Home Health Training Program Guidelines Revised
The New York State Department of Health (DOH), has issued revisions to the home health aide training program in the form of the Guide to Operation of a Home Health Aide Training Program. The changes are effective July 1, 2012 for all existing training programs, and represent the recommendations of a workgroup composed of training programs, association representatives and DOH personnel who met for over a year. New training programs were required to meet the revised requirements beginning February 1, 2012.
Here are the changes that were made regarding the Training Sites:
- Training programs will no longer be associated with a specific site, but rather with a designated home care agency or hospice that sponsors the training;
- Home care agencies that are currently operating multiple training programs (sites) would be allowed to combine the programs and operate out of one site under the direction of a coordinating nurse instructor;
- The training program must designate at least one approved nurse instructor to be responsible for the coordination of training activities and oversight to ensure that training and supervision of practical training is consistent across sites; and,
- All training programs must meet minimum location, equipment and space requirements.
Trainees must now receive written documentation of their rights that meet minimum criteria specified by the Guide, and must receive a copy of their completed Home Health Aide Trainee Evaluation Forms that are appended to the Guide.
Changes were also made to the Nurse Instructor requirements:
- A nurse wishing to train home health aides must now submit a signed application to the DOH, and additional supporting documentation is required for an instructor wishing to teach in a language other than English; and,
- All training must take place under the direction of an approved nurse instructor;
- All supervisors of practical training must be approved nurse instructors listed in the Home Care Registry.
Training and Testing Materials are also addressed in the Guide with new requirements:
- The training must be conducted by using lesson plans based on the content in the DOH Home Care Curriculum (HCC) and Health Related Tasks Curriculum (HRTC), both of which are available on the DOH website;
- All training programs are required to use a published text that is consistent with the content of the HCC and the HRTC, and the training programs are required to use written tests from texts published for the purposes of training home health aides. Test questions must come from a “bank” of questions and trainee evaluation forms must be used to document competency of required skills.
Training in a Foreign Language will only be allowed if the approved nurse instructor meets certain proficiency requirements, and a text and written tests in the language are required.
Training programs must also actively participate in the sponsoring organization’s Quality Assurance or Quality Improvement program. Quality assessment and improvement activities must now be conducted on a quarterly basis and include a written annual evaluation of the training program.
The Guide includes several forms to be used: the Home Health Aide Trainee Evaluation Form; a list of the procedures that must be demonstrated proficiently, an equipment list, a list of required documents for survey purposes, a Home Health Aide Training Program Monitoring Tool, Trainee Rights, and a Schedule of Classes form to be used every six months when training programs report anticipated classes.
PHI staff participated in the DOH workgroup, and believes the changes are an improvement in the regulatory framework of the home health aide training program. For further background on the training of home care aides in New York, see the NYSDOH guide (pdf) on the Training program.