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Personal Care Aide Upgrade to Home Health Aide

Download the PCA Upgrade to HHA information sheet

This course is designed for those who already have the Personal Care Aide (PCA) certification and wish to acquire additional training to become a certified Home Health Aide (HHA).

The training is two weeks long and covers the required 35 hours of classroom and clinical lab as well as the eight hours of clinical experience in an assisted living facility setting.

As demand for HHAs continues to increase, obtaining this additional certification gives participants the flexibility to work at both levels of care.


  • Medical and immunization information

If you have a criminal record, it may affect your ability to work in a nursing home, home care agency, or hospital. For details, refer to the NYDOH Nursing Home Nurse Aide Certification Handbook(page 3), or NYDOH Codes, Rules, and Regulations, Title 10.

Functional Abilities

The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. In keeping with this law, Schenectady County Community College makes every effort to ensure quality education for all students. However, we feel obliged to inform students of the functional abilities demanded by a particular occupation. 

Gross Motor Skills

  • Ability to maintain balance in standing position
  • Ability to twist body from one side to the other
  • Ability to reach below the waist and to the front or side of the body to the level of the top of head (examples: adjust overhead lights, plug electrical appliance into wall outlet)
  • Ability to push, pull, stabilize, twist, and freely move arms to allow movement of 50 pounds (as in moving an object or transferring a client from one place to another)

Fine Motor Skills

  • Ability to grasp, twist, squeeze, pinch, and manipulate fine equipment for at least five seconds.

Tactile Ability

  • Ability to distinguish subtle vibrations through the skin (pulse)
  • Ability to identify the subtle difference in surface characteristics (feel a raised rash)
  • Ability to detect temperature (skin, liquids, environment)


  • Ability to squat or modified squat (one knee on floor) for at least one minute
  • Ability to move quickly in case of emergency situations
  • Ability to climb and descend a flight of stairs in succession
  • Ability to walk independently without the assistance of a cane, walker, crutches, wheel chair or the assistance of another person

Environment and Physical Endurance

  • Ability to have stamina sufficient to maintain physical activity for a period of time from five to eight hours
  • Ability to tolerate exposure to common allergens such as pets, body lotions, soaps, and cleaning products
  • Ability to work in confined spaces
  • Ability to tolerate heat and humidity as high as 90 degrees for up to 30 minutes (shower/bathrooms)
  • Note: Students with pet allergies need to contact the CNA or HHA Instructor in advance of the class

Speech and Communication

  • Ability to interact with others to report and advocate for the needs of the clients
  • Ability to speak, write, and understand English in order to be able to communicate with clients as well as report and document client information

Senses: Smell, Hearing, and Vision

  • Ability to detect differences in body and environmental odors
  • Ability to hear and understand voices spoken at a normal speaking volume within a distance of 10 feet
  • Ability to hear faint noises such as whispers within a range of four feet
  • Ability to have depth perception and peripheral vision to allow identification of dangerous objects and client situations within the client’s room
  • Ability to read and interpret written data held at normal reading distance

Emotional Stability

  • Ability to interact and support clients during times of stress and emotional upset
  • Ability to adapt to changing situations and emergency conditions while maintaining emotional control
  • Ability to cope with strong emotions and physical outbursts of clients while remaining reasonably calm
  • Ability to focus attention on client needs despite interruptions and multiple demands
  • Ability to accept constructive feedback and accept responsibility for actions

Interpersonal Skills

  • Ability to apply knowledge gained in classroom to establish appropriate relationships with clients, families, and co-workers
  • Ability to interact as a member of the health care team
  • Ability to show respect for diversity in culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, socio­economic status, and abilities and disabilities

Students with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations from the college and the program, as necessitated by their disability.  Information is available on reasonable accommodations to meet the Functional Abilities upon the applicant’s request. Please contact the Office of ADA Transition Services.

Register for PCA Upgrade to HHA Course

Upcoming Classes

Hybrid: Online classes with in-person testing




9:00 a.m-3:00 p.m.


$825 (includes tuition, textbooks and class materials)