Home aide jobs on the riseHome-health aides, health-care workers who visit seniors and patients in their own homes, are seeing a surging demand for their services nationwide, and Grand Forks-based Altru Health System says it’s also seeing that demand here as well.
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
Home-health aides, health-care workers who visit seniors and patients in their own homes, are seeing a surging demand for their services nationwide, and Grand Forks-based Altru Health System says it’s also seeing that demand here as well.
For Altru, the demand is growing the most in rural areas, perhaps because of more awareness of those services, according to Kari Jensen, Altru’s home-health and hospice manager.
Besides Grand Forks, Altru’s home-health program has branches in the northeast North Dakota towns of Cavalier, Devils Lake, Grafton, McVille, and Park River, and in Warren, Minn.
“People are looking for services (in order) to stay in their homes longer versus moving to alternative living arrangements,” Jensen said.
Also, she said, “patients are going home from the hospital sooner than they did in the past, and are benefitting from home-health services as they recuperate.”
A new report by CareerBuilder projects that, nationwide, there will be 44 percent more home-health aide jobs available in 2023 compared to 2013, rising from 1.1 million to 1.6 million, respectively. CareerBuilder is an employee recruitment service.
Altru today employs nine home-health aides and is looking to hire two more for flexible-hour positions in Cavalier and Grand Forks.
“We haven’t had a problem filling open positions,” Jensen said. “We’ve been able to meet the demands.”
Home-health aides provide a range of services, such as help with daily living activities such as bathing, showering, washing hair and getting dressed, according to Jensen. They may do light housekeeping and help patients with physical exercises to build or maintain muscle strength.
“Once a patient comes on the service, one of our nurses establishes a plan of care with the patient and the patient’s family,” she said. “We want to make sure we’re helping with what they need and that they’re involved with the planning.”
Her goal is to ensure patients get “the right level of care and the right times,” she said. “We tailor what we do for (each) patient’s needs.”
The majority of patients receiving home-health services from Altru are recovering from acute-care hospitalization or other changes in health status that warrants a nurse and/or therapist, she said.
To be eligible for employment by Altru, home-health aides must hold a high school diploma, complete a certified nurse assistant course, and be registered as a home-health aide with the North Dakota Department of Health, she said.
Besides home-health aides, other health care occupations expected by CareerBuilder to see more than 30 percent job growth by 2023 are: veterinary technologist and technicians, diagnostic medical sonographers, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapy assistants and physical therapist aides.
Jobs for audiologists and physical therapists should see a gain of 27 percent increase. Emergency medical technicians’ and paramedics’ positions are projected to increase by 26 percent and dental hygienists by 24 percent.
Knudson covers Health and Family for the Herald and can be reached at (701) 780-1107, (800)477-6572, ext.1107 or email@example.com.