Health aides help those who are unable to look after themselves properly. Providing assistance and support to their patients around their personal care, health aides make a difference in their patients' daily lives by helping them take care of themselves when they or their families are unable to.
Health aides typically work with the elderly, ill, or those convalescing following illness or a medical procedure. Their work is carried out in various settings such as hospitals, elderly residential homes, or at an individual's home.
This article reviews the skills and abilities required to be a health aide. We also look at the assessments you can include as part of your recruitment process to ensure you shortlist the best candidates and make the right hiring decisions.
What should a health aide be able to do?
The main tasks of a health aide are related to providing individuals with the support and help they need for their own personal care and living.
As part of their role, health aides need to care for patients: helping them with their daily hygiene, carrying out household chores, changing bed linen, doing laundry, or running errands for their patients such as shopping or collecting medication.
Health aides also have a role in supporting their patients in their mental wellbeing, providing companionship and spending time with them, chatting, and reading to them to keep them company.
There is a practical element to a health aide's role in helping keep their patients mobile if they cannot get into or out of bed, or assisting them when moving them to their wheelchair.
If required, health aides also need to provide medical-related assistance such as changing dressings, checking patients' pulses and respiratory levels, or ensuring patients take their daily medications.
While health aides' focus is on their patients, they have a role to play in providing emotional support to their patients' families. This could be through outlining their patient's care or supporting them through their family's illness, disability, or long-term care plan.
Skills to look for in a health aide
There are several skills that all health aides should have if they are to carry out their role successfully. You should assess your candidate pool against these skills when recruiting for health aide roles.
Communication skills: health aides need to demonstrate active listening, paying full attention to what their patients need and are asking for. They also need to communicate effectively and with empathy, using persuasive language if they need to change their patient's minds or encourage them to do something that is in their best interests.
Logical thinking: a health aide needs to apply logical thinking to problems. These could be everyday problems or more complex situations that arise when dealing with their patient, requiring them to use their problem-solving and deductive reasoning skills.
Reading comprehension skills: reading and understanding written documents, patient information, or instructions is necessary if health aides are to provide the right and appropriate care for their patients.
Critical thinking: a health aide needs to be able to think critically and objectively when faced with a problem or a challenging situation. Focusing on the facts to identify the best solution or way forward for their patient.
Microsoft Office suite: health aides need to be proficient and confident in using many office suite applications such as word, excel, or email. This enables them to update their patient's records, contact medical professionals or provide updates to professionals involved in their patient's broader care.
Useful abilities for a health aide
The role of a health aide draws on several inherent abilities of an individual. These abilities relate not only to the direct care of their patient but also to the circumstances that may arise with their patients daily.
Written comprehension: the ability to read information such as patient reports, care plans, or medication details and to understand and follow this information.
Problem-solving: health aides need to be able to solve problems using limited information. Or reach the best way forward by analysing a situation and identifying common patterns or relationships between similar situations or occurrences.
Time management skills: the ability to manage their time effectively, deal with a patient's care, and move between activities as required or directed by their patient.
Oral comprehension: having the ability to listen to their patient's or patient's family, understand what they are saying, and respond appropriately in the patient's best interests is a vital part of being a successful health aide.
Attention to detail: the ability to focus on a task with due care and attention, such as administering the correct amount of medication, changing dressings, or updating a patient's records.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a health aide?
There are several soft skills tests that you could use through the recruitment process to identify only those candidates that demonstrate the soft skills necessary to be a health aide.
Interpersonal skills: this test evaluates an individual's ability to communicate effectively with others. The test is scenario-based and looks at whether individuals can communicate with empathy and compassion relevant to the situation. Also, whether they are able, through their communication skills, to contribute to a productive work environment.
Decision-making skills: the decision-making test puts candidates in a position where they need to use their logical thinking, analytical skills, and problem-solving skills to reach the best outcome.
Adaptability skills: being able to adapt, find new approaches and work under pressure are some of the soft skills assessed in the adaptability skills test. Often a difficult skill to evaluate from a CV review alone, this test uses scenario-based questions to determine how well individuals can deal with ambiguous situations.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a health aide?
When recruiting a health aide, there are several assessments that you can use during the recruitment process to evaluate candidates' technical skills and aptitudes.
Verbal reasoning test: in this test, individuals need to read, understand and interpret written information, then make decisions or conclusions based on what they had read. It's about understanding words but also about making the correct assumptions based on the written information.
Logical reasoning: this test evaluates how candidates approach problem-solving and whether they can think logically and analyse a situation to reach the best outcome given the information they have been provided.
Microsoft Word: a test that measures the proficiency of individuals in using all of the functions available in the Microsoft word application. Also, their skill level in using these functions to produce written documentation.
Error checking test: a test that enables you to determine whether individuals can identify errors in the information they are presented with. The test is also a measure of a candidate's attention to detail when met with lots of information or data.
Our recommended test battery for a health aide
Based on the skills, abilities, and aptitudes required to be a health aide, our recommended test battery includes the following assessments:
Logical reasoning: a test that enables you to evaluate an individual's ability to use analytical thinking and inductive and deductive reasoning to solve problems.
Verbal reasoning: this test allows you to ascertain whether candidates can read, understand and interpret passages of written text, then make logical inferences to determine the best course of action.
Interpersonal skills: a test that assesses how well candidates can work with others and communicate effectively and with empathy in challenging situations. Also, how well they can use their communication skills to contribute to a positive working environment.
Decision-making skills: assessments that evaluate a candidate's decision-making through asking scenario-based questions are beneficial in selecting an individual's preference for action. This test also enables individuals to demonstrate their critical thinking and approach to solving work-related problems.
For more information on hiring a travel agent, check out Picked's guide on home health aide tests.