meal preparation and feeding
- Taking and recording temperatures and weights;
- Administering emergency first aid, if necessary
- Providing transportation for the patient (such as to doctor’s appointments and running errands)
In a nutshell, the main difference is a home health agency is usually larger, while a personal care agency can be as small as two employees. Home health agencies also can offer a larger range of skilled nursing services, while personal care agencies are just offering non-skilled services.
How to Become a Home Health Aide in Utah
There are no state licenses required to work as a home health aide in Utah. All home health aides (commonly referred to as personal care aide) must be at least 18 years old and trained in first aid.
Aides working for an agency are supervised by a licensed nurse or a certified nursing assistant (CNA) with at least 2 years of in-home experience. Training and ongoing education is often provided when working for an agency.
When starting at an agency, home health aides attend an orientation which covers:
- Agency policies and procedures
- Duties of the home health aide
- How the agency personnel’s job functions relate to one another
- How to report abuse/neglect
- Information about emergency medical services
- Patient rights, ethics and confidentiality
Obtaining CNA Certification in Utah
While CNA certification is not required, taking this step toward more comprehensive education is an attractive option for many home health aides. For one thing, it can provide more career advancement opportunities down the road.
Becoming a CNA in Utah requires completing a state-approved training program, passing the state examination, and passing a criminal background check. Once certified, CNAs can become registered on the Utah Nurse Assistant Registry. The registry maintains a list of state-approved CNA training programs.
Find a Home Health Aide Job in Utah
Online job sites can be the best way to find HHA jobs, especially since you can narrow down your search to your area and preferred duties. Below are some of the best job boards to use:
- Indeed Home Health Aide Jobs
- Simply Hired Home Health Aide Jobs
- Career Builder Home Health Aide Jobs
How to Find a Home Health Aide in Utah
There are several ways to find a home health aide, using several of these methods can ensure you’re covering all of your bases.
1. Online Directories. There are plenty of online directories to help find a local home health agency. A few of the best include:
- Utah Association of Home Care Agency Search
- Care Pathways Home Health Agency Directory that lists facilities by city and whether or not they offer Medicare/Medicaid coverage.
- Medicare’s Home Health Compare search tool, which lets you find a home health facility in your area code based on zip code, city, or agency name.
2. Yellow Pages. Look under “Nurse Registries”, “Aging” or “Senior Services” to find home health agencies or independent home health care providers.
3. Ask for recommendations. Ask for advice from your physician, family and friends.
4. Run an ad in the newspaper. Consider using the classified sections to post a job ad that specifies your exact needs.
How to Choose Your Utah Home Health Aide
The following questions can help you determine if an agency or independent home health aide matches your needs and also if they’re complying with state regulations:
Questions for Home Health Agencies
- Are you licensed with the state? (This is required)
- How do you select and train home health aides?
- Are your home health aides trained in first aid? (This is required)
- Will a supervisor be periodically checking in with the patient?
- Do you provide ongoing training to your home health aides?
- Do you have any clients I can call about their experience with your agency?
Questions for Independent Home Health Aides
- Are you at least 18 years old? (This is required)
- Do you have first aid training? (This is required)
- Can you provide me with references who I may call? (Preferably former patients or employers)
Utah Home Health Resources
The following sources were used in this article:
- Utah Department of Health, Health Facility Licensing
- Utah Association of Home Care
- Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services
- Utah State Board of Nursing